A Day in the Life of a Restaurant General Manager

5 min read

Jul 6, 2023

A Day in the Life of a Restaurant General Manager

In the world of hospitality, there are few jobs more demanding than that of a restaurant general manager. Their work can encompass that of a mentor, negotiator, counselor, contractor, plumber and HVAC specialist, to name just a few. With so many responsibilities, every minute in the day counts — and leaning on technology to save time and increase efficiency wherever possible becomes an essential act of survival.

Read on for a glimpse into a day in the life of a restaurant general manager, and how a tech solution like SevenRooms can help make it easier:

10am: Gaining key insights with reporting

Coffee in hand, it’s straight to your computer, where the first order of business is tackling administrative tasks like staff scheduling, reviewing recent sales and monitoring guest sentiment. Robust reporting software allows you to turn hindsight into foresight, making proactive changes for the future. Reviewing business performance, analyzing turn times and carefully tracking no-shows and late cancellations are just a few ways that operators can look back to uncover actionable areas of improvement moving forward.

11am: Keeping an eye on guest satisfaction

The best reputation management software provides an aggregated view of recent reviews and guest feedback from all the popular third-party channels like Yelp and Google in one centralized place. With SevenRooms, a guest satisfaction summary lands in your inbox each day, compiling yesterday’s reviews and feedback in one neat and easy-to-read email. Taking the time to read, respond and take action on these is crucial to better guest retention.

12pm: Following up on every review

Guest feedback emails sent directly by the restaurant provide guests with an important opportunity to be heard, and give you a chance to step in to rectify any less-than-positive experiences and win those guests back. Better yet, marketing automation tools allow you to reply to both positive and negative reviews immediately and without lifting a finger. These emails allow you to engage guests at scale with the look and feel of a personalized note.

1pm: Identifying VIPs, regulars and more

Your attention turns to the evening ahead. Reviewing your guest book, this is a time for reviewing the cover flow, identifying VIPs, reviewing reservation notes, scanning guest tags and assigning server sections. Besides making sure that the team coming in knows which high-value guests are heading your way, you’ll want to keep restaurant partners and other leaders informed as well. A platform like SevenRooms is able to send a detailed reservation summary to these stakeholders by email each day. 

After syncing with the kitchen and bar teams, and making sure the tables and sections in the restaurant are configured to accommodate any large parties you may have, it’s time to prepare for the most important time of the day: your pre-service briefing.

4pm: Running an effective pre-shift meeting

Family meal is on the table and it’s all hands on deck. The front of house, kitchen and bar teams and management convene for this crucial daily meeting. Ensuring alignment across the entire team, this is a time for diving into covers and reservations in detail, sharing important guest notes, communicating specials and 86’d items and more. SevenRooms’ Pre-Shift view streamlines the whole process, providing all of these insights in one comprehensive dashboard.

6pm: Helping your team find calm in the chaos

The next five hours are a blur of bells, Burgundy, beef and birthday candles. Your team calls on you to put out proverbial fires no less than a dozen times. There’s a 7:30pm rush, but luckily, an auto-assign seating algorithm takes the pressure off your team at the host stand. This creates an opportunity for them to closely monitor turn times, stay in communication with the floor staff to ensure a smooth service — and keep guests happy in the process.

8pm: Making the most of every table touch

Your integrated point of sale system allows you track guest spend in real-time. Check-in alerts pop up on your mobile devices as VIPs arrive. Fully informed, you are able to quickly and easily identify where to focus your table touches. You interact with dozens of guests and wish you had time to chat with dozens more. You remember why you got into this crazy business in the first place.

11pm: Setting yourself up for tomorrow

The back office feels like your sanctuary after another busy service. While you execute closing duties like writing a daily service report and cashing out your front of house team, your host team can update client profiles with notes and custom tags that reflect any intel that servers gleaned over the course of the evening. By adding overheard food and beverage preferences, personal details and more, your team will be able to personalize the experience for those guests the next time around.

Around midnight, your fourteen-hour day is nearly done. The only remaining task is to ensure that you have as many automations as possible enabled so your technology partner can work for you while you sleep. So go ahead and toggle on your post-meal guest satisfaction surveys, thank you notes for first-timers, automated follow-ups for positive and negative feedback and more.

Tomorrow, you’ll be able to send custom email communications to hyper-targeted segments of your ever-growing CRM database . But for now, you’ll rest easy knowing that another excellent service is behind you and you can look forward to countless more ahead.

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