Besides turning your dream into reality, owning a restaurant is a big responsibility: assume the role with the highest level of hierarchy. By doing so, you can go beyond management and become the leader of your work team. If you want to know how and why this is important, continue reading.

Being a leader is about setting a positive example for your employees, so that they are influenced and act in the best way in the performance of their duties; it also involves communicating assertively (expressing yourself with empathy and respect). A boss who is not a leader only gives orders, while expecting their subordinates to listen and obey.

Hera are some leadership tips:

Put yourself in your employees’ shoes

Before acting, stop for a moment and think about how the person would feel when listening to your words or seeing the gestures you make. Let’s say: if you work hard and show interest in your job, as well as perform your duties properly, even though you have a flaw, would you want your boss to yell at you for it? Your answer is probably “No”, right? Then, one option would be to speak gently with your employee, start with a sincere compliment, then point out the aspect to improve.

Let’s imagine that a cashier is starting at the company and they do all the work well, except that they do it slower compared to their colleague on the other shift. You could talk to them and congratulate them on their good performance, highlighting that they can be better if they speed up the process. At this point it is important to listen to what they have to say, including coordinating with the cashier on the other shift to support them by giving them advice.

In case of errors, explain what they did wrong indirectly

For example: if a cook is making a personal telephone call during work time, you could approach them and tell them that, if it is urgent, they can take a few minutes to talk on the phone, then go back to work.

If, when you arrive at a customer’s table, you notice that no waiter is serving them because they are talking and have not noticed your presence. You could go to the customer, welcome them, accompany them to the table and call the waiters to take their order. With this gesture, without nagging, they will know that they should be more attentive.


Instead of ordering, ask questions; this way they will cooperate, you even give them the opportunity to save their prestige and you will avoid making them feel uncomfortable. Suppose a cook makes a new recipe and prepares the dish to get their opinion. In case some salt is missing, tell them, “Maybe, it would be better if we add a pinch of salt, what do you think?”

Talk about your mistakes first

If an employee makes a mistake and it matches or resembles one you have made at some point, you could briefly tell the story and indicate how you solved the situation.

Example: the person in charge of social networks gives you the month’s schedule and you read spelling mistakes. One way to deal with this would be: tell them that you also made those mistakes and something that helped you overcome them was to increase your reading, in addition to reviewing the spelling rules.

Praise employee progress

When an employee does an outstanding job, it is appropriate to congratulate them. If their performance is excellent, evaluate giving them compensation beyond praise, such as a bonus, raise or promotion.

Let them know they are valued

From time to time, ask them about how they feel about working in your restaurant, let them know that their opinions matter and that their work is valuable to the operation of the business.

Allocate your time

It’s important to balance the business with your personal life. You need to rest, exercise (it keeps you healthy and reduces stress), see family and friends, as well as learn and train.

We can conclude that leading by example, acting with empathy and respect will allow you to exercise leadership in your restaurant. By putting into practice the advice we give you, you will be able to perform this task successfully and your work team will feel valued, as well as motivated to perform their duties.