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Career Story: Manager Of A Group Of Chain Restaurants

Manager Of A Group Of Chain Restaurants

Job Title: Area Director-Restaurant Company

Type of Company: I work for a casual theme restaurant chain that operates in eleven different states. We are based in Northborough, Massachusetts.

Education: BA, History and English, UMass-Boston

Previous Experience: I worked as an assistant manager, then general manager and was promoted to area director twelve years ago.

Job Tasks: My job as area director is considered an "operations" positions within my company. The area that I am in charge of encompasses nine restaurants whose annual revenue is approximately $25 million. I am responsible for recruiting and hiring managers, 36 of whom report to me at this point, along with 635 hourly personnel. I am also responsible for the operations and financial performance of my restaurants and act as a liaison between our outlets and the corporate office. I am involved in the training of my people in new company initiatives; but I also come up with new menu items.

On a typical day I will arrive at one of my restaurants at approximately 8AM. I watch the kitchen staff and scrutinize the quality of the food preparation and cleanliness. I'll check my e-mails, return any calls, etc. I then assist during the lunch rush, taking notes and coaching and counseling staff members as opportunity permits. After the meal is over I may conduct an interview or meet with a manager. I usually finish up around 6PM. Some of my days I work the night shift: either an 11-9 shift or 2-midnight. I work approximately 55 hours per week.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: One of the best parts of my job is conducting training classes with newer managers. I enjoy teaching and seeing the light bulbs go off. I also get a lot of job satisfaction out of running great restaurants. When we get guest compliments or sales are going up, I know we are doing a good job taking care of our guests.

The worst part of my job is having to fire somebody. Even when an individual has been given every opportunity to improve and hasn't, I still hate to terminate them.

Job Tips: If you pursue a job in the restaurant business you really need to love the work. It requires a lot of hours and a high degree of commitment to be successful. You need to be very good at multi-tasking and realize that many of your guests believe they could do your job. You can't be sensitive since you will receive a lot of feedback. The service industry requires you to be an accountant, a human resources expert, a teacher and a chef. You won't get bored.

Additional Thoughts: I think the most important attribute for success in any job or career is tenacity. You will have set-backs but you can't let those get to you. Don't be afraid to take calculated risks.

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