There’s a difference between being a hands-on owner and gripping your business too tightly.
As a restaurant owner, having “a lot on your plate” isn’t just a food-industry pun. You undoubtedly know that the best way to experience growth within your business is to have a strong handle on everything from building a budget to running your restaurant efficiently.
But, it isn’t always possible on your own. In fact, it’s hardly ever possible if you expect your business to find lasting success. That’s why delegation is so important.
You likely got into the restaurant business because you had a passion and a certain skill set. That doesn’t mean you need to master every other skill set. Instead, hiring the right people for those jobs or delegating them to your current employees will make your life easier and will allow your business to run smoothly.
Delegation is an important part of a successful leadership style. Not only will delegation make your employees feel more confident in the business, but it can secure everyone’s bond and showcase the importance of working as a team.
So, why is delegation so important and how can you do it effectively?
Letting Go of Control
The first step in delegating responsibilities to others is to have a willingness to let go. Far too many business owners have a hard time giving up their control because they’re worried someone else might not do the job as well. Or, you might just consider your restaurant your “child,” and it’s hard to think about someone else taking the reins on something.
There’s a difference between being a hands-on owner and gripping your business too tightly. Concern over quality control is one reason why 4 in 5 small business owners say they can’t work “on” their business because they are too stuck “in” their business. But, consider this; there are a few steps that need to be taken in order to achieve growth within your business, including:
- The startup phase
- Growth through marketing and internal efforts
If you’re starting your business today by yourself and your goal is to grow and expand, how can you expect to churn out quality service and food without help from other people? As a business owner, you have to be willing to delegate, and it’s often the biggest hurdle to overcome. But, with over 100,000 restaurants in the U.S. closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, swallowing your pride and finding ways to stay afloat is more important than ever.
Learning New Leadership Skills
Once you’ve accepted the fact that you need to let go of the reins, you may benefit from learning new leadership skills in order to delegate effectively. Taking a leadership course is never a bad idea for a business owner. It can help you to learn new techniques, including understanding organizational behavior and negotiating with social conflict.
It’s easy to think of leadership skills as something necessary for big corporate CEOs and large business owners. But, it may be even more important for small-business owners, if you want to continue to grow and thrive. Great leaders understand it’s the team that makes a business work.
Without your staff, including those on the floor, those doing marketing, and those managing your finances, you wouldn’t be able to find the success you so desire. That’s why the best leaders give recognition to their team, even when they are the ones in the spotlight.
Some of the top qualities of a great leader include:
- An attitude that inspires others
- Good communication skills
- Decision-making skills
And, of course, the ability to delegate and empower your staff is also at the top of the list when it comes to being an outstanding leader. In the end, it’s about putting your business first. You might think you’re doing that by doing everything yourself. But, by taking a breath and giving certain responsibilities to others, you can focus more on your strengths and how they can benefit your business even more.
The Best Delegation Techniques
If you’re willing to delegate but you’re not sure how, you’re certainly not alone. Think about how difficult it was to “let go” in the first place. The skills you learned in higher education to become a better leader can certainly help you better understand delegation and how it can impact your restaurant. Delegation is a skill people have to learn. It’s something you have to be willing to master as long as you want to be a leader.
But, you don’t have to wait in order to start delegating right now. In fact, waiting could cost you your business during these uncertain times. What can you do to delegate effectively today, so you can best serve your business and employees?
One of the most important things is to be as clear and concise as possible. Tell your workers what is expected of them and don’t leave out any details. You’re not trying to confuse them, you’re trying to make everyone’s job more efficient. Be sure to tell whoever you are delegating to what you expect. What is your definition of success for that particular task? When they know that definition, they are more likely to work under that standard.
Delegating doesn’t mean completely ignoring what’s going on underneath you. A good leader will always communicate and “check in” on their employees to make sure they understand what they’re doing.
Perhaps the most important part of delegation, however, is the reward. Most employees are happy to take on new tasks, roles, and responsibilities. But, they will remain more loyal and happy with their work if they are recognized (and even rewarded) for their contributions. Even a simple verbal recognition can go a long way.
Restaurant delegation is a major key to success, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you’re trying to find ways to grow and succeed in your business, make delegation a priority as soon as possible.
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer from the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics and, because she spent over six years in the restaurant business before writing full-time, takes a particular interest in covering topics related to the food and beverage industry. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter.