Let us first start by saying, that in no way do we want to demean the various hospitality courses that are on offer by various colleges and universities.
The aim of this is to provide to you as a student, a list of home-grown skills required to be a successful restaurateur. These skills come secondary to a great hospitality course.
Time Management Skills
If you think that your time management skills are good, try working as a manager in a busy restaurant for one day and you will be tested to the max. If you survive, we think that you are cut out to be a restaurateur. Do we like to wait for food when we go out? Ofcourse not! That’s exactly why you’ll need to be A-grade in your time management skills.
You should be skilled at allocating responsibility
Holding the reins to a successful restaurant is more about delegating the right work to the right person than you trying to do a little bit of everything. From the chef to the maitre’d, the waiter to the kitchen hand, you will have to delegate work. And believe us, these are not an easy bunch to get work done from. You will need to be strong, direct and sometimes even rude. If you can’t see yourself doing all this, we suggest that you re-think your wish to be a restaurateur.
Sleep? What’s that?
We remember watching Gordon Ramsay saying on television that in his early days he’d leave his restaurant after midnight, go grab a bite to eat, and then reach home at about 3. He’d be back in the restaurant at 9am to practice new recipes and food styles. Maybe you don’t need to work as hard as Gordon Ramsay, but you’ll definitely need to forget that 10 pm bedtime of yours. That’s when your work would start.
Great negotiating skills
What’s the main ingredient in your restaurant business? Food! That’s right. Did you know that most successful restaurateurs build extremely good relations with the local butchers and sellers at the local vegetable and fruit markets? They do that to avail great trade discounts. Forget food. Everything from the furniture, decor, kitchen, utensils and much more will require a lot of negotiations. You will need to be pushy, edgy and work your way through to a fantastic discount on the nitty gritty things. Can you negotiate to kill?
Do you know what all great and successful restaurateurs have in common? They are all passionate about food! Yes, that is step one in your journey to become a great restaurateur. You can hire the best chef in the world, but if you don’t have a good palette, you’re probably no good. You can hire staff, not taste buds and aesthetics.
To be a great restaurateur, you will need these skills over and above the technical knowledge about how a successful restaurant operates.