Can You Become A Manager In One Year?


    Not every manager has the same experience and skill set. Not every manager has the same strengths and weaknesses. There is no one ‘right’ job description for a manager. There are few places that this applies as strongly as it does in restaurant and hospitality management.

    A successful manager understands that they must be one person for the patrons and another for the general manager. They understand that some people in the team despise managers, while others aspire to take their job.

    This makes it difficult to determine when you are ready to apply for your first management position. Not everyone has access to the job search blog at

    Many people have the skills needed to be a good manager. What they lack is the ability to express these skills succinctly to a hospitality recruiter. Many of them do not even understand the ‘right way’ to land a hospitality job or a restaurant job.


    Building Management Skills – People Focused

    Making your skills evident to people is important to your success. You don’t need to take courses. You need to learn how to manage the people around you. You need to become the solution, not a problem. This starts with self-awareness and learning to control your own behaviour. Learning to accept criticism and to listen to others can take weeks or months.

    This is why some people can ‘bust their butts’ for years and never move up the ladder. Unfortunately, being the best person on the restaurant floor or kitchen only makes you a valuable asset on the floor or in the kitchen. It doesn’t make you a management candidate.

    All criticism is a learning tool. So is experience. Many managers skipped formal education and learned their management skills by experience. Volunteering and watching are two excellent ways to learn the skills needed. But you do need to study. You need to learn terms like toxic conversation and mindfulness management. As you learn these skills you develop the skills and ‘tools’ needed to manage. Coaches state that a person can learn all these skills in a few months if they are motivated.


    Building Management Skills – business focused

    Things need to get done. Many new managers do not understand this. They believe their job ends when they get the restaurant through another busy night. This is the wrong focus. These managers see projects and proposals introduced by upper management as interference when in truth, they are the motivation that will keep the restaurant in business 10 years from now. Embracing projects and getting the entire restaurant staff to support them is probably more important than being able to handle the day to day tasks.

    A few business courses and some basic understanding of business success can help open your eyes to the importance of change and growth.


    Building Management Skills – Motivation

    Everything a manager does has a direct impact on the team. Managers cannot have a bad day. No matter what you see on TV ‘fake’ reality shows, managers cannot go around emotionally abusing their staff. They need to be supportive and encouraging. They need to be able to solve the staff’s problems even when the staff member doesn’t realize there is a problem with their behaviour.

    These are the three basics. Work on them diligently and within a year you will have the skills to be able to work with a manager, side by side, comfortably. You’ll understand the job, and if you learned well, the manager will start mentoring you.  Then, you will be ready to apply for a management job.