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Top 4 Distinguishing Characteristics Of A Successful Independent Restaurateur

So here’s one fact that needs to be faced (our guess is that you, by now, already know this)—being a restaurateur is one very, very challenging task.

So much so that there’s been subtle suggestions from experts that there ought to be an aptitude test that should be given for restaurateurs—you know, just like how it goes for college acceptance or in practicing any kind of profession. Not for anything else, but if only to increase the probability for success and lessen frustrations.

We chanced upon an article in RestaurantOwner.com that delved into the important characteristics that need to be developed in a restaurant manager, and we realized how important it is to know the basics. The article is based on a study done by a Cleveland, OH. – based personality assessment company called PsyMax Solutions, where it lays emphasis on the fact that it does take a special, skilled person to become a successful start-up restaurateur.

Sure, capitalization, competition and market forces matter a lot, but these are things we don’t really have control on. The things that we can gain full jurisdiction over, however, are certain work-styles that need to be developed to be able to survive the business—thrive, barely survive, maybe; or immensely triumph the business—but definitely not fail and close shop.

So what are these?

Creativity. Out of the more than 200 restaurant owners and operators who were respondents in the study, 66% of the successful ones showed high scores on creativity. Creative managers are more likely to embrace new concepts, fresh ideas, and innovative ways of dealing with things, generally willing to take on calculated risks. As a restaurateur, being creative means becoming a trendsetter—allowing others in the restaurant circle to follow the lead, and not being the one who would always just catch up with the trend. But creative managers are advised to be careful, too, since being highly creative could allow restaurant operators to take unnecessary risks that might prove detrimental to the business.

Independence. This work-style gained a total score of 62% among the respondents who were deemed winning” in the restaurant game. These managers are courageous, enjoy autonomy and can normally hold self-directed activities in the restaurant. They are not heavily dependent on anyone and can rely on themselves, allowing them to plan and grow the company in a more self-sufficient way. But then, an extremely independent individual should also be on guard—they have the tendency to be hesitant in seeking help from others, which is important in a team-oriented business like restaurants, and they tend to be “stubborn” in accepting their vulnerabilities. They should know when to accept help and support from their staff in outstanding restaurant aprons when needed.

Influence. A good restaurateur is influential in his own right. Being influential garnered a score of 58% among the assessed participants. They exercise easy authority, are good leaders and are great providers of direction among their subordinates. Although each of their staff carries out specialized functions (like preparing food, clearing tables, greeting guests), their influence and leadership ensure that each individual is synchronized and that each staff is carrying out his (or her) own responsibility. This trait, which includes motivation and staff encouragement, is critical in steering the business to success, although influential managers ought to be cautious, too—they need to be careful not to abuse their power and come across as an intimidating individual, especially to strangers and clients.

Collaboration. A total of 56% of the respondents demonstrated “very good” collaborative skills. These restaurant managers work cooperatively with the rest of their team, and can often cultivate win-win dealings with others. They’re the type who effortlessly strives to build synergy in their teams, accomplishing its objectives and goals through effective teamwork. This type of leader would not hesitate to roll up their shirt sleeves, put on a restaurant apron and help–bus tables, wash dishes, slice some onions—when things are rough on a particular day. One downside of an overly-collaborative manager, however, is being hesitant to take authority over their staff—always thinking that harmony is more important in the work environment—and has the tendency to give in easily.

A lot may already have developed these crucial traits, but, as a helpful motto goes around the industry, “a good restaurateur never tires of learning.”