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The mayor of the village

I often refer to the GM of a restaurant as the Mayor of the Village because this job, when executed correctly, is barely managerial in nature. It is much closer to a true leadership role. The Mayor of the Village is an ambassador both within the restaurant and within the community. His or her primary responsibility is to ensure that things are the way they should be for both Team Members and Guests.Within the restaurant, the Mayor of the Village (MOV) is proactive, looking for both potential problems, and opportunities. The MOV does not just carry the keys, answer questions, and wait for things to happen... that's what a building superintendent does!

Think of it this way: You've just won the election. You have the support of the majority (owners, guests, and employees), and now you've got to live up to their vote of confidence and demonstrate to the others that you are worthy of the job.

The Mayor of the Village has his/her finger on the pulse of business activities, stays current on local news and events, enjoys meeting people, and must balance the needs of all his constituents. The Mayor of the Village is highly visible, accessible and involved.

Mayor of the Village Duties:

  1. Identifies first time Guests and greets them personally
  2. Periodically circles the building and parking lot to check security, lighting, signage, and cleanliness to ensure a Guest's first impression is positive
  3. Checks the volume of background music and appropriate selections
  4. Intercepts at least 1 or 2 guests per hour to ask about their dining experience
  5. Does a random reconciliation of cash each shift
  6. Spot checks quality/yield/portion of key items at production area or line
  7. Circulates in the dining room and interacts with Guests to ensure food quality, service, and be visible as the person in charge
  8. Motivates team members to own their part in delivering food, ambiance and service above and beyond the Guests' expectation
  9. Assists the team in any way necessary
  10. Constantly searches for new opportunities to meet people and build sales

In order to fulfill these duties, the Mayor of the Village cannot:

  1. Get trapped (or hide) in the office
  2. Habitually perform the duties of other team members due to inefficiencies or to save labor dollars
  3. Abdicate his/her role as #1 Ambassador for the restaurant
  4. Shortcut operational standards
  5. Talk on a cell phone while in the restaurant
  6. Accept flat or negative sales as the norm
  7. Wait for Guests to approach her/him
  8. Arrive late or leave early
  9. Be unaware of new businesses openings and community events
  10. Be perceived as unapproachable by team members

We've modified a real Mayor of the Village job description to supplement what you currently consider your duties and responsibilities. It didn't take a lot of tweaking. Perhaps not suprisingly, running a restaurant and running a city are very similar jobs. I know this perspective will help you focus on those activities that will lead your restaurant to higher performance and profitability. You might even get re-elected by a landslide next time!

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