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Planning, communication, delegation and follow-through are essential elements for all management positions. This is not easy considering the myriad tasks and emergencies that pop up during a typical restaurant shift. One way to stay ahead of the game is to develop a system to manage and prioritize your duties and responsibilities. I call it the .

The Manager's Daily Script is a daily schedule covering your shift from beginning to end. It is usually divided into in one-hour or greater time increments. To develop your daily script, begin by making a list of all daily job responsibilities. These can include:

Planning & preparation:
Administrative, Inspect the Restaurant & Property, Inventory & Quality Controls, Marketing & Networking

Coaching the staff:
Review the Schedule, Conduct Pre-Shift Briefings, 30-Second Boost

Working the floor:
Spot Check Server & Host/Hostess Scripts, Observe Dessert Tray Presentation, Perform Line Checks

Administrative duties:
Inventory Management, Payroll and Labor Costing, Personnel Files Management, Financial Statement Preparation & Analysis, Review Comment Cards

Some of your tasks must be accomplished at a specific time during the course of your shift, but others are not time sensitive. For example, some managers may schedule detailed "numbers" work early in the shift, when they are fresh. Others may wish to do this type of work at the end of the day when they're not distracted or tired. This is a matter of personal preference and productivity. Schedule your time sensitive tasks first, then schedule remaining responsibilities according to a plan that allows you the highest and best use of your time.

We've provided a sample Manager's Daily Script to get you started. There's also a customizable Microsoft Word version . You'll be amazed at how much easier your day will be when things aren't left to chance.

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