Food & Beverage

How To Improve Your Leadership Skills In The Kitchen

Monday, February 26, 2018

Leadership is one of the single most important factors in any kitchen. A strong leader provides direction, discipline and inspiration, whether you’re working with a small team or a large one.

Get to know your staff

It’s true that you have to lead from the front. However, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore those at your back and expect them to blindly follow you. The more you understand your staff the better you will be able to work with them – and the fewer surprises you’ll have when it comes to personalities and problems. What motivates these individuals, what are their expectations, who is in their lives and what daily obstacles do they face?

Learn to listen more

Vivek Singh, chef at The Cinnamon Club still has six of his eight original chefs with him 10 years after the restaurant first opened. This he attributes to quarterly reviews that focus not just on what the restaurant expects of the chefs, but also what the chefs expect from their careers – and what their current needs or issues are.

Understand the need to learn

Most of the people you’re leading are there to further their own skills and experience, as well as to keep your restaurant functioning at perfect pace. Therefore if you want to be a really effective leader, learning should be a daily part of the experience of your kitchen.

Invest in team building

Both among the staff in the kitchen, as well as those in other parts of the restaurant, creating team bonds is crucial to ongoing success. The team that works together plays better together too. There’s also plenty of evidence to suggest that encouraging those working for you to get to know each other and share ideas and knowledge can result in spurts of innovation and creativity. Put the right people together and your businesses as a whole could benefit as a result.

Keep talking

Your staff are more likely to remain engaged with you if you share your vision with them. What are the core values of the brand you’re building and where do you hope to be in five or ten years? Not only will you make staff feel more included in what you’re doing, but you could get some valuable input from them too.