Time Management Strategies For The Busy Restaurant Owner

Sunny Stree

Managing and owning a restaurant is not easy, and hours can be unpredictable. Restaurant management is defintely not the typical 9-5 office job. This could lead to higher levels of stress. It’s important to discover good time management strategies for those busy days and weeks so you don’t risk burning yourself out. Here are 7 tactics to help you with your workload, make sure you can get everything done and still have time for yourself and family.

 1. Be effective, not busy

If you’re feeling like you just can’t get through everything you need to, take a moment and make a list of things you do in a day. Include everything: answering emails, making phone calls, employee management, etc. This will help you take stock of all your activities, and realize which are important and unimportant. Do things that create more value, and not just more things. Eliminate the non-essentials. To help you save time on scheduling, read our blog 6 Tips For Easier, More Effective Scheduling.

2. Make time for you

In that list you made of all the tasks you do in a day, make another list of things that make you happy. It could be taking a short walk, watching a movie, or going on a run. It could even be splurging on a fancy latté at a local coffee shop. Do at least one thing for yourself each day. Your happiness matters. Take the time.
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3. Forget about “To Do” lists

A traditional “To Do” can work for some, but for restaurant owners that to do list can end up long and seemingly endless. If you still enjoy the satisfaction of crossing things off your list, here’s a solution: break it down. Choose 3-5 things you must get done that day and focus on them. This will help you not be overwhelmed by a giant list.

4. Give yourself time limits

If you find yourself spending hours answering emails, give yourself a limit. Spend only 1 hour a day with emails and dedicate your entire focus to that task. Close out other tabs, turn your phone on silent if possible, and put on your favorite focus tunes. It will help make it not only more efficient, but also not such a chore.

5. Take a break between tasks

If you’ve just spent an hour highly focused on emails, you deserve a break. Stand up, stretch, take a little walk, or enjoy a good cup of coffee to clear your head. You’ll function much more effectively if you take the time to breath. Yes, you are allowed to take a little break.

6. Say “no”

This goes back to being effective, not just busy. As a restaurant owner it’s important to delegate and learn how to say “no” so you can focus on your own tasks. You’ll want to help everyone to make your restaurant succeed, but your staff should be able to handle day-to-day operations. You should be focusing on the bigger picture in order to support those daily operations.

7. Plan tomorrow today

Waking up and deciding what you need to do that day on your drive to work could lead to forgotten tasks and a growing to do list. In the evening set out your 3-5 main goals for tomorrow so you wake up focused on the tasks at hand.
Effectively managing your time will not only keep you healthy and energized, it will also help the overall running of your restaurant. A focused owner can inspire employees to do the same. You are leading by example, and showing that you are on the top of your game can increase productivity in your staff. And it will also make you a happier person!


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