How stressful is managing a restaurant?

Long days turn into long nights and it feels like you're constantly trying to catch up. Your average day running a restaurant will cause you to work shifts of more than 10 hours. Working in the restaurant industry can be a tough and stressful job. The hours can be long and the work exhausting.

During busy meal periods, you may feel a lot of pressure to prepare meals quickly without sacrificing quality. Sometimes, your breaks may be delayed due to an avalanche of customers. For restaurant owners and managers, this stress is magnified. Restaurants are already a stressful environment, and when employees and customers walk through the door with a cloud of stress floating over their heads, it becomes much more difficult to manage the business effectively.

If stress isn't controlled, you may have staff problems when a line cook gets sick out of concern, or guests may have problems if the waiter is distracted or overwhelmed. Stress may seem like an invisible problem, but it can have a real impact on a restaurant's profitability. Restaurants don't have enough staff right now, so almost all current employees are overworked. Staff that used to be just waiters must now take on the tasks of waiter, host, manage food and even wash dishes.

However, the nature of work in restaurants caused overwork even in the pre-pandemic era. The rush can come out of nowhere. This intoxicating mix of uncertainty and dramatic adrenaline spikes can easily lead to exhaustion. What few people realize is that happy events such as marriage, a new job, or the birth of a child are also stressful.

You have established a work environment in which restaurant staff are caught between managers and customers. You'll need to monitor both yourself and your staff to detect the telltale signs of exhaustion and take action before they become uncontrollable. It's always important to be aware of your well-being, but it's even more imperative to do so when stress levels are high. Identify your stress capacity and try to adjust your life to the optimal amount of stress you can handle.

During these times, stress can turn into illness, and that's something you should avoid, especially when you have a business to manage. When you experience large amounts of stress at work, it's helpful to reduce stress levels in other parts of your life. Inevitably, the constant stress of being understaffed and working tirelessly to fill staff gaps is causing many restaurant managers to suffer from work exhaustion. The physical and emotional stress of job exhaustion not only causes increased manager turnover, but it can also lead to serious medical conditions, such as fatigue, depression, sleep disorders, cognitive decline, and more.

Once you know what it is and how to detect it, you can manage exhaustion and prevent your business from collapsing. The first step is to know what causes stress and to understand the symptoms so that you can begin to create a healthy environment for you, your employees and your customers, not just during the holidays, but throughout the year. One of the best ways to minimize stress is to be open and honest with those around you, and that starts with eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health. Stress during the holiday season can cause several problems in a restaurant, but if you're proactive and understand what could go wrong, you'll be able to find a quick solution in no time.

Before the pandemic, restaurants were already one of the most stressful work environments in the world. When you experience a series of widely spaced changes in your life or family situation, you can expect your stress levels to increase. .

Ernest Dargatz
Ernest Dargatz

Freelance food geek. Bacon expert. Certified internet buff. Typical coffee nerd. Avid coffee evangelist.