Restaurant Owner/Manager

Conn Flatley

Tell us about your work---what do you do? I own and operate a restaurant/bar in Los Angeles. What skills are needed? You need excellent management skills . As a small business , you have to do everything: finance , purchasing , human resources , contract negotiation . The most important skills you need are people skills . What was your major? I have a Master's in hospital and health administration finance . How did you get started in your career? I worked my way up though hospital management and then I went back to school for my MBA so I could advance my career into hospital administration. I started my restaurant as a transition into retirement. What experience do you need in this job? You need to know about each job in your business because you have to train and motivate each staff member. You are constantly a "student" since you must continue to modify your business to meet the ever-changing expectations of your customers. Describe your "typical" workday: First, I usually do the books, i.e. all the financial stuff. Then I meet with the staff to discuss any issues that have to do with the day's service. Once open, you meet and greet customers and try to pick up on feedback to improve the service at the restaurant. Then I usually review all the purchase orders and look at any new products with K. There are a million details that need to be attended to everyday; it would be impossible to list them all. What is the hardest aspect of your job? The most difficult aspect of the job is keeping your product interesting to your customers, especially in such a competitive market as Los Angeles. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? When the restaurant and bar are really busy and people are having a great time because of what you created. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? If you want to be your own boss you must be self-motivated . You also have to enjoy working and talking with people (this includes not only the customers, but also the staff). This is not a punch card job, you must be able to work any hours on any days. It is a seven-day-a-week business.