A challenging management role targets born leaders who are not afraid to get their hands dirty. As part of its expansion programme, an international restaurant chain is seeking to welcome a general manager on its Hong Kong team. A United States-based chain with 900 outlets around the globe, Outback Steakhouse operates four restaurants in the SAR. 'As we are planning to open another restaurant at the end of 2005 or in early 2006, we are looking for a new general manager,' said operating partner Michael Domer. 'We are advertising now as we run a six-month training programme, which is a pretty serious commitment.' The successful candidate will be required to handle every managerial duty associated with running a restaurant with a staff of 25 to 40 people and a management team of four, ranging from payroll duties to inventory, running profit and loss statements and purchasing. Shouldering responsibility for marketing, the training and development of staff from managers to those hired on an hourly basis, ensuring cleanliness, developing customer satisfaction and maintaining service quality is therefore the name of the game. This incentive-based position also includes a high level of autonomy. 'The ideal candidate is therefore very self-motivated and disciplined, and has good time-management skills and the ability to be a great leader,' Mr Domer said, adding that this was as close as you could get to owning your own restaurant. Candidates should not think of applying for this role unless they can commit to the six-month training programme. In addition, only those with significant knowledge of the restaurant industry and an understanding of what it takes to control a restaurant operation are likely to succeed. 'Although you need a lot of time-management experience, this is not an office job,' Mr Domer said. '[You will] work in the kitchens and front-of-house, as this is a very hands-on position.' Candidates who are comfortable speaking Cantonese and English are preferred. While a degree was certainly appreciated, Mr Domer said applicants who had come up through the ranks were just as welcome. 'Typically, to be a general manager, you need to have had at least 10 years in the restaurant business,' he said. As far as training is concerned, the successful applicant can expect to experience every position in an Outback Steakhouse operation, from cooking on the line to serving in a front-of-house role and, ultimately, stepping into the shoes of a restaurant manager. 'You will not be standing watching somebody do this; your hands will get dirty,' Mr Domer said.