Sometimes it feels like it is easier to raise money, sign a lease, build, and open a restaurant than to find someone to run it. There is a definite shortage of talented restaurant managers — and especially general managers.
If you are a successful owner of an independent multi-unit restaurant company, you have probably learned that top management does not cost you money; it makes you money. You have learned to be generous and thoughtful and accommodating for the great people who lead your restaurant company every day.
Make a Choice About Unit Level and Multi-Unit Management Coverage
General Managers are beyond important. The GM — who is responsible for the day-in, day-out operations of your units — is the most important person in any independent restaurant company. Sometimes I make owners and operations directors upset when I say that, because they’d always thought they were more important; but, most of the time, they look at me and say, “I agree.”
The shortage of unit management is so prevalent that many companies are relaxing their standards for managers and GMs…or increasing pay…or both. They’re asking their corporate staff to take on more supervision and development of these people. That’s what my best clients are doing. In some cases, multi-unit people are doing parts of the jobs GMs used to do when more-qualified GMs were available. I understand that is a path of necessity, but I do not recommend it.
Meanwhile, there has never been a time when there was a better supply of multi-unit management. Why? Many experienced people are tired of working for big companies. They would prefer to work for you, an independent restaurateur — to whom they can talk and from whom they can get immediate decisions instead of dealing with a corporate bureaucracy and being worried their boss is going to be replaced every year.
So how can you strategically spend more on multi-unit or unit-level management? Figure this out now — do not get left behind.
4 Steps to Better Allocate Your Management Budget
- Rate your management team as a whole by comparing their capability to the needs of your organization.
- Figure out where the most improvement can come from — by increasing your multi-unit strength or your store-level strength?
- What results can you expect if you do put additional resources into management?
- Commit to working this plan, being prepared for the future, and harvesting those results.