The Best Ways Restaurants Activate and Retain Excellent Management

I can’t make it through a single day without someone talking to me about how much they need to hire or develop more talented managers. 

On many days it’s multiple someones.

One nice part of our business right now that can help? Clarity. We know what people want in order to stick around and work in our companies.

What Managers Want

  1. Development. All the data shows that people stick around in jobs when their capabilities, skills, and talents grow. They know that – when their company teaches them how to be more powerful and professional – they can use those lessons for the rest of their professional lives. To do the same job over and over again feels like a waste of their time. Can you document what each manager in your system can do this year that they could not do this time last year?
  2. Inspiration. Managers want to be part of something. Success won’t be enough. Whether that involves preserving an iconic brand’s legacy, leading a segment, or showing the world that a unique and new concept can thrive and grow, you must be able to talk about the “why” – not just the “what” – to inspire and retain top people.
  3. Pride. In a highly competitive job market, no one tolerates an organization that cuts corners or where action seems to be going in the wrong direction for very long. A sense of pride can be either palpable or missing. Promote pride constantly. Address issues that dampen pride. People like winning more than they like losing.

Move Them Up One Way or Another

Two schools of thought compete:

  • “I recruit better people and integrate them into my system.”
  • “I hire the best people I can find and figure out how to make them better.”

Restaurant companies seeking to recruit better people must realize that this group of managers does not make lateral moves.  To enroll them you must make the case for why working with you constitutes truly moving up.  

Most of my clients hire the best people they can find and then develop them. They augment at the multi- unit level with education, learning and development initiatives and people.  

If your organization over the past few years has not substantially upgraded the way you enroll and/or develop, you look like an outdated record store full of CDs while everyone else puts on their AirPods and streams music.  


What’s the point of owning a successful restaurant business if you don’t have freedom?

Download Matthew Mabel's Freedom and Flexibility Guide for Restaurateurs to learn how to...

  • Step away for extended periods of time
  • Contribute to your community in a unique way
  • Spend more time with friends and family
  • Travel for weeks at a time
  • Split your residence at a vacation home for several months a year


    Want to grow your restaurant company past 3 units?

    10 units?

    20 units?

    Enter your email address below to get our newsletter and the free guide to pushing through expansion barriers and mastering unit growth.

      Toolkit for Creating Dream Restaurant Business

      What would you rather own?

      A good restaurant company?

      Or one of the best restaurant companies in the world?

      Enter your email address below to get our newsletter and the free toolkit to learn the 4 ingredients your restaurant business needs to maximize success.

        Why You Need Senior Management

        Want to get the most enjoyment from the success you’ve worked so hard for?

        Want to maximize your net worth in addition to your lifestyle?

        Enter your email address below to get our newsletter and the free guide to learn how to bring experienced senior management into your company.