Top 10 Ways Restaurants Retain Managers

In over 30 years in this business I have never seen anything like it.

Restaurant managers.

The shortage.

Last week I heard about a new restaurant that opened two months late: Everything was ready to go—but there were no managers.

You Can’t Order the GM Robot on Amazon…Yet

The hamburger-flipping robot may be here, but the General Manager robot you excitedly dream about every night like a child on the night before their birthday? At least several decades away.

The scarcity principle, which applies when companies throttle supply to make their products seem more desirable, only makes consumers want more.  

The shortage of managers in our industry makes you focus more on the great people you already have—the ones you want to keep forever.

Matthew’s Management Retention Checklist

Here are the top 10 actions that will keep the managers you want working at your company forever.

  1. Give them a little more than you think they can handle—they will feel they are growing.
  2. Express confidence in them—they will feel valued and appreciated.
  3. Show them all the numbers—they will feel trusted and ready to make an impact.
  4. Explain how to live, teach, and measure your culture every day on every shift—they will have the power to keep your restaurants special.
  5. Communicate your vision of the company’s future—they will see an exciting and compelling upside.
  6. Have a constant dialogue about the uniqueness and specialness of your concept—they will feel proud and secure.
  7. Ask them their opinion on major decisions—they will feel valued and heard.
  8. Pay them a little over market; then, give them an attainable bonus plan based on results (and costs you nothing)—they will feel both appreciated and motivated.
  9. Make sure they take their vacations, and give them time off to go to their kids’ ball games and other family events—they will stay charged.
  10. Give them credit for your success—and you will all achieve more of it.

Top successful owners of multi-unit restaurant companies have boosted and changed their behaviors toward their managers with one thing in mind: retention.

Warning! Do not misinterpret this to suggest taking a grandparent approach, where your kids’ kids can do no wrong.

You still expect results, measure, and identify where people don’t perform up to standard.

Do this while also making managers feel, in their hearts, that they always want to be part of whatever comes next for you.

No manager ever turned down a job offer because they felt just OK about the restaurant they currently worked at.

Top restaurateurs keep their teams intact, grow their restaurant brands, and dominate their segment.

Over to you. Which items on the checklist scream in your face for attention?