How to Find Good Restaurant Managers

job of a restaurant owner restaurant manager
How to Find Good Restaurant Managers

If you want to achieve restaurant prosperity, which is freedom for your restaurant and the financial freedom you deserve, then you need good managers. And there lies the challenge. How do you find good managers? In this video I give you that exact answer, and my answer might surprise you.

Let me start off by saying I don't think you find good managers. I believe you create them. That means all the money you're spending on these job posting sites to bring in managers, and you're wondering why these managers come and go and fail, it has a lot to do with you as a leader.

• Do you have systems for everything you have in your business?
• Do you have a training system to make sure it's done?
• Do you have accountability systems to make sure they're doing it, and you can coach them?

Or are you looking for a chain manager, hoping they're going to do what they did at a chain? The problem with working for a chain is there is constant oversight and someone with an iron fist telling them what to do. They don’t usually understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. Doesn’t mean they won’t make a great manager for you someday, but you’re still going to have to help them and train them.

How do you create good managers? This is one of my favorite lessons I teach at my workshops and seminars that I put in my Restaurant Transformation Intensive group coaching program.

Start with a post in server alley, on your employee bulletin board, whatever kind of restaurant you have. The post says you have special projects and anybody who's interested in helping you with the special projects, should come see you.

You have to pay them for these projects, at least minimum wage. Pick any project you want done in your restaurant. There's plenty to do. Let anyone apply. That means don't go to your favorite employee and say, hey, I want you to put your name in the hat because that’s forcing the process. You want to avoid taking your best or favorite employee and coercing them into management. This will cause too much trouble because you’re asking somebody who didn't have the desire or the skill sets, someone who should have never become a manager, your best employee, and make them your worst. With near certainty, they’ll be fired or quit in six months to a year. We want to avoid that.

You want your future managers you’re trying to create to rise naturally. It also means that when the employee you think would never be a manager on your team gets a chance at special projects as well. People will surprise you.

Train them what the job is, how to do it, how well it should be done and by when. You have to take the patience pill of your lifetime to teach them each task you want them to do. Coach them, coddle them and train them.

You're going to find out some of these people are going to do a really good job, and some people are going to do a bad job. The people who don’t do a good job, all you do is say, hey, man, thanks for your help. I don't need your help right now, but in the future, I may ask you again. I really appreciate it. You didn't demote anybody, you didn't make them feel bad about themselves. You just said, thanks, that’s all I need right now.

Now, the person who does a good job and shows an aptitude, you may approach them and say, hey, have you thought of becoming an MIT – a manager in training, or hourly supervisor, or a key employee? The title doesn’t matter. It’s that you’re moving them along on a trajectory to becoming a manager for you in the future. If they’re a front-of-house person that works for the tips, let them keep some of their high-earning shifts and do work as a key employee a couple of shifts per week.

If they say no, the worst-case scenario is you got some stuff done and it was done well. Move on to the next person.

Now, of those people who become MITS, the bonus is you’re covering your shifts, you have plain clothes managers, hourly employees, working a shift or two as a server and another couple as a supervisor. Just make sure they’re not doing those two jobs at the same time in the restaurant.

Also, some of those who become MITS aren’t going to do a good job. They just weren't meant to manage people. Guess what you do? You just tell them you don’t need them on the schedule as a manager right now. If somebody goes on vacation or somebody gets sick, confirm they’re willing to jump in. No demotion, no one feels too bad, and they still have a job. And as a backup, you have somebody who can open and close.

The one or two who showed great promise and did a great job, ask them to become a manager. If they choose not to, you've got an open and closer that does a great job on certain days of the week, allowing you to work on your business. You have someone on reserve to fill shifts if somebody goes on vacation or is sick.

You follow this process until you find someone who says yes. This process of finding a good manager is not a quick fix. It takes time to develop these people, to train them. It may take you a good six months to a year to find and put the right people in place that are on your team right now. If you follow this process, you will have people in place running your restaurant the way you want it when you're there, but especially when you're not. This process is your path to freedom.


Did you learn something new? Keep it up. Every week I send tips just like this in my e-newsletter. Don't miss another issue —
sign up today.

Create Freedom from Your Restaurant