How to Prevent Restaurant Managers From Quitting

A man carrying a box with a laptop and papers,
Ayseli İzmen
Ayseli İzmen
October 27, 2022

One of the most demanding careers physically, mentally, and socially, managing a restaurant requires equal amounts of goodwill and hard work.

For most owners, it takes years until they come across a manager that suits their style and needs. This is exactly the same for a restaurant manager; they too want the best match.

If you are a restaurant owner, regardless of the size of your establishment, a good manager and the ability to keep that person on the job will literally save you your lifetime.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some authentic approaches that will help you keep your manager content for a good number of years.

Hands-on / Hands-off

First off, understand that a restaurant manager will only care about your restaurant as much as you care for it. If you are sloppy and show that you do not possess the knowledge or care to run it yourself, don’t expect your manager to be highly motivated.

No matter what career background you come from, as a restaurant owner, it is your duty to master at least some areas of the restaurant’s operations.

If you have hired a new manager, you will have to train this person and show them how you want things done. Also, find out if your manager has other ways to work things out that are better or more practical than yours. Have the capacity to be hands-on, working, and caring as you train your manager so that they know you have their back when needed.

After you have built enough rapport and set a working system you both are comfortable with, back off gradually and let them run the show. Remember that no one wants to work with someone who doesn’t give them space. In the same context, you should not continue to work with a manager you do not intuitively trust.

Similarly, do not give inconsistent messages or make constant changes in your decisions. This is what a restaurant manager struggles with the most; owners who change their minds all the time. Teach the job and let them do their job.

Analyzing Your Manager’s Personality and Management Style

A chef wearing a hat holds a tablet, possibly using it for recipes or managing kitchen operations.

During the time a restaurant manager lives through their trial period, you, as the owner, should have a good idea about their personality traits and management style.

How is their communication with the team? Are they on top of the whole game or struggling? Is there friendly communication and understanding among staff members, or are things chaotic? Is the team spirit peaceful?

If the answers are positive, make sure your manager knows that you are happy with their work. Reward and praise the whole team; this message will essentially lift up the manager.

Understanding Your Manager’s Needs

Your restaurant’s manager is, in two words, your right arm. Show interest in his/her family, how many children they have and how old they are, if they are the carer of a parent or a disabled family member.

Showing interest and asking about how things are going in their personal or family life means that you care about them. In a boldly capitalist world, showing genuine interest in someone’s well-being and family life actually means a lot for that person. If your manager is important to you, make sure they feel it.

Taking Initiative

A capable and experienced restaurant manager will have no problems taking the initiative if you let them. However, setting the boundaries right and making sure you make clear the areas your manager is allowed to take the initiative is very important.

If you blame your manager for anything and everything without setting clear boundaries on what’s on them, they won’t last long. No one wants to work in a blame party in the long haul.

Similarly, loading everything off on your manager’s shoulders isn’t ideal. The same is true about financial access to business accounts. There’s no need to test a manager by giving them full access to business accounts and then holding them accountable. You are the owner and have responsibilities as well. This way, your manager won’t have to carry more than necessary.

Supporting Your Manager with Tech Tools

Technology is an area that no one is able to keep up with, developing faster than light speed. For restaurants, tools available to make life easier and to eliminate human error are the new black.

As the owner, whether you are a control freak or not, providing tech support tools for your manager’s use is essential. These tools provide anything from real-time reports to staff scheduling calendars and features that analyze sales info such as best sellers and biggest losers. Providing your manager with such tools will not only give them more confidence but also more time to spend with customers to create better service and experiences.

As a result, your manager will be more accountable than ever and your guests will be happier with more human contact and attention to detail. Managers who are supported by such systems and tools seem to stick longer at establishments, getting more done with higher accuracy and less headache.

FineDine is the trusted example when it comes to restaurant management tools to streamline operations and workflow. Thousands of restaurants in the US choose FineDine for several different features. The best part is that you don’t need technicians to come and install or set up anything at all.