A Note for Managers: Lead by Example

Aug 16 2017

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There’s no doubt that managing a restaurant is stressful. Ultimately, managers are responsible for all aspects of an evolving door of operations. While this is occurring, one of the biggest responsibilities that gets overlooked is for managers to lead by example through their day to day actions. Just to name a few, here are some daily actions that management regularly miscarries in front of their team.



Management work long hours. With that, they too need meal breaks. Sometimes they only have a few moments for a quick bite, sometimes a bit longer. However, more time to have a meal or snack does not mean that your managers should be taking a seat in a corner booth, enjoying a meal for lengthy amounts of time in front of the other employees and customers. If possible, they should wait for another manager to be on duty as well. That will allow for the meal break to be taken elsewhere.

This also goes for the act that everyone is guilty of: eating off the line. If you want a few French fries to snack on, ring them in, or have them plated. Do not grab as you walk by or talk to a chef. If you don’t want your employees to be eating their end of shift meals on the floor in uniforms, or walking by and grabbing fries to snack on during a shift, then managers need to follow the same behaviors.

Feeling Chatty?

With all the time managers spend in the restaurant, it is inevitable that they become friendly with employees. Some more than others. Managers that have a great relationship with their employees are beneficial to restaurant operations and communication, but managers who habitually group together and chat with employees will start a ripple effect of repercussions.

  1. The more management and employees group up to chat during shifts, the more it will happen.
  2. Employees will begin to group together and chat amongst each other during their shifts.
  3. Grouping up to chat in front of customers is a bad look, and will give off poor impressions.
  4. Customers will get neglected.
  5. Employees who are not as close to the manager(s) that are being social will feel left out and view notions of favoritism towards the others.

With that, yes – promote positive and open relationships with employees, but keep the group side chat to a minimum. This brings me to the next miscarried action.

Time to Lean, Time to Clean

If managers have time to group up and chat amongst each other with employees, or to sit and use their phones for lengths of time, then they are not utilizing their time efficiently. Age old saying in the industry: you have time to lean, then you have time to clean. Managers who also take the initiative to clean, tidy up or organize set a great example for their employees. It shows employees that they too should not be standing around talking or checking their phones, and as long as they are on the clock, they should be working. Not to mention, this will create a larger sense of respect from the employees towards the management.

Refraining from these actions all together may be impossible for management all the time. Nevertheless, management need to be mindful of the frequency in which they are engaging in those actions they do not want their employees to embody.

Amanda Wilkening

Amanda Wilkening

Amanda has over 10 years of restaurant experience ranging from Hosting, Serving, FOH Training to bookkeeping. In 2015, Amanda joined the client services department at Ctuit where she trained new clients on RADAR and assisted restaurant management and executives in their day to day reporting and operational endeavors. More recently, Amanda joined the Ctuit marketing team where she is happily applying her marketing degree and knowledge from Sonoma State University.