Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Where is the new Manager?-- Oh, he just walked out on us!

    A friend of mine is in the quick service restaurant business.  His restaurant is located in a city which enjoys a great quality of life, good salaries, relative easy cost of living and a lot of demand for folks to go out to eat.
    I was in his restaurant about 2 months ago and he excitedly introduced me to his new manager.  This individual had been with a large food distribution company for many years, but had "cut his teeth" in the restaurant business and was ready to go back to working in a restaurant.
    I, being a somewhat skeptical type was a little "concerned" when I met the guy, however, he was not my employee.  My friend has had some luck with employees, however, he would be the first to admit that he has been "bitten" before with employees.  The new manager began well and made some changes, improving the overall tone and profitability of the restaurant-- at least initially.  However, a month into the new gig, my friend provided some "strong adult guidance" to him because his costs for labor and food were above stated guidelines.  In the food business, labor and food costs are the key parameters to overall profitability.  A restaurant that is just a couple of percentage points over the cost  benchmarks can cause a profitable establishment to become highly unprofitable!
     My friend also had heard, through the staff, that this new manager was "selling" all of his possessions.  Becoming concerned, he asked the new manager if there was anything wrong.  The manager told him that nothing was wrong, he was working hard (which he was-- 7 days/week, every week) and liked his job.  Seven days later, he failed to show up after a forced day off.  He had left town and was never coming back.
     My friend said that he was not surprised by the manager's behavior, however, he was shocked that he lied about it.  When I asked my friend what he learned about this incident, he told me that trust is the key factor in retaining employees.  My friend said that if he can trust an employee, he will work with them, irregardless of the plethora of circumstances that most employees find themselves in today.  However, if the trust factor is not existent, then, no matter how hard one tries, nothing ever works out.
     When you hire a new employee, make sure that you develop a strong bond of trust.  Experience has shown that if you don't have a trust factor with the new employee, no matter what happens, a long term employment relationship will never exist.


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