Lets Micromanage

God how I hate the term micromanage. What is considered micromanaging? Here are things I don’t believe to be micromanaging, but been told they are and would love some feedback from my fellow owners/managers.

  1. Cooks constantly leave the cover off the marinara sauce in the steam table. Sometimes for more then 30+ minutes.
  2. Workers don’t sweep all the way under the units, only sweeping what they can see.
  3. They love to take out the garbages 30-45 minutes before we close, god knows why, but then they sweep and throw little things in the brand new garbage (which sucks during the summer).
  4. They only wipe down what they see, never getting behind or under something.
  5. The fryers are behind the cook stations and so they like to just take the baskets over to the prep table instead of using a bowl or thongs. even sometimes using their hands. Now there is fryer grease everywhere. they also dont like to shake the baskets up and down to let the greasy drain down the baskets.
  6. When there are two fryers, one is usually worse then the other (it smokes more) and I tell them to use this one mostly for wings and use the other good fryer for chicken fingers and fries and stuff. Thus cooking it better. Yet they don’t follow, they just use whatever fryer (not even busy).
  7. Don’t open up any new rolls of change unless you have to. It drives me crazy that you need to open a new roll of quarters in the last hour of work, when you still have $1.50 in quarters left. (And then it takes me more time to count the till down)
  8. Stock rotation, this definitely isnt micromanaging, but I was told it was. (I actually fired someone who told me that).
  9. cell phones, cell phones, cell phones - its a losing battle so I have worked out a peace treaty which sometimes they dont follow. I dont mind if you have to use your cell phone, just do it in the back where no one can see it and then wash your hands, and be quick. But a lot of times they use it while standing around their prep table (open kitchen concept unfortunately) or even while making food (not when i am there trust me, but my manager does the same thing so i am screwed either way).

I just feel like workers, especially in this industry, just like saying that the manager/owner is “micromanaging” even though he really isn’t.

What is everyone’s opinion on this subject. Your personal favorites too

Mostly I think those points are not micromanaging. (except #7) Legit points for you, and more importantly your managers to be paying attention to.

To me, the question is how do you change your managers from subversive to allied with your concerns. In my experience nothing works like money. Do you have a bonus system? If so, change the parameters to bonus the things you are looking for until habit sets in. The cleaning ones should be easy. Create a checklist. Go through the store when they are done. The checklists from the pay period determine what portion of the bonus they get. For example, if there are 20 items on the checklist you might say they have to hit 60% to get any bonus at all, 60% gets 50% of the bonus, 90% gets 75% of bonus and 100% gets 100%.

In our store the bonus is tied to other things right now, but I have changed what it applies to over the years several times. The variable bonus is worth up to $2.00 per hour to the GM and $1.00 for the two assistant managers.

I realize that it could be difficult to just impliment that added cost… but then is it worth a few hundred a month to have all those things change? (Besides, you can change the bonus to focus on lowering labor cost later when new cleaning habits set in). Over the years, I have not given raises to managers at all for several years. All increases have come on the bonus tied to things I want to see happen. It has worked pretty well. So, for example, last year rather than giving my manager a $1.00 raise, I increased the bonus available for hitting my labor cost goals by that $1.00. He still gets it, but only if he hits the goal.

Negative bonuses work too. I got fed up with cigarette butts in the bushes out front of our store. I told the manager that his bonus would go down by $5 for every butt I found in there whenever I checked. I said I don’t care if he figures out how to get employees to stop leaving them there or if he picked them up himself. Funny, he figured out it was easier to get them to stop throwing them there after just one pay period.

Thanks for the input, thank god I am not going insane thinking some of these things are micromanaging. Honestly, my big problem is that my “manager” who receives $1,000 a week, does not really care about the place more then making his salary. Honestly he isnt really a manager, hes just a really well paid pizza maker. Unfortunately, we do New York Style pizza with deck ovens and the skill is needed. I have tried training, but no luck. my “manager” is a hard worker and has been with the franchise for almost 15 years. Its basically the two of us making pizzas and he does around 45 hours a week and I do the other 40. So its hard to implement all these things when the second in command doesnt care. He hates the business but does what he has to do and he can be trusted and has never stolen from me. I tried giving incentive to my workers but nothing has stuck. They literally just want to make their paychecks and go home. Its hard to find people who actually care.

Wow! $1000 per week! I am assuming you do not pay bonus’ on top of the salary then? What about implementing a bonus system similar to what bodeghahwy suggested - give the manager you have a month or 2 notice. It might be hard to go over, but if you CUT his salary and add upside in bonus’ so that he can make more money it might motivate him to achieve? However, at 15 years he may just be going through the motions.
A couple suggestions that I started typing up a few nights ago:
Have a meeting with your crew explaining you need to hire more people (make up a reason) and explain that hours are not given by seniority. They are given by performance. If you are fully staffed - you are UNDERSTAFFED. Get enough people so that the people you have want more hours.
Hire more people.
Get the new people trained how you want things run. Schedule them with you so they are trained the right way.
Once they are trained you can trim the hours of the underperformers.
Make lists. Follow up with the lists. People WANT to know what their standards are. They WANT to know what is expected of them.

Did we just become best friends!!! Just when I thought I was alone … you go and reassure me that I’m not alone in this restaurant universe. After 15+ years as an owner (I mean babysitter), I’ve learned to let the little things slide and focus on the big issues. If they choose to only wipe, sweep or clean what’s directly in front of them - that’s fine… for a week. Once a week I have a clean up list that cover EVERYTHING THEY DECIDED TO ACCIDENTALLY (on purpose) MISS. I just word it differently and thank them before and after.

It’s amazing that more time ends up spent on fixing petty/lazy mistakes than building business. The fight continues, as it always has and will.

As for the phones… I’ve tried it all. To date, the best thing we’ve tried is a after sign in - they’re asked to put their phones away. If you ask… they’ll do it. If they question it, I’ll explain why it matters. Some get it, some don’t. Yes, it’s a daily routine and annoys me more than I care to explain, but it’s only a 3 second request that takes the thinking out of it for them. No thinking = no mistakes. ‍♂️

Happy micromanaging!

Performance based schedule, should help. If they want work they know how to makes sure they get the hours. Checklist, checklist, checklist! Make them accountable, who swept last night? They didn’t sweep, under the whole unit, oh that was Joe, ok Joe you lose a shift next schedule. The Manager apparently isn’t a manager he is just a higher paid employee with experience. If he can’t get the job done cut his wage and find someone that wants responsibility and will do the job, or if your not willing to do that dont complain that he isnt doing his job. Does he know what his responsibilities are do you have policies and procedures in place? Why does your manager use his phone when he shouldn’t be? Because you allow it! Not trying to sound harsh or critical but as owners and managers if we let team members get away with things they will always try to push the envelope its just how things work.

#7 is also a personal pet peeve of mine. I’ve told them to never open a new roll until the tray is absolutely empty and they’re better about it but in the end I can’t get upset, you have to understand that they are opening the roll early in anticipation of not having to make the customer wait for them to open a new roll.

As for the other actually important stuff? This manager is way overpaid for what he is doing. I would advertise for a manager position on the sly offering 52k a year and see what kind of applicants you get. I also agree with checklists, checklists, checklists. It’s one thing for people to say they’ve done something and another for them to sign their name off on something. Once they sign saying that they’ve done it, but it isn’t done, then they’re on the hook for it.
Everything other than 7 is basics. This is their job. You might have to clean some house.