manager question

We have a manager who has been in training for the past 3 months. In the past we have had “shift leaders” who would just take care of things while we were off.

Our manager trainee is paid 30,000 a year and is being trained to run a second store. He was never a “shift leader” but been a cook with us since he was 15. The reason we chose him is his ability to run the kitchen and figured we could train him on management side. He does ok.

We have a weekly meeting to discuss how things are going and what to work on. The past 2 weeks I assigned him a SIMPLE task of going over the job description with 2 new hosts. (He hired and was responsible to train them as part of his training.) The day after they started I noticed he didn’t go over a job description with them. I told him then to go over it. He didn’t. Next meeting assigned him to go over it after I went over it again with him. Next meeting he said he forgot. I discussed the importance of a job description for the employee but also explained it would help him to. He said ok, sorry. I discussed that he needed to come up with a way to remember to do the things I ask. I had him write it down with some other things which needed to get done. He put them in his pocket and said okay. Tomorrow is our meeting and still he hasn’t done it.
How would you all handle this?

Demote him till he shows you he can get his head out of his a**. J_r0kk

I would agree that he needs to be demoted until he shows that he will do things your way. In the future remember that it is much easier to train someone to cook the items on your menu than it is to train someone to be a responsible, trustworthy, and respectable manager. Promotion from within is not always the best route.

You’re paying the guy $30k. He can run the kitchen – I assume that means he can take the staff that’s there and get the job done. That’s not management though. You’re asking him to hire/fire/train/do paperwork, etc. Perhaps just sitting down with him and explaining exactly WHAT is expected, and you might really have to get down to “WHY” it’s needed. Some people don’t want to explain “why” and if you’re not interested in explaining why, this guy may not be what you need.

Anyone can “run a kitchen” with a good staff already in place. It’s really just a “leader” emerging and making use of existing talent in that situation. Starting a new store from the ground up is so much more. Some people just don’t like to get involved in the muddle that is “operations manager”.

Besides… $30k? What ever happened to waiving the carrot in front of the nose?

Sorry, I was a little bitter yesterday (Chiefs lost, grrr). Let me give a little helpful advice this time:

For every 20 trainees you start, only about 5 turn out to do anything at all and only about 1 or 2 actually succeed… AND IT’S NOT A TRAINING ISSUE! I used to be a trainer for Domino’s and saw it first hand. These guys would start at the same time, come to the same classes, and only a small handful would actually become store managers. An even smaller handful would become SUCCESSFUL store managers.

So, in your situation, you’ve got all your eggs in one basket. You’ve got everything invested in one guy who might not make it. Here’s a strategy:

You’re paying this guy $30k/ year… Once you demote him (and you’ve GOT TO DEMOTE HIM) bring in two trainees (there’s nothing like a little competition). Pay both trainees a modest salary (let’s say $8-$10/hr) and train both of them.

$8/hr x 40 hrs = $320
$320 x 52 weeks/yr = $16,640
$16,640 x 2 trainees = $33,280/yr

Let them know in the beginning that one will be selected as the store manager of the new store and all the perqs and pay packages will then apply. After all is said and done, the one with the dominant personality will prevail and you’ll have a solid manager AND a pretty good assistant for your first store… or, the other will bail out and you’ve got what you were looking for in the first place. Good luck -J_r0kk

Good point, but I wonder if in this case the training isn’t lacking.

You have someone that has a proven work etic and you are asking him to do a new job. One which he may not have been trained for, and is possibly nervous about.

I would go over the job description with the first server with your trainee watching you do it. Discuss it with him after. Then have him do the second with you watching, and discuss again.

Too often we take the approach of just throwing them in the water to see if they can swim. Better to take a little time and make sure the performance issue is really that, or if it an issue of training.

Just my two cents but its always cheaper to retrain someone than aquire & train someone else. That being said not everyone is cut out to be a manager. Just because someone can cook doesn’t mean they can manage.

It sounds like the guy is a great cook, and that is about it! If he has already been asked three or four times to do something and still has not there is a problem. I think I would let him soar at what he is good at and put him in charge of the kitchen, let him order, schedule, train new cooks, and learn the ropes of being a manager in his comfort zone. Later on down the road he just may grow into a GM, but for now it really sounds like he would be most valuable in the kitchen.

I’ve always found that if you have someone that you think might be ‘management material’, it’s best to train them slowly and give them the tools they need over a long period of time, THEN you promote them. It’s easier to train someone for the position and then give them the title when they’re ready, versus giving them the title and then trying to train them on the position.
Employees that know their job duties and responsibilities inside and out are the ones that are your super stars. I think when you put someone in a position without the right tools and knowledge, you really hang them out to dry and you’ll have more negative experiences than positive. Then they are turned off by the position all together.


did you think maybe the guy doesnt remember because he doesnt want the job but by telling you he may lose his job. he may only want to work as a cook . you might think your promoting him but some people just rather stay where they are. did you ever ask him if he would want to be promoted?ihad a employee in another business and he would cut lawns everyday for 5 years. the first year i let him run the crew he screwed up,complained,ect. i asked him whats the problem he saided he doesnt need all the added bull customers,paperwork,ect he went back to just cutting no problems .some people just cant do more then take care of themselves.

That is a great point jjac95, I never really thought of it that way. I always try and walk in other peoples shoes, but I guess I still have my mindset when I do it! I guess their must be tons and tons of people just happy as a clam right where they are with no desire to move ahead.