Opinions wanted

Feeling overwhelmed with day to day operations of 2 stores.

How many managers do you all run? How many shift leaders? How is their pay based? Hourly? Salary?

How do you get the managers to quit calling you at home wondering where the extra staples are? (Stupid stuff like that)

Sure I need a vacation but who will know where to find the new clean up sheets filed in the appropriate folders Who will they call?

Having one of those days and I know we need to make changes but wondering if I am off base on who, how many and how much.

Jrokk, you run a couple of restaurants what do you do on a daily basis? Are you still ever in the kitchen or what? Where did you find your managers?

Just a bad day I know but a bad day makes for a better day tomorrow.

Thanks in advance!

I can feel your pain. Multi-unit supervision is one of the toughest skills to hone. I’ll give you this: Hire for attitude and train well. Nothing within the 4 walls of a pizzeria is that tough to learn. Having the right attitude, patience and leadership abilities is the key. You can’t teach the latter, so look for those when you hire. After that, spend time letting them make their own decisions. First, with you on site, then slowly letting the reigns loose. You can’t be a contol freak and oversee multiple locations. If they’re calling you all the time, either they lack the confidence to make the right decision, or you have given them the impression that they are incapable of it. You have to bring in people that you trust, and then recognize that they may have different methods that are just as effective as your own. Unfortunately, you’re gonna have to let them stumble along the way. None of us here would be where we are without taking our lumps along the way. Hang in there. We all have bad days. Don’t let your frustration spread–your people can sense it.

Guest,

First off, as of this moment I only own one store, not multiple. I am a franchisee in the corporation you see on the website.

However, I’ve held the title of an Area Supervisor as well as Director of Operations for quite a number of years so I guess I’m a little qualified to help you out with this problem.

Here’s your solution:

OVER-TRAIN

I know it seems so basic and plain and simple, but I train to the point where they get tired of hearing me flap my jaws. I try to get my managers so confident and cocky in their abilities, they feel they can do anything… including my job (which I used to let a few select managers do whenever I decided to take a vacation).

If they have questions, they’re free to ask me as many as they want… as long as they also give me their solutions to these questions as well. If they forget to come up with a solution to their question, they can ask me again later. I will not budge and do the thinking for them and I let them know that at the onset. I want people who can think for themselves (I think it gives them a sense of pride to know that they conquered an issue themselves).

And Matt… I AM a control freak. I always was and I always will be. I’m just not a micro-manager. -J_r0kk

If they have questions, they’re free to ask me as many as they want… as long as they also give me their solutions to these questions as well. If they forget to come up with a solution to their question, they can ask me again later. I will not budge and do the thinking for them and I let them know that at the onset. I want people who can think for themselves (I think it gives them a sense of pride to know that they conquered an issue themselves).

I really like this. I have always told my staff "answers are free but screwed up orders cost money, so ask if you don’t know". I see that I am creating a monster here.

So what is the balance point here?

I really appreciate the responses. I like what you said Matt, maybe I am somehow making him feel as though he would screw up and once again my flapping jaws would be at him.

Our other manager is still early in training at the other store. I guess I just wonder if either one WANTS the responsibility to RUN the store and all responsibilities. I guess I need to ask what they want out of this job and position.

The funny thing is I really like the guy. I see so much potential but I don’t think anyone ever showed him how to “impress” to get ahead.

Jrokk, I am a control freak when it comes to my business. It is my way and I think it is my duty to go over and over it until they get it and sure enough just when I think they got it they drop the ball and I think my plate is so full I just kick the ball around. So there is the solution. I am the problem. I need to train train train. Explain to him it is so he can get ahead. Either jump on and stay on or get off.

Daddio, like you I have always said ask me, ask me, ask me. I guess I assumed he would understand it was while I am at work unless it is an emergency. I have decided at our next weekly meeting I am going to explain I need time away just like everyone else. If the question can wait ask me when you come in or leave me a note and I will call you while YOU are OFF. He Ha Ha the last part is a bit sarcastic. :slight_smile:

Thanks again sometimes it is nice just to put it out there and you all seem to be the only ones that get it.

Daddio writes:

I really like this. I have always told my staff “answers are free but screwed up orders cost money, so ask if you don’t know”. I see that I am creating a monster here.

So what is the balance point here?

Great question Daddio. It all starts in the beginning when you train your guys. There’s a 5-step method I was taught long, long ago:

  1. Prepare : The most important part of preparation is creating a desire to learn on the part of the trainee. This preparation process helps to show enthusiasm for the task, relate the task to what the trainee already knows, help the trainee envision being an expert in the task, have the trainee explain how the task will relate to success in the restaurant, add fun and presitge to the task when possible, and associate the task with respected co-workers.

  2. Tell : You want to tell the trainee about each step of the task at hand.

  3. Show : Demonstrate the task while explaining each step, emphasizing the key points and more difficult steps. Don’t leave out even the smallest, simplest part of the task. Also try to get the trainee involved and asking questions.

  4. Do : Have the trainee do the particular task while being observed by you, the trainer. Then have the trainee do the particular task while the trainer is not observing (this is usually a good group excercise if you have more than one trainee). After the individual session, have the trainee explain each step as it is performed to you. If steps or parts of the task are omitted, re-explain the steps and have the trainee repeat them.

  5. Review : Go over the entire task with the trainee, offering any constructive criticism that may be needed. Be frank in your criticisms. Encourage the trainee toward self-appraisal in the future.

You do this guys and life is a cakewalk. -J_r0kk

Read the book Developing the Leaders Around You by John C. Maxwell. It is very well written and has helped me alot!

HA! Of course you are. I stand corrected. Well said j_rokk!

I run one store, but I am the only salaried manager. The rest are shift managers. God forbid I get one single day off without a single stupid phone call. They call me twenty times a day over stupid crap. Crap that can wait until I am there, the other morning I was scheduled to be in at 10, I get a phone call at 8… still sleeping. I didn’t answer but I did check the message… one of my cooks didn’t show up the day before and they were wondering what we were going to do about it. He was scheduled in at 10, I get in at 10… you would think that somewhere up there it would click “hey that can wait, I don’t want to wake the boss up” But no… I’m taking a vacation and I can guarantee not ten minutes into my vacation the phone starts ringing. I can dig what you’re saying about training, and I do train them. But I am the only salaried manager, no one else has any experience in management and all the decisions fall on my shoulders.

Fine line indeed. I have found my style that works is to ask the supervisor type person what they would do if they were me. It 1) gets them thinking outside themselves, and 2) shows I have interest in their ideas. If their idea is good, then praise and ask them to inplement the idea. If it is crap, then identify the valuable parts and offer insight how to deal with the “holes” in the solution they offered. Also share what your business preferences are in those situations. Key is to get that other person to come up with at least part of the idea and the implementation. Lots of praise and encouragement for their “ingenuity” and problem solving.

It is sometimes Socratic, but done well, can be encouraging and instructive.