While the ongoing conversation around the restaurant staffing crisis has largely focused on kitchen staff and hourly front-of-house team members, it’s worth remembering that the challenges are also felt by restaurant management.
As kitchen and dining room staff turnover increased dramatically throughout 2021, so did that of restaurant management positions.
In both limited- and full-service restaurants, restaurant manager turnover rose during each of the quarters of 2021 to reach historically high levels, reports Black Box Intelligence.
However, alongside the increase in turnover has been a rise in pay for restaurant management positions.
As owners and operators have turned to enhanced pay and other compensation to attract and retain staff during the crisis, general managers’ pay has risen at an accelerated rate in recent months.
Total compensation, which includes base salary and bonuses, for the median general manager in a limited-service restaurant increased by 3.7 percentage points year over year between August and November of 2021, according to Black Box.
For full-service restaurant managers, the increase in the year-over-year growth rate was lower at 2.4 percentage points, but total compensation was already growing at a much faster rate for them back in August.
The report notes that the increase in total pay is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to its impact on employee retention. The other crucial factor is inflation, which has been soaring in recent months. As a result, the report notes that while pay may be rising for restaurant managers, the real-terms gains have been totally erased in the case of limited-service general managers and severely mitigated for full-service restaurant managers.