4 Reasons Restaurant Managers are Quitting & 6 Strategies to Get Them to Stay

By Jenna Murrell|Sep 7, 2023|4:03 pm CDT

While restaurants have always dealt with high staff turnover – with staff churning at more than 1.5x the rate of other private sector workers – restaurant managers usually stayed in roles longer as part of a career path in this industry. However, in the post-pandemic world, a concerning new trend has emerged – restaurant managers departing their roles at rates similar to staff turnover. As all successful restaurant owners and operators know, quality managers are key to their success. When managers leave, replacing them can take weeks or even months in some cases. So, why are managers leaving, and what can you do to prevent this churn?

Why Restaurant Managers Leave

1. High-Stress Environment

The restaurant management role is an intricate balancing act encompassing staff coordination, customer service, inventory management, and financial oversight. This continuous high-pressure environment can lead to burnout, something our customers have told us is causing managers to leave.

2. Long Working Hours

The demanding nature of the restaurant business often results in extended, irregular work hours, not to mention working many holidays with very limited time off. This schedule can erode work-life balance and contribute to managers seeking positions with more predictable hours.

3. Limited Advancement Opportunities

A perception of limited upward mobility within the restaurant industry can prompt managers to explore opportunities in other fields where career progression seems more attainable.

4. Low Compensation

As mentioned, restaurant managers have a wide range of responsibilities that have only gotten more difficult post-pandemic, such as keeping their store appropriately staffed amidst staffing shortages and staying profitable in the face of rising labor and food costs. With all this pressure, many restaurant managers feel that their compensation does not align with their workload and responsibilities, which leads to exploring alternative career paths.

Strategies for Retaining Top Managers

Our fully integrated cloud-based workforce management software is designed to meet the unique needs of the hourly workforce.


With the vital role that managers play in helping restaurants grow profitably, operators can’t afford rapid turnover. But, by understanding the root causes and implementing targeted strategies for retention, restaurant owners can build and retain a skilled managerial team that contributes to the long-term success of their establishment. A restaurant’s success depends on nurturing and retaining talented managers in order to ensure consistent operations, high customer satisfaction, and overall profitability.

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