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    Restaurants | 3 min read

    Leadership Styles of Successful Restaurant and Franchise Owners

    Managing a business can be tough, let alone a business in the food industry with turnover rates as high as 130%. Retaining hourly workers is an incredibly difficult job, yet many operators in this business seem to thrive. We gathered several successful restaurant owners and entrepreneurs and asked them to share insight into their leadership styles. Not only were these business leaders capable of hiring great talent, they were also able to manage their business and put together teams that made retention possible. How did they do it?

    This was what each of them had to say:


    "We are like a family. Informal in appearance but still very mission focused."

    - Pierre Thiam, Co-Founder and Executive Chef at Teranga

    Our superpowers come from holding periodic meetings where everyone shares their thoughts regarding the direction we are taking. I try my best to be a good listener because the best decisions have come from these brainstorming sessions.


    "I find that teamwork and treating everyone as a pivotal part of the process is key."

    - Oliver Schindler, VP Club Relations at National Golf Course Restaurant Association

    I'm a firm believer that being on a team with similar minded people can be dangerous; I try hard to appreciate that each member of my team has a different skill set and should stick to what they are good at. If I could only stress one thing to my team for the rest of my life, it would be that you only get one chance at a first impression".


    "I am an interactive relationship builder."

    David Thomas, Executive Chef at Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood Restaurant & Bar

    I believe in creating a genuine relational space with my staff to create a comfortable living space for us to create in and be our best selves in. Treat people well and they will treat you well has been a working mantra for my team.


    "I believe in the people I hire, and those people have mine and my company's best interest at heart."

    - Wendy Abony Polland, Founder at the Art of Pecan

    I want people to enjoy their workplace and feel good about what they are doing. Respect for each other goes a long way.


    "My leadership style is to lead by example."

    - Lilia Fernandez, Co-Founder at Mom's Fresh Juice + Kitchen

    I've got to set the standard for what I want my business to be. For example, I really like the store to be extremely clean and I've showed every single team member my floor cleaning method and done it with them over and over again. At my age, I'm around the same age or younger than much of our team. A lot of people don't take you seriously, so I make it a point to respect everyone and just lead by my example showing them that I also do these kinds of jobs and I'm not here just to boss them around.

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    Nigel Seah

    Nigel is not just a marketer at Workstream, he is also a graduate of Psychology and Marketing of Singapore Management University. He has multiple experiences in various areas of marketing - advertising, email marketing, and content writing. Fun fact, prior to joining Workstream, he took a semester off school to intern at SAP in Brazil.

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