4 Leadership Styles to Use for Restaurant Business


By: Ana Margarita A. Olar| Foodfindsasia.com

One of the most important factors for success in running a restaurant is the leadership style used by managers.

Here are the leadership styles and their pros and cons when running a restaurant business:

Autocratic Leadership

Restaurant managers who practice autocratic style of leadership are quick to make decisions without consulting their subordinates and other members of the team. Their motto is: “Do it myself”, and has a high standard and expects self-direction. An autocratic restaurant manager may add new menus without consulting the chef first.


It has troubles with delegation and employees feel unappreciated because have no part in decision-making and planning. And in turn, the restaurant may experience high turnover rates of their staff.


Quick decision-making skills even when faced with tough situations.

restaurant ledership (2)

Democratic Leadership

While autocratic restaurant managers take the entire decision making, democratic managers delegate some authority to their staff. It is more of participative where the subordinates participate in decision making.

This type of a leader meets the employees regularly and rewards adequate performance. A democratic restaurant manager may let the employees deal with grumpy customers or have their own style of taking orders and deliveries.


A potential downside is that the employees may feel too empowered and make crucial decisions without consulting the manager.


Employees can have a great sense of accomplishment as their hard work and effort are appreciated.

Consultative Leadership

This is a combination of autocratic and democratic style, where employees can do some decision making on a smaller scale but the bigger ones are handled by the manager.

In a restaurant setting, it may include a manager asking the employees on how they can increase the sales and avoid dissatisfied customers but in the end, it still needs the manager’s approval.


Like the democratic style, employees may also feel too empowered.


Employees feel that they are important and involved at some managerial level but the manager still controls the final decision.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

This type of leader delegates most of the responsibility to their subordinates. A good laissez-faire leader knows when to let the workers by themselves and when to enter to take control of things. It can be applied to a high-end restaurant when the personnel’s are highly trained and needs less supervision.


If abused, this type of leadership results in a leader that is irresponsible and avoids work and employees who are either overconfident or lax because no one is monitoring their actions.


If applied properly, the followers are able to work on their own, possessing high self-confidence, and committed to fulfilling their responsibility.

There are a variety of management styles and in order to be effective, managers need to discern which situations needs a certain type of managerial style in order to have a smooth running, and successful restaurant business.