The 6 Personality Types of Restaurant District Managers and How Digital Reporting Can Help Them

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On his blog, John Slimp wrote a post in 2010 about the common personality types of district managers. It’s still timely and relevant today. And while each of these personality types has pros and cons, one thing they all have in common is that they can use digital tools to make their lives easier and their jobs run more smoothly. Below, we describe each of the personality types and explain how they can use digital reporting tools for the benefit of their businesses.

The Climber

The first personality type is the climber. This person keeps their eyes on the prize at all times. What prize? Promotion.

Of course, there’s nothing essentially wrong with wanting a promotion. The key lies in being able to do your current job effectively while you are honing your skills and building your experience.

Climbers can use digital reporting to simplify their daily tasks and help them avoid being swept up in the monotony of the day-to-day. With digital reporting tools at their disposal, climbers can quickly visualize how well their restaurants are performing and ensure that they are meeting important compliance standards.

These insights will enable Climbers to focus more on high-level and strategic decisions, which will ultimately allow them to move up the ladder, all the while leaving their current situation better than they found it. It’s win-win.

The General

The general is focused on ensuring that the troops stay in line, sometimes at the cost of morale. Though they can sometimes be perceived as harsh or uncaring, generals at heart simply want to ensure the ship sails smoothly. They prize order above all, and will go to great lengths to ensure that those in their regiment stick to the script.

Digital reporting can be a great help to the “general” personality type, because it provides a simple to use and effective means of ensuring that daily tasks -- particularly compliance reporting -- are executed in a timely and accurate manner.

Generals who implement a digital reporting system will be able to hold their employees accountable, which means they won’t need to stomp around saying, “It clearly states in the manual, section 3, page 37 paragraph 4, sentence 3...” Employees don’t like to read manuals, but most of them don’t mind entering compliance details into a rugged tablet computer like Squadle’s Hub that’s easy to carry from task to task.

The Comedian

In some ways diametrically opposed to the stoic and fierce general, the comedian district manager personality relies on humor to grease the wheels.

Comedians are fun to be around, and many managers like this personality type best of all. The catch is that comedian DMs may not spend as much time as they could providing constructive feedback and helping their restaurants improve over time.

Digital reporting can actually be a big help for this personality type because often their humor conceals a dislike of being negative or critical. They’d rather be chummy with their employees than chastise them.

With digital reporting, conversations around what is going well and what needs improvement can be impartial and unemotional. It’s much simpler to point to a dashboard that shows where things are falling behind (and where they’re exceeding expectations) and use hard data to make decisions than it is to have overly personal conversations with people about the quality of their work.


The missing in action district manager, or M.I.A. personality type, is often too busy or too focused on strategic priorities to regularly visit all of the restaurants that he or she manages. Instead, this personality type is known to rely on their direct reports to ensure that operations run smoothly and all boxes are checked.

The M.I.A. personality type can benefit hugely from a digital reporting program because it allows them to monitor their restaurants and ensure that they are meeting compliance requirements without having to set foot in each restaurant every day. Instead, with a tool like Squadle’s HQ, M.I.A. district managers can access a dashboard which gives them a complete overview of business data.

They can customize their metrics dashboards to their specifications, enabling them to consume the data and use it to make strategic decisions without needing to track down physical logbooks, which can be very time-consuming, unreliable and counter to the M.I.A. manager’s naturally hands-off personality type.

The Silence of the Lamb

The Silence of the Lamb personality type prefers to be seen and not heard (maybe not even seen). They like to get in, get the job done and get out. While some restaurant managers prefer DMs with this personality type, one challenge it can present is a lack of feedback.

By introducing a digital reporting solution into the equation, “Silent” DMs can build a natural feedback loop that doesn’t require them to babysit their managers or spend endless hours onsite. Instead, they can communicate using simple reporting software that shows whether compliance tasks are being completed on time and also provides a window into important business intelligence data that can be used to make strategic decisions. This way, Silent DMs can focus their time where they can make the biggest difference.

The Hero

Finally, the last personality type is often the most revered. If the name doesn’t give it away, the hero DM is all about leading by example. They actually enjoy training managers and providing helpful, positive feedback that enables everyone to move forward in a positive manner.

But, for all their great qualities, even heroes can benefit from the powers of an effective digital reporting solution.

Heroes can use digital reporting at restaurants to get a more data-driven view of how their restaurants are performing and use that information to motivate, reward and empower their managers over time. There’s no arguing with raw data. Even hero DMs can use these tools to offer better training and mentorship by understanding where strengths and weaknesses lie and providing concrete benchmarks to work toward.

Do you recognize any of these district manager personality types? Tweet us @GetSquadle and let us know your thoughts.