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How Atlanta restaurant group Southern Proper is getting the most out of its general managers

Cofounder Chris Hadermann explains the new profit-sharing program for GMs at Tin Lizzy’s Cantina


General managers are increasingly becoming the most important role at restaurants. And for good reason: The general manager is responsible for store profitability, managing team culture and providing a great experience for the local customer base.


Some restaurants are recognizing the power and potential of the general manager by offering ownership opportunities to their GMs. Tin Lizzy’s Cantina, a nine-unit concept owned by Southern Proper Hospitality Group out of Atlanta, is the latest to follow this route; the brand rolled out a Managing Partner Program that offers profit-sharing as well as opportunities for additional leadership with the brand.

To kick things off, Tin Lizzy’s granted Managing Partner status to two of its all-star GMs: Leti Newell of the brand’s Perimeter location in north Atlanta, and Nathan Miller of Tin Lizzy’s Kennesaw.

Southern Proper cofounder and partner Chris Hadermann joined the latest episode of Take-Away with Sam Oches to discuss the program, the broader importance of general managers to restaurants today, and how companies can develop a deep bench of talent within their systems.

In this conversation, you’ll learn why:

  • To get your GMs to treat the business as their own, give them ownership
  • Ownership programs are a great recruiting mechanism
  • A GM is like your quarterback — and needs to call audibles when necessary
  • Every employee should have a clear understanding of their potential path forward

Contact Sam Oches at [email protected].

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