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New organization from restaurant executives, LEAD, invests in young, emerging leaders

Cofounder Amy Hom, formerly of brands like Sweetgreen and Red Robin, shares how professional development for young leaders can reduce restaurant turnover.


Turnover continues to be stubbornly high for many restaurant companies, particularly at the crucial general manager level. As restaurants become more complex and brands demand more from their employees, many are choosing to abandon ship — and in a lot of cases, leave the restaurant industry altogether.

Amy Hom thinks this is a big failure of the restaurant industry. The former executive with brands like Red Robin, Sweetgreen, and Bluestone Lane believes restaurants have become too focused on top-line growth and haven’t spent enough time investing in young leaders and offering professional development and work-life balance. That’s why Hom and some other restaurant executives founded LEAD, an organization committed to providing networking, education, and development opportunities for emerging leaders in the restaurant category. The organization is doing that through a series of events across the U.S. this year, starting in Denver on March 7.

Hom joined the latest episode of Take-Away with Sam Oches to talk about LEAD and how the industry can lower turnover, particularly among GMs, if it did a better job investing in young leaders.

In this conversation, you’ll learn why:

  • By investing in emerging leaders, you can lower turnover
  • Young restaurant leaders need networking and education
  • The restaurant industry has a work-life-balance problem
  • Your ability to receive feedback will determine how far you can go in any industry
  • Your mentorship could help unlock the potential of a future restaurant star

Contact Sam Oches at [email protected].


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