- Jason Cabrera, 19, earns $ 50,000 a year and manages 22 people at Layne’s Chicken Fingers in Texas.
- The Laynes CEO said he appointed three teenage managers this year amid the labor shortage.
- Cabrera said some customers were “shocked” at his young age. This is what his day looks like.
Jason Cabrera became the manager of a fast food restaurant in Texas just a week after his 19th birthday. He started buttering toast and washing dishes for $ 9.25 an hour, and now earns $ 50,000 a year in his starring role.
Cabrera, who joined the Allen branch of Layne’s Chicken Fingers at the end of 2018, took the job in January, as a severe labor shortage prompted the restaurant’s CEO to promote three of his teenage employees as managers.
The young manager guided Insider through his average workday, from making a batch of lemonade at 8am to visiting some of the 22 employees he leads.
At 8 a.m., Cabrera walks into the restaurant before his team arrives and prepares a big batch of lemonade for customers.
At 10:30 a.m. all team members have arrived – Cabrera usually manages around eight per team – and the restaurant is open for its first customers.
Cabrera said managing 22 people, all between the ages of 16 and 21, had forced him to mature quickly.
“When I started working I was still a fun-loving young child,” he said. “That was the problem. I had too much fun but I guess when I started to step into the role and so on, I matured so quickly without really realizing it.”
From 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Cabrera is constantly on the move, checking in with his team and taking care of the guests.
When asked if he finds it tiring to be up all day, Cabrera replied that he “didn’t feel a thing” because he was “really young”.
“Probably once, you know, I start to get old, I start having back problems,” he said.
On Tuesdays, when Layne’s has a range of meal deals, including discounts of up to 20%, the restaurant is usually busier.
Cabrera said he especially liked these days because he was able to interact with more guests.
“It’s something that I look forward to every week,” he said. “I really like seeing our parking lot filled with a bunch of cars.”
Cabrera said he enjoys dealing with “shocked” customers who demanded to see the manager and didn’t expect “a 19-year-old kid running a whole store.” Several clients have asked him his age.
“I love to see the reaction. It’s really funny,” he said. “They start to compliment me and let me know, hey man, when I was your age I didn’t do any of that.”
At 3 p.m., Cabrera retires to the restaurant office to do some paperwork, which includes calculating labor costs, ordering inventory, and tallying up sales and downtime..
“I calculate these numbers every week. So next week we have our corporate meetings here at the office and we go over those numbers,” he said.
Cabrera said he had recently spent much of his time trying to recruit workers. Garrett Reed, CEO of Layne, previously told Insider he had increased shift supervisors’ salaries by 17% to $ 14 an hour to attract applicants amid a labor shortage in the workplace. industry-wide.
At 4 p.m., Cabrera passes the baton to a team manager and often goes to watch a baseball game.
After work, Cabrera watches the Texas Rangers in action. His new salary means he can do it much more regularly.
“I would only go one game per season, but now I’m going to enjoy 12 games per season,” he said.
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Cabrera said he was saving part of his annual salary of $ 50,000 to buy his parents a house and eventually open his own Layne franchise.
“If I’m smart with my money, which I have been,” he said. “I’ll probably get there very soon.”