19-year-old restaurant manager earns $ 50,000 and manages 22 people: work agenda

  • 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.

Parking outside a fast food restaurant with a white and red facade on a sunny day.

Layne’s Chicken Fingers restaurant in Allen, Texas.

Zerb Mellish for Insider

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.

Restaurant worker wears black and white baseball cap while working

Cabrera staff are all between 16 and 21 years old.

Zerb Mellish for Insider

“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.”

Two men work in the kitchen of a restaurant to fry food.

Cabrera said he was up from around 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. everyday.

Zerb Mellish for Insider

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.

Two customers in a fast food restaurant with red brick walls are served their meal.

Cabrera said Tuesdays are often very busy with customers when Layne’s has promotional offers.

Zerb Mellish for Insider

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.”

A fast food worker wears a gray top and a black and white baseball cap while dispensing a soft drink.

Cabrera manages up to eight workers per shift.

Zerb Mellish for Insider

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.”

A fast food worker prepares fries for the fryer in a restaurant kitchen.

Cabrera helps in the kitchen and usually makes a big batch of lemonade for customers when he arrives at 8 a.m.

Zerb Mellish for Insider

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.

A fast food interior with light wood panels and red walls.

The Allen branch of Layne’s Chicken Fingers is one of eight in Texas.

Zerb Mellish for Insider

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.

A fast food employee wears a gray t-shirt and a red baseball cap in the restaurant kitchen.

Cabrera said much of his time has recently been spent trying to find workers.

Zerb Mellish for Insider

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.

Read more: I am a millionaire businessman who was arrested for protesting with restaurant workers. We demand better wages for the employees who run our economy.

A fast food manager wears a black t-shirt and baseball cap sitting at a high table.

Cabrera said he has matured quickly since taking on the role of chief executive.

Zerb Mellish for Insider

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.”

A customer wearing a white shirt sits on a bench in a fast food restaurant against a white wall.

Layne’s Chicken Fingers promoted three workers aged 18-19 to general manager positions in 2021 due to a labor shortage.

Zerb Mellish for Insider

About Vivian J. Smith

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