Restaurant Management as an Extreme Job: How Restaurant Managers are Motivated to Work in a Job Characterized by Long Hours and High Intensity

Gordon, Rebecca
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University of Guelph

This study explores whether restaurant management can be classified as an extreme job. Interviews were conducted with 15 restaurant managers working in independent restaurants in Ontario, Canada. The study found that 11 out of 15 managers were working an extreme job. These managers worked over 48 hours each week in fast-paced and unpredictable environments, held many responsibilities, and found it difficult to take time off work. Self-determination theory was used to discover that restaurant managers experience controlled motivation to work long hours and take on many responsibilities. Managers suggested that they do not want the fast-paced nature of their work to decrease but they would like to see their jobs become less physically and emotionally demanding. This research can be used by the restaurant industry to improve the design of restaurant manager jobs to ensure that managers are satisfied, engaged and less likely to leave their jobs.

restaurant, management, extreme job, self-determination theory, motivation, responsibility