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7 Responsibilities of a District Manager

district manager leadership multi-unit franchising people Dec 08, 2021

One of the biggest challenges of new district managers is not knowing what responsibilities they have. It’s a vicious circle: if they lack this clarity, they’ll work extra hard not only on what they have to but on duties that don’t belong to them. In consequence, they may neglect some important tasks that would produce the results their district needs.

It doesn’t end there. Not only are they're not achieving their goals and responsibilities; they’re getting frustrated. The sum of these may hurt your operations and efficiency.

Don’t let this happen to your district manager or your business! Make sure these seven critical responsibilities of a district manager are fulfilled so that they can be successful, reach their goals, and, in turn, help your business thrive.

Do you know what’s the average franchise profit percent you can make? Read this blog post to find out!

  1. LEAD

When it comes to the responsibility of leadership, district managers need to be able to develop themselves into the leader that people are looking for. They also require the tools, abilities, and skills to develop leaders within their area.

I point this as the first responsibility since the main role of a district manager is to be able to delegate and follow up on the actions of these leaders. If they don't have the right leaders in place or are not able to develop them, it’ll be difficult for them to achieve the goals for their district.

Beware: the responsibility relapses on the multi-unit leader as well, as the structurer of the organization. Learn here how to accomplish this role.

  1.  PLAN

This is a particularly different responsibility from the one that unit managers have. District managers own their time and they decide what they’re going to do with it. So, if they don't have the tools or the abilities to be effective at planning, then they will struggle tremendously, and their chances of being successful will lower down.

District managers have to analyze information, do the follow-up, prioritize what has to be done, and create and execute the most effective plan to help their districts have the best performance.

This responsibility will also be the one that helps them focus on the strategic moves that have to happen to become successful and have the desired work-life balance.

  1.  STAFF

The district manager has to make sure that all of their units have the right staffing levels and the right people in the right place. But most importantly, they need to be able to identify their future leaders of the organization. 

View these tips to develop your leadership bench.

Ensuring this bench of future leaders is critical because no matter what industry you're in, you’ll have turnover, which costs a lot of money. As I explained in a previous blog post, this is the biggest hidden expense in your business.


The fourth responsibility is to assure that their leaders execute the business and the brand systems in their units day in and day out, with a high level of excellence.

Making sure that all of the teams in all of the units across your district execute the disciplinary systems consistently requires a very specific set of skills and tools. This is one of the things that is really significant for a district manager to be able to do, without doing it themselves. 

Do you know when it’s the right time to add a district manager to your organization? Find out here if you are ready. 


District managers need to guarantee that they have all of the units clean and in proper working order. They require a system or a process to understand and monitor everything that happens in each of their stores so that they can address any issues as quickly as possible. 

The goal is that the business or the service to customers are not interrupted. Again, that requires a very specific set of skills, tools, and processes. (If you want to know more about these, keep reading!)

  1.  MARKET

Alongside the unit managers, these leaders have to co-create the local store marketing plan for each of the units. Having a specific promotion strategy will allow the businesses to increase sales year over year.

But the creation of this marketing plan has to happen at the right moment to be successful. Knowing when that is relapses on your district manager.


Eventually, all the strategies that district managers apply regarding leadership, planning, staffing, execution, maintenance, and marketing, point to producing positive results and accomplishing the key business indicators.

If they can do this, they’ll be able to achieve the business and financial goals in their district, which at the end of the day, is what their job is.

How to capitalize this knowledge

Knowing what are the critical responsibilities of district managers is only the beginning. How to execute these responsibilities correctly, with a high level of success and sustainability, it’s the other very important part of the formula.

The American Franchise Academy can help your district managers obtain and capitalize on this knowledge! With our signature program Multi-unit Leadership Certification, designed specifically for district managers, they can learn what their role is, and the tools and skills they need to be successful. 

If you want to learn more, visit and join us in our frequent information sessions to know the program details, the content, the methodology, and the outcome you should expect.

Follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) to learn when our next session will be and subscribe to our YouTube Channel where we share weekly video tips to inspire you and help you grow.


  • Do your district managers have clarity on their responsibilities or are they underperforming?
  • Have they identified and developed the future leaders of your organization?
  • Do your district managers have the set of skills, abilities, and processes they need to be successful?
  • How can you help them achieve their district goals?