I am a restaurant manager in NZ
In my restaurant I have mgrs who range from 18 - 40 in age. A team of 12 in total. I am 27yrs. I was first a managers at 17yrs. I have been in this restaurant for 12 years total.
In my experience,I have found that taking on younger staff, a year or so out of college is the best time to develop people.
These people are still in a learning mind set and grasp concepts a whole lot faster than staff who are older.
Some older people do think they know better at it is more difficult to train some of these individuals. (However it does depend of the individual )
Two of my best managers are under 20yrs. They get results consistently, quickly and follow the system more thoroughly.
BUT you do need to have a balance of age, otherwise you do tend to risk portraying a level of maturity that may not appeal to customers.
Younger people are generally more fun seeking and do have the odd tendancy to sway from the professional direction without someone older staff to stablise the moods in the restaurant. ( its called growth and we all setlle down eventually ) Young people do listen to older people but with a mutual level of respect.
And it may not be the customers business whether a mge dates a crew person, But it does become an issue for the restaurant when performance deficits through favouritism is evident to both staff and customers.
Most restaurant's don't advise this practice but can't stop it really.
I have the advantage of managing two restaurant close together.
If two people want to date ( particularly mgt and crew ) then we usually place then in different stores to allow consistency of direction and discipline.
This also prevents problems among the crew should the relationship fall apart. ( one of those risks we go through aye )
Training creates the performance !
Fair and courteous MGT leadership with the help of direction creates the consistency!
Don't right off young people so quickly. They will be the leaders of the future. We all had and have to start somewhere. McD's and no doubt their competition provide excellent facilities for young people to start in business.
Remember that most people 16-20ish only really care about what they're drinking, who they're dating and whens the next party. IT'S BEEN THAT WAY FOR A THOUSAND YEARS IN BET.
One day they'll amaze you and be bloody good manager.