Turnover at your restaurant
Your restaurant has it all: great food, perfect location, and incredible service. Unfortunately, hiring and maintaining a perfect staff has proven difficult, and you’re not sure why. If you’ve been in the food service industry for a while, you’ve probably realized it’s notorious for its high employee turnover rates, no matter what kind of restaurant you run. But combating this turnover—and increasing retention—isn’t impossible.
The restaurant industry’s turnover can be partially attributed to its lack of career growth opportunities. Most staff remain in the same position, accomplishing the same tasks, for a long time. This can be convenient if you want to hire workers that simply show up for their paycheck, but less so if you’re looking to hire more motivated employees with vivid career goals. COVID-19 has exacerbated this issue, with many restaurant owners having to let go of their staff due to dine-in restrictions and profit loss. The industry is beginning to recover, but 17% of restaurants have had to close due to the pandemic, and there are still many more jobs available than staff working those jobs. The following elements help you combat turnover and keep great employees by your side, right where you need them. Remember, if you can’t give staff a good reason to work for you, they won’t.
Teamwork and training
Every single employee in your restaurant’s kitchen, dining room, and bar directly contributes to the restaurant’s success, and it is vital they know that. A great way to increase staff retention is making sure every team member is on the same page when they arrive at work. Practice open-book management: addressing operational changes in a collaborative way will make your employees feel much more important—because they are! Be transparent with your entire team, regardless of their position or tenure. This way, your entire staff will know that the life of the restaurant depends on effective teamwork.
Train well and train often. Identify who and how you want to train by creating a checklist of what you want a given employee to accomplish by the end of a given period. Make sure your training is ongoing and collaborative. New hires are much more likely to do well if they’re given the chance to learn and grow; this means making mistakes every once in a while. Create an environment of trust. When you encourage and praise good performance, good performance will come and keep coming back.
Being supportive and compassionate
Staff members want to see their leaders work just as hard as, if not harder than, they do. Their managers need to be capable and willing to do anything they are. Even if you tend to be more firm, showing your employees respect will lead them to trust you. Let your staff know you appreciate them and do so often. Ask how they’re doing outside of work. Praise publicly and punish privately. Listen to what they have to say. If you demonstrate respect and compassion, your people will feel it.
Understand that life happens. Try your best to be flexible: give your staff close to an ideal schedule for them, or at least ask them their preferred shifts. Offering a good work-life balance will make employees feel much less stressed at work, which will lead them to feeling happy at work. And when they feel happy at work, they perform that much better. Everyone wins!
Good pay and benefits
Employees value good pay, benefits, and perhaps most importantly, career development. Instead of trying to manage turnover rates, restaurant owners need to consider their staff-development plans from an entry-level employee’s perspective. It’s not enough to admit restaurant staff employees deserve better pay; restaurant owners and managers need to deliver better pay and (if applicable) better benefits packages. Employees who are better paid and have at least some of their health insurance covered by their employer understand that their employers care about their health, safety, and quality of life. If you aren’t willing to do that, employees will find someone who is.
About Doral Foods
Retaining restaurant employees can seem difficult, but it isn’t impossible. Let the professionals at Doral Food Distributors help you find and maintain a superior staff. We are proud to offer a multi-faceted work environment, motivated management, effective human resources, and vital expertise about both food production as well as the operators involved. Others focus only on food and marketing, and while those factors are critical, we keep our customer relations at the forefront of our efforts. Our dedicated hands-on service puts the finest flavors in the kitchen and on the shelves while committing ourselves to you, setting us apart from others.