Staff turnover is particularly high in the restaurant industry. Find out how to boost employee retention with these 5 tips.
The restaurant industry is incredibly challenging. Over and above the fact that there always seems to be new competition popping up, restaurant service in general makes for a high-stress environment.
Everyone from the chefs to the cleaners is expected to work long hours, and customer service often expects more from restaurant employees than anyone ever realizes. Added to this is the fact that turnaround times on orders need to be quick without compromising on quality. It’s a fast-paced, high-stress industry that is relentless, and staff bear the brunt of it.
These are just a few of the reasons why staff turnover within the food and beverage industry is often exceedingly high.
Employees are always stressed out, so they are constantly jumping ship, looking for greener pastures elsewhere. This can be frustrating and can certainly add to the pile of stress-inducing factors that come with working in the restaurant industry. However, there are a few simple steps that you can take to help reduce your staff turnover.
These five ideas can all boost employee retention and keep staff motivated and productive.
Form Close Relationships
All too often, it’s easy to assume everyone in the working environment is happy, as they’re performing without any hiccups. However, this has proven to be a devastating approach for many, as it often means ignoring the early signs of employee burnout. And burnout is a major cause of high restaurant employee turnover.
It really pays to take the time out and get to know a bit more about your employees. As their manager, it’s vital that you establish a strong relationship so that you become aware of all of the areas in which you need to support them.
Make a point of building a relationship with each employee from day one. Encourage a policy of open communication within the workplace and listen carefully when they open up to you.
If time allows, hold one-on-one catch-ups with each member of your team. This will give you the opportunity to get a grip of what needs to be addressed or altered in the workplace. At the same time, your employees will be given a platform to air any grievances – something which they will undoubtedly value a great deal.
Build A Positive Working Environment
As it is, working in the restaurant industry is a tiring business. This is why you need to be creative in your restaurant management. You need to stop at nothing to create a positive space that your employees will want to walk into every day. The hours that they need to work are long, so making sure that they enjoy the work is definitely a step in the right direction.
There are plenty of different things that you can offer your employees that go above and beyond unlimited cups of instant coffee.
Instead, get to know them and find out more about what they like. Perhaps they don’t always want to be the ones cooking, so you can treat them to a lovely meal once a month. Or offer cash incentives or vouchers for massages, pedicures or other treats that promote well-being.
Team building is also important, and you can hold regular events that promote cohesion and interaction. This helps to create a supportive environment where everyone feels part of a strong unit. It also helps employees get to know each other and iron out any tensions in a more casual space.
Once you have taken the time to get to know your employees a little bit more, you’ll easily figure out what it is they like. Then, you can use that information to help create a more positive working environment that increases motivation and reduces employee turnover.
Pay A Decent Wage
Money can be a touchy subject for many, but it really does not have to be. Everyone needs money to survive, but your employees deserve a lot more than just enough to meet their basic needs. They work hard every day to ensure that your business thrives. Don’t just pay them a living wage, pay them a wage that is enough to help them enjoy living too.
All of us have bills to pay, and some have other responsibilities, such as school fees, mortgage payments, and medical bills.
Financial gain is one of the biggest reasons for high staff turnover. It’s in our nature to make sure that we are comfortable and can take care of our families. This includes thinking ahead and planning for financial growth.
Employees want to save up for retirement too. Pay your employees a higher wage and reward them with raises if the restaurant has hit its targets. In addition to this, conduct performance appraisals and reward the hardest workers with monetary rewards. This will go a long way in making your staff feel appreciated, which will boost retention.
Upskill Your Staff
Another great way to retain staff is to upskill them.
Once you hire staff, make a point of working hard to encourage them to want to train. Additionally, provide them with the necessary opportunities to develop. From the get-go, make sure that every member of your staff is properly trained to take on the daily tasks they’re expected to complete. Make sure that they also feel comfortable enough to ask questions and conduct research, as this will help them develop further within their roles.
By providing your staff with training and development opportunities, you prove that you care about them, and the impact that they have on the business. Furthermore, it must be noted that with the correct training and within the correct environment, there will be fewer errors. This will allow staff members and their teammates to maximize productivity too.
The training and development of employees should never end. This should be something that is implemented continuously to reduce high restaurant employee turnover rates.
Staff will likely always be willing to learn new skills as this will help them to advance and could lead to promotions and higher earnings. It will also give them a glimpse into their future in your restaurant, which if orchestrated correctly, could lead to higher levels of motivation amongst members of staff.
Be Mindful When Scheduling
Scheduling within the restaurant industry can be a nightmare, especially considering the long hours that members of staff are expected to work. This is why it is so important to be mindful when scheduling. The most important factor to consider is how to avoid your team feeling run down, burnt out, or overworked.
Try to arrange everyone’s working hours so that they won’t find themselves doing overtime regularly. If working overtime is unavoidable, compensate your employees at a rate of 1.5 times their regular pay for hours that exceed 40 in a week. This fair overtime rate shows employees that you value them and appreciate their working beyond their standard hours.
In addition to this, make a point of encouraging members of your staff to speak up if they need an adjustment to their schedules. If they feel comfortable doing so, you’ll have time to plan accordingly and arrange for someone to cover their shift. If they don’t feel comfortable, they are more likely to simply not show, or call in sick at the last minute.
By planning as far in advance as possible, you will make life easier for both yourself and your employees. Employees who are happy with their schedules are far less likely to contribute to staff turnover and will remain loyal.
Staff turnover is a major problem in the restaurant industry. Mitigating it by implementing these tips will help to reduce your churn rate and foster a positive, healthy working environment.