Whether you’re a well-established restaurant business or a newly opened restaurant you will bid farewells to many employees as and when you go. But just like any other business, you also need to retain the good-performing restaurant staff members. They know the in and out of your restaurant process, they have become experts in their specific area, you have invested a lot in them already, and replacing them would mean starting all over again with training efforts and capital invested in them boiling down to zero.
The pandemic of 2020 is a classic example of mass employee resignations and restaurants shutting down because retaining employees was next to impossible.
Retaining employees is hard and requires consistent efforts. However the more you retain your employees the more similar faces your customer sees, the more they will bond. Customers who have special bonds with the staff will be more satisfied and visit frequently.
Let’s see how you can retain your employees:
1. Create a close functional team
Create a team not a list of employees that work for you. A team of problem-solvers not a team of employees who work on what’s given to them. A team that gets along with each other, addresses issues, celebrates successes, and learns from mistakes is what you should thrive for.
Competition prevails in all teams and businesses but cutthroat competition and healthy competition have a major difference that eventually affects the retention of any employee. If the employee has to be hurt mentally, emotionally, or physically to remain competitive in a team is a big no-no as it’s simply not sustainable.
A communicative team is a healthy team. Co-workers spend a huge chunk of their time with each other. They would be the firsts to notice any pain points or good news. It’s important to have enough communication among your restaurant staff so that no one feels isolated or cornered at his/her place of work.
2. Provide health and other benefits
Post pandemic, everyone wants health insurance from their employers. For a longer commitment from the employee, the least you could do is provide your restaurant staff health insurance to sail smoothly in time of crisis. Health and other benefits can make the employees overlook other minor drawbacks. You may think that providing health benefits will add to your expenses but in a long run, you will save a lot of money as your employees will be retained and add value to your customer’s experience.
3. Performance Rewards
Giving monetary rewards or some add-on benefits to the employees who outperform their goals is a great way to motivate. It’s also a great way to motivate others who aspire to outperform as well. You can also recognize their achievement in a non-monetary way as well by awarding them, posting it on social media and internal communications, recognizing it in annual functions, etc.
Pay a higher wage than the minimum wage to important back-end job roles to attract and retain staff. Give them another way to earn beyond their salaries by providing them performance-based bonuses.
Give all your employees a clear picture of their career paths for growth. Prefer internal promotion for higher-level job vacancies. Encourage your restaurant staff by enrolling them in training programs to develop their skills and competitive edge.
4. Time-offs are important
The restaurant business is seasonal. When it comes to Diwali, Navratri, Eid, or tourist season there is a straight hike in footfall at your restaurant. Your employees give their 110% there and also work overtime. Therefore, it is important that you as restaurateurs, understand this and give them time off when it’s non-seasonal time. If they have pending leaves and they want to utilize it for 10-15 days allow them to do so. In fact, encourage them to do so. In this way, not only will they be more recharged and motivated when they come back they will also not feel burned out by the stress and responsibilities in the longer run.
5. Host regular gatherings
Your staff members meet each other almost every day and spend a huge amount of time together but only when they are working and swamped in responsibilities. It is important to take your staff out to an annual trip or annual dinner party or even monthly gathering someplace other than your office. Your staff can mingle with each other learn about their lives better and basically have a good time together outside of work.
Sometimes when your restaurant budget doesn’t allow you to afford benefits and salary hikes, focus on cooperative and fun company culture where your staff feels secure and enjoys coming to work for you.
There are a few things like restaurant upselling, bonding with a regular customer, or managing the restaurant operations smoothly which requires in-depth experience and knowledge about serving customers and the restaurant that only a senior employee can do.
As restaurateurs, it’s very important to look away from the profits sometimes and consider employees’ concerns and invest in things for their betterment.
Hope this helps you in making strategies to retain your restaurant staff!
Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for more restaurant updates.