Restaurant Employee Turnover – How to Reduce it by Following these 3 Simple Steps

Employers & Recruiters December 24, 2017

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Employee turnover problems? You’re not alone.

Don’t worry, it’s inevitable in the restaurant industry. The good news is with every problem, arises an opportunity to shine.

Here are three bulletproof strategies to reduce turnover today. Beat your competition and in the long-run have a healthier more profitable business. Let’s get started!

1) A secret you don’t know about, discovering your employees deeper motivations.
Do you ask your employees what they really want to work on? Sit them down and have an honest conversation about this now. Not some conversation where they tell you what they think you want to hear, but what they genuinely want to do. Extracting this information is key! Whether you’re a cook, manager, chef…tasks can get mundane. That’s a reality! Ask your employees, “what else do you want to learn or do here?” Perhaps your assistant manager wants to work more closely with financials and P&L’s. Your kitchen manager wants to interact with guests more and get exposure to front of the house. Or perhaps one of your chefs wants to be more involved with desserts/pastries. Imagine what it would do if you to let them spend 1 hour doing something new like this? I guarantee, this will make your employees feel heard, happier, challenged and engaged.

Internally, at our company. Our hourly employees have been with us on average for 3+ years. Many perform mundane tasks like administrative work and data entry work. We took the time to ask a few of them what they really wanted to learn. Turns out one of our employees wanted to do more technical/engineering work. And the other one wanted to do more sales and personal interaction. You can guess… both are pretty happy with their new set of side projects. Moral of the story. If you are unable to engage employees it will just add up to more employee turnover. Don’t just take it for me but check out this study published by Forbes that shows 28 research studies that prove the benefits of employee engagement.

2) Invest 10x more in your staff, and get 10x back.
Paying market rate salaries? Not investing in training your staff? You’ll only keep facing problems, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. If you had a gun to your head, could you figure out how to pay your employees more? …I think we both know the answer to that question. Other companies are getting better people than you because they have more to offer. I’m not telling you to go out there and offer a massive pile of cash to employees. However, making sure you have the right compensation package and bonus structure is critical (62% of employees are looking for higher salaries, according to a careerbuilder). Good news is money certainly helps but is not everything, as we learned above.

Here are some other ideas to consider:
A) External & Internal Training Programs
B) Wage/Bonus Increases, based on performance & for employees who take on more responsibility
C) Perks – shift meals, covering travel/commuting expenses, etc.
D) Open conversations & checking in regularly with your employees
E) Fun group activities & holiday celebrations

3) Get the right hires, and win.
Spending too much time trying to fix bad behavior? Employee’s showing late, they’re sick constantly, sitting around, not working at full capacity. Sound familiar? You know it’s time to upgrade your staff. Doing #1 and #2 above, is completely useless if don’t have the right staff to begin with. You can invest in all the training, development and money in the world into your employees but if they’re the wrong hires, you’re just spinning your wheels! This is why it’s critical you spend the appropriate time and resources on acquiring quality restaurant staff. Two out of three of our clients (67%!!!), that first come to us, tell us they need better employees or have a restaurant recruiting issue, and can’t get the proper staff that sticks around. Which always leads to increased problems — lack of growth, failing to expand their operations, running at lower profitability and the list goes on and on. The longer you wait to deal with this issue, the more money you lose in the long run (a study published by Cornell estimates the annual cost of turnover at a mid-sized restaurant to be $146,600. Calculate your cost here.). All the companies doing well are making the investment in acquiring the right talent (we know because we work with them). Don’t fall behind and start making the right hires. Call 1-800-513-5096 to speak to recruiter that understands how to find you the right people that stick around.

I hope these tips help you and even implementing a few of these strategies, I guarantee you’ll begin to reduce restaurant employee turnover and improve your business. Have questions about this post or need more help? RestaurantZone helps restaurants, hotels & hospitality hire the right talent. Learn more here. Or call 1-800-513-5096 to speak directly with one of our seasoned recruiters.

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