In the restaurant industry, employee retention is one of the most difficult problems to solve. As per the report by National Restaurant Industry (2022), 78% of the restaurant operators feel they are understaffed. In 2020, due to restrictions and closures of restaurants, the attrition rate skyrocketed to an all-time high of 130.7% compared to 78.9% in 2019.
With employees moving out at this rate, restaurants face the expensive problem of replacing employees. Amidst all of this, the performance of the restaurant suffers.
Hence keeping employees happy and engaged is key to ensuring your business runs smoothly at all times. Here are a few suggestions that you could consider to reduce employee attrition.
Benefits That Should Be Considered
Working in a restaurant always keeps you on your toes. This would lead to stress and reduce the productivity and engagement of your staff. If you want to reduce employee attrition, you must provide your employees with the best benefits package. After all, it is essential for them to feel that they are getting what they deserve and you care about their professional and personal well-being. This could set you apart from your competitors. Some of the benefits that restaurant employees want include:
- Health Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Eye Care Insurance
- Life Insurance and Disability Coverage
- Paid Vacation Days
- Paid Sick Days or Personal Time Off
- Restaurant Owners should consider offering their staff a retirement plan and an employee assistance program (EAP).
1. Train your Employees Well
Growth in their skillset and career is one of the most important reasons an employee would choose to work in your restaurant. But only 39% of restaurants take it seriously. 33% of restaurant workers expressed their interest in seeking managerial positions in the form of promotions.
You need to coach your employees well. Providing them with good training makes them feel they are important and that you believe in them.
Set up orientation programs and get the new
employees up to speed (ready) faster
Provide new employees with a training manual and a handbook
Cross-train your employees. Make a veteran staff teach new staff and contribute to ideas
Keep the training On-Going. Encourage your staff to learn new skills in food prep, customer experience, and also in marketing.
2. Provide Incentives
Once you start recognizing your employees, you will see a definite decrease in your staff attrition rate. If your employees work at your restaurant for more than a specific period of time, offer them a bonus as a reward.
Start ‘The Employee of Month’ program. This may sound a little cliché but you may be surprised how even a small amount of recognition could help to motivate your staff. Provide them with monetary rewards for their service. Highlighting a member of your staff is a good way to share your culture on social media as well.
Base your rewards on various criteria. Criteria could include sales performance, customer feedback, co-worker feedback, and overall performance. You can use smart restaurant management software like ‘bridge’ by Explorex to track your staff’s performance.
3. Take good care of your employees and they will stay
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Take good care of your employees and they will stay.” While it may seem like common sense, many businesses don’t pay attention to this simple principle. If you want your restaurant staff to stick around for the long run, take steps to create a positive environment where they feel valued and appreciated. You could also try by increasing their wage if you can afford it. The benefits of doing so extend beyond employee morale. They also cause an increase in productivity, profitability, and competitiveness.
The key to reducing restaurant staff attrition is by taking good care of them. Make sure they are paid well, offered benefits, and given the freedom to take leave when they need it without any pressure. If your employees are happy, appreciated, and valued, they will stick longer and stay loyal to your restaurant.