It’s no secret that employee turnover is one of the major concerns for any restaurant owner. The annual employee turnover rate reached a staggering 75% in early 2019. The growing number of restaurants in the neighbourhood has provided people with ample opportunities to switch multiple jobs. And, this trend is not going to change anytime soon. In fact, 59% of restaurant operators name staffing as a top challenge to success according to ToastTab.
Even a single bad hire will increase your operational cost besides the time and energy wasted in the whole process. According to the Rail, the average cost of replacing an employee in the restaurant industry is $5,864. Employee retention is difficult, but if done correctly, can help restaurants save time and money.
Before jumping into how you can reduce employee turnover, you must understand why employees leave their jobs. One way to understand this is by conducting exit interviews. It will enable you to learn the reason behind your employees discontent and improve or rectify it overtime. You can also look out for common trends in your venue. Many times you might notice that the employee turnover is high in a single department. For instance, the back of the house may have a high turnover ratio compared to the front of the house. Watch out for common answers and rectify the situation at the earliest. Understanding the problem is vital, so you don’t end up repeating the same mistakes.
Here are the common reasons for high employee turnover and how to deal with them:
Growth & Personal Development
Every person has their own unique needs and goals. Most employees switch jobs due to monetary concerns or lack of growth opportunities. Talk to your staff about their long-term and short-term goals. Learn what makes your team happy. Ask them if you could provide them with any assistance to make their work more fun and comfortable. Make them feel valued and genuinely spend some time with your staff. Provide monetary incentives and free training sessions for all your employees. Additionally, you can also run an employee of the month program to keep your employees motivated.
Mental health is a massive concern among employees in the hospitality industry. The high-pressure environment of most restaurants aggravates this problem. Long working hours with limited breaks and facing discontent of customers every day can break anyone mentally. As a restaurant owner or manager, you have to look out for clues. Is someone reporting late to work constantly or gets frustrated easily. Address the issue sooner than later. Also, appreciate your staff for even the smallest thing they do.
Remember, communication is everything. The more you communicate with your employees, the better equipped you will be to solve their problems. Have an open conversation with each staff member every month. Provide them with enough breaks between work, so they don’t crash under pressure.
No Health Benefits
Health benefits for your employees doesn’t necessarily mean providing an insurance policy. Most insurance policies don’t focus on mental health which is currently a significant issue in the hospitality sector. You can encourage your employees to follow a healthy lifestyle in different ways. For instance, you can have a day dedicated to fitness in your restaurant. A great example of this would be the FitSquad program launched by Seamore’s in NYC. Providing your employees with free access or contributing partly to their well being will make them feel valued.
Most people working in restaurants, especially coffee shops and fast food establishments, are students. So you have to accept the fact that it’s not possible to retain such staff for a long time. Students or not it’s essential all your employees have an excellent work-life balance. If an employee leaves the job, try to fill his/her position immediately, so your staff don’t need to work extra hours for weeks. It’s also essential you respect everyone’s private lives. It’s okay to show some leniency in case someone is struggling at work or wants a day off.
While there is no one way which applies to all the following methods may help overcome the problem. It’s never too late to implement things for the betterment of your establishment and your staff. Though it will take a lot of time and effort, you will be glad you took the first step in the long run.