We recently asked our email list of over 9,000 recipients “what was their biggest restaurant operations issue?” The unequivocal 1st place answer was:
Finding, Hiring, and Keeping employees.
Which sucks for me because I don’t have a magic solution to this issue, especially one that I can make money on.
To be a service to you guys, I went and found some articles about hiring and retaining for you and I will link to them below.
When I was a restaurant manager, here is what I used to do to hire and keep employees. By the way, finding good employees is easy if you can keep good employees because you will get referrals and friends of your current team.
- Make work fun. Have fun with your team every shift.
- Have shift contests for the FOH and BOH
- Make Jokes
- Serve good food at the employee meal
- Don’t just include the servers of FOH, make sure all team members get to participate in the fun.
- Thank everyone and recognize people’s contributions constantly.
- Recognizing people is probably the most important thing you can do, just say thank you.
- I’ve found that people who feel appreciated are less likely to bounce when things get tough.
- Focus on your culture – live it and breath it.
- Every restaurant can have a cool culture.
- The culture is set by the management team and employees and then reinforced by management.
- Own it and make sure every decision and rule that you implement reinforce your culture.
- Conduct pre-shift meetings
- The pre-shift meeting is one of the most important things you can do to accomplish the first three things on this list.
- It is the only time that you get to communicate to your entire team together on a shift basis.
- Don’t be lazy and skip it because you are skipping the most effective team building and retention tool you have.
- Run a great restaurant.
- People forget that operations are the key to everything in the restaurant. Do you know which restaurants in your area don’t have a turnover problem? The ones that are busy, because they are great restaurants, and everyone that works there is making money, staying busy, and feeling good about their job.
- You can do all the other things on the list, but if your restaurant is slow and people aren’t making money, or they are bored, the reality is, they are going to leave eventually.
- If they leave, you are never going to get out of the massive turn-over cycle, your service levels and food quality will steadily decline as you will always have a new staff, which will alienate your declining customer base until you eventually go out of business.
- Your restaurant operations are the one thing that you are in complete control of, and you have no excuse for not executing flawlessly every shift.
Here are a couple of articles about the restaurant industry’s turnover and hiring issues:
- 9 ways restaurants are leading in employee retention
- 5 Tips for Recruiting the Best Employees
- six tips to retain restaurant rock stars
I know it’s hard out there in this market. Implementing changes is always a slow process, and it requires discipline and consistency. It is possible to thrive in this market as well. Focus on the basics, your daily operations on a shift by shift basis. Focus on controlling what you can control, which is everything in your four walls and ignore the outside distractions. Take care of your people, and your customers and your business will grow.
If you want to learn how OpsAnalitica can help you run better operations on a shift-by-shift basis, go to OpsAnalitica.com