With the Holidays right around the corner, restaurants are doing their best to retain staff in order to keep up with the influx of people who are sure to be out this time of year. The last thing anyone needs during this holly jolly season is to be short staffed, with disgruntled customers and overworked employees. Retention helps managers focus on what they need to without having to be in a cycle of hiring and onboarding, it helps the restaurant run more smoothly by having seasoned employees who know their job well and is also one of the best cost saving labor strategies, so if you have not found what works, maybe this will be of help to you! How can you do better at employee retention? We’re glad you asked!
Employee Retention begins with the hiring process. From the questions you are asking in an interview, to how you onboard them will all play a role in their overall experience. Some questions you might ask are:
- Why did you choose to apply to this specific job?
- How would you respond to a customer who is not satisfied with their food, table or any part of their dining experience?
- Give an example of time you had to work under pressure.
- How would you describe poor customer service?
- How would you describe excellent customer service?
- What kind of work culture do you envision yourself working in?
You want to have an idea how your employees will respond in certain situations. Asking these questions can give you a lot of insight into their character and values, also giving you a chance to share about your restaurant so they know who you are and what your work culture is like.
Once you have chosen who you will hire, you need to be prepared to onboard them. This might look different at every restaurant, but one thing that should remain the same is that the employee is well trained and knows exactly what is expected of them. You should have an organized and detailed training method prepared with room for questions for your new hire to ask along the way. If your employees feels confident stepping into their new role, they are more likely to stick around.
Another great tactic for keeping employees is to discuss their long term vision in working with your restaurant. Some people do not see a way to move up, so they decide to move on. If you have a system in place where over time your employees can become shift supervisors, kitchen managers, food and beverage managers, etc. make sure they are aware of this from the beginning. When you show employees that you are willing to invest in them and their future career when they work hard and stick around, they are going to be more motivated to stay. When you have great leaders who help mold and create new leaders, you will create a culture of greatness and retention will follow.
Lastly, be sure you are conducting exit interviews when your employees leave. This will give you great insight into what your employees love and appreciate about how you run your restaurant, as well as tell you areas they thought were lacking or could be improved. You want to ask about both positive and negative experiences, to help you gain a complete picture of their experience. Some question to ask are:
- What made you decide to leave?
- Could we have done anything to keep you from leaving?
- What did you like and dislike about the hiring process?
- What was your experience with the culture of our company?
- What was your favorite part of working here?
- What was your least favorite part of working here?
- Do you have any suggestions on ways we can improve?
- Do you believe our restaurant’s pay and benefits are fair?
- Do you have any suggestions on improving communication?
These questions will help you understand why someone is leaving, and how you can better retain current and future employees.
These tips are just a few great ways to help with employee retention. It is important to remember that employee retention starts before you begin the interview process and ends after an employee has resigned. There is a lot that happens everyday that is equally important, such as the culture you are building, the communication between employees and managers and reward systems to recognize hard work! All of this should be taken into account when you are trying to figure out how to keep your employees. Figure out what works best for you and implement it right away!