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Labor & Hiring Solutions Toolkit

Workplace Quality

Restaurants are known for high-stress shifts in hot kitchens and few employee benefits. What will motivate your staff to stay?

  • October 27, 2021

How do you keep your staff happy? Restaurants are known for high stress shifts in hot kitchens and few employee benefits. What will motivate your staff to stay? Consider pursuing opportunities that offer competitive compensation, work perks, meaningful employee benefits, and a safe, supportive working environment.

Focus On Retention

  • Your existing staff are extremely valuable. Replacing employees is costly and requires additional time, which is already at a shortage
  • Gain feedback from your current staff and create an action plan based on their constructive comments
  • Fair compensation
  • Remember loyalty is earned through respect, honesty, appreciation, and transparency

Business Model

  • Profit-sharing
  • Employee benefits
  • Healthcare after a certain time frame
  • PTO based on number of hours worked
  • Employee referral program
  • Open book management (transparency of P&L, posting of food costs and show goal)
  • Create a management internship program or a career path for employees
  • Cross training within your restaurant
  • Match new hires with other team members who can mentor or help them with direction through personal challenges
  • Long-term and short-term bonus sign-ons
  • Pivot from full service to quick service
  • Build relationships in your community

Create a Supportive Working Environment

  • Define your values and expectations and communicate them
  • Demonstrate the behavior you expect from your employees by setting the example
  • Handle complaints by acknowledging the situation and resolve quickly
  • Ask your employees how they would handle the problem and give them the opportunity to voice their concerns; be sure to ask them for solutions
  • Creating an effective pre-shift meeting enables being part of the team

Staff Options for Added Fun

  • Outing at the end of the year
  • Free meal after a shift or during a shift
  • Pay back unused PTO at end of year
  • Celebrate holidays with a staff party or dinner
  • Conduct contests to drive upselling
  • Close the restaurant for the night for a staff party
  • Implement a Buy A Drink for the Staff Program -encouraging guests to participate and purchase a drink for the staff, an extra acknowledgment beyond the tip.
  • Table set for the staff – reserved table for those employees coming in after hours