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Maximize Retention: 5 Simple Ways to Reduce Staff Turnover

Daniil Klubov Founder & Ceo of spoon.tech
Nikita Radchenko
February 14, 2023
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Restaurant Customer Service Training

In the restaurant industry, employee turnover can be a significant issue.  

A high rate of turnover can indicate that the work atmosphere at your restaurant is contributing to negative experiences and job dissatisfaction among employees. This may also suggest an inconsistent or stressful work environment, leading to various negative consequences, such as:

  • Higher costs, high turnover can be expensive, as the costs of recruiting, training, and orienting new employees can quickly add up. Managing turnover, restaurants can reduce these costs and improve their financial stability.
  • Team morale can be significantly impacted when fellow team members decide to depart. Decreased morale can lead to a less productive and less positive work environment. Managing turnover can improve the working culture and increase team satisfaction.
  • Quality problems and inconsistencies can be expected due to a high rate of turnover. By reducing turnover, restaurants can improve operational efficiency and food and service quality.

So, How Can You Reduce Employee Volatility And Ensure A Stable, Well-trained Workforce? In This Blog Post, We Will Discuss Five Key Strategies For Managing Employee Turnover And Improving Restaurant Productivity.

1) Implement Employee Training and Development Programs

A key reason employees decide to move on from your establishment is because they have nothing left to learn! A 2019 survey by Talent LMS says that 62% of restaurant employees said a lack of training would make them leave their company.

They go through the motions of the day without feeling like they have done anything for their own personal development. Expecting restaurant employees to remain in the same place for years on end without any changes or anything new can seem like a nightmare to many of them.  

This is why it can be seen as crucial to implement restaurant staff training and/or programs for their own development. Such programs can help build their skills, increase their job satisfaction, and make them feel more confident in their work. By investing in the growth of employees, restaurants can create a positive and supportive work environment, which can in turn drive better results, and improve productivity.  

Here are a few examples of such programs:

Incorporating on-the-job training, this type of training is the most basic of restaurant training and is designed for new recruits. Here the employees will learn the necessary skills to perform their job duties effectively.

  • A common way to do this is to “shadow” more experienced workers, or by working alongside them.
  • Receiving coaching and feedback from management is also a form of on-the-job training.

Implementing soft skills training can be an effective strategy for improving employee performance and reducing turnover. Soft skills training focuses on developing interpersonal and communication skills that are crucial for building strong relationships with colleagues and customers.  
Examples of communication skills that can be honed through training include:

  • Clear and concise communication
  • Active listening
  • Conflict resolution
  • Time management
  • Exceptional customer service

Arranging for management and leadership training: Providing management and leadership training can help kitchen supervisors and managers develop the skills they need to lead their teams effectively and increase overall productivity.

  • Introducing a structured restaurant operations management course can help potential managers gain a comprehensive understanding of the many different aspects of running a restaurant. Examples could be inventory management, health and safety regulations, hospitality finance.  

Incorporating a Learning Management System (LMS) into your restaurant employee training and onboarding processes can be a powerful tool for improvement. Many LMS options are available, for example spoon.tech, and offer the following benefits:

  • Improve the information retention in restaurant employees through tracking their learning progress.
  • Provide on-demand learning opportunities and access to training resources for developing new skills.
  • Ensure consistency in staff training by providing the same information and materials to all employees.

2) Focus on the Importance of Workplace Culture

Another key factor in employee turnover in the kitchen could be because the restaurant may have a negative or unwelcoming work environment.
A positive and inclusive workplace culture can boost employee morale, motivation, and job satisfaction, which can help to reduce turnover and increase productivity.
How can a better workplace culture be established in your restaurant, here are a few tips to get started:

Establishing open communication, establishing open communication between the employees and management will help foster a positive working environment by:

  • Resolving conflicts early (before they escalate)
  • Encouraging staff to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas

Recognizing excellent performance refers to the act of acknowledging and rewarding outstanding performance. This can be done through a simple and sincere thank you or providing various incentives.

By making recognition and reward an integral part of your workplace culture, you can foster a sense of pride and accomplishment among your employees, which in turn can improve employee retention and productivity. This can boost morale and increase job satisfaction, as employees feel valued and appreciated for their contributions.

Including others and emphasizing teamwork should be at the heart of the culture in your restaurant. Without the team you have no restaurant, therefore it may be the most valuable point here. Encouraging staff to work together towards a common goal can help build a sense of camaraderie and foster positive relationships among your team members. This can be done through:

  • Team building exercises, eg. Customer Service Role Play, Cooking Challenges, etc.
  • Meeting outside of working hours

Promoting teamwork and building a sense of community that makes employees feel valued and supported can reduce turnover. When employees feel part of a positive and supportive work environment, they are less likely to seek employment elsewhere.

3) Offer a Competitive Compensation and Benefits Packages

Offering competitive compensation and benefits packages is a key factor in attracting and retaining top talent, and failure to do so may cause staff members to leave. This can involve providing fair wages, health insurance, paid time off, retirement plans, and other benefits that align with industry standards. Performance-based incentives can motivate and reward high-performing staff.  

4) Promote Work-Life Balance

In the fast-paced and demanding environment of a restaurant, promoting work-life balance is essential. Failure to prioritize restaurant staff's well-being can lead to burnout, decreased job satisfaction and increased turnover.

To promote work-life balance in your restaurant, consider offering:

By creating a supportive work environment that prioritizes staff health, you can help reduce burnout and turnover.

5) Provide Opportunities for Career Advancement

To address the problem of employees feeling "stuck" in their careers and seeking opportunities elsewhere, it's important for organizations to provide opportunities for career advancement. Career advancement is different from training and development because it focuses on helping employees achieve their long-term career goals rather than just providing skills and knowledge for their current roles.  
Here are some benefits for providing opportunities for career advancement:

  • Improve employee retention: When staff sees opportunities for growth and advancement within the company, they are more likely to stay with the organization.
  • Motivate employees: Providing career advancement opportunities can motivate employees to improve their skills and work harder, leading to better employee performance and a positive impact on the overall performance of the company.
  • Enhance talent acquisition: Top talent is often drawn to organizations that provide opportunities for growth and development, which can enhance talent acquisition and help retain employees for longer.

Here are some real-world examples that can benefit your restaurant when providing opportunities for career advancement:

  • Outlining a career path clearly, this will help your employees to understand the opportunities available to them and what they need to do to advance in their careers.
  • Offering mentorship programs can offer to pair employees with experienced professionals to guide them through the development process.
  • Providing access to professional development opportunities, such as workshops, courses, and certifications.  
  • Performing Evaluations on performance, holding regular performance evaluations that provide feedback on employee’s strengths and weaknesses can help them identify areas of improvement.

In conclusion, to reduce and manage employee volatility, you should be implementing employee training and development programs, focusing on the importance of workplace culture, offering competitive compensation and benefits packages, promoting work-Life balance, and providing opportunities for career advancement.

If you found this blog helpful and would like to discuss or learn more about how spoon.tech can help you to retain your staff better and reduce the employee volatility in your restaurant, please fill out our contact form, alternatively, you can reach out to us via phone at (+43 670 655 56 82) or email us at hello@spoon.tech.

Daniil Klubov Founder & Ceo of spoon.tech
Nikita Radchenko

Hi, I am Nikita, a Vienna-based chef who has been successfully leading and teaching restaurant teams for the past several years. I am passionate about both cooking and people development and love to write on both topics. Get connected with me on Linkedin, and I will be happy to chat!

Nikita Radchenko

Hi, I am Nikita, a Vienna-based chef who has been successfully leading and teaching restaurant teams for the past several years. I am passionate about both cooking and people development and love to write on both topics. Get connected with me on Linkedin, and I will be happy to chat!

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