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March 28, 2023

10 Ultimate Restaurant Employee Retention Strategies for Small Business Owners

March 28, 2023
restaurant employee retention strategies

As per reports, workers in the hospitality sector quit their jobs at a rate of 6.8% which is more than twice the national average rate of 2.9%. This is triggering data and the industry is constantly trying to locate the reasons behind it. The data we shared belongs to the entire industry but the record of restaurants and hotels is not that good.

These problems must be dealt with seriously as a restaurant runs on staff. A satisfied and contended staff can run a restaurant in the best possible manner.

In this article, we will present a list of restaurant employee retention strategies for small business owners. We will also locate the reasons behind the shortage of workers. Before talking about the solution (restaurant employee retention strategies), let’s have a glance at the reasons behind the shortage of workers.

The reason behind Shortage of Workers

restaurant employee retention strategies

Long Working Hours

I am not surprised to know that people are quitting their restaurant jobs due to long working hours. It nowhere means that restaurants should be closed before. But there should be staff management. A few people can be given morning duty while others can serve in the evening.

Low Wages and inadequate benefits

Everyone works to fill their bellies and if people are not getting enough salary they will leave quit the job. And salary is not the only benefit an employee expects from a restaurant. There is a list of benefits an employee expects from a restaurant and when they fail to get those benefits they either quit or switch.

Stressful Work Environment

Some people say stress is good in the workplace. But there’s a difference between good stress and bad stress. Healthy stress is necessary to keep a person going but unhealthy stress comes with other mental as well as physical problems. And stressful work environment demotivates employees.

Jobs in different industries

Restaurant employee retention has become a cause of concern as people are actively switching to other industries. Sad truth is when they find better opportunities in the other industries they don’t mind quitting their jobs.

Let’s have a glance at solutions to these problems.

Restaurant Employee Retention Strategies

restaurant employee retention strategies

Increase or improve additional benefits

The list of restaurant employee retention strategies begins with improving additional benefits for employees. As we already said, an employee expects much more than a salary that includes sick leaves, recognition, respect and much more.

These benefits could be monetary or non-monetary. To motivate your employees, you should improve the entire policy and increase additional benefits offered to each employee. This makes them feel connected with the business. They get a sense of satisfaction that their owners are concerned for them.

Increase wages

Most people start the list of restaurant employee retention strategies with increasing salaries or wages. Money is the basic necessity and the biggest motivator for employees. By increasing wages, you can retain your employees.

It does not mean that you have to increase working hours as well. There should be a balance between working hours and the salary paid to employees. It should not exploit workers and should not harm the health of the restaurant as well.

Prioritize mental health

In today’s date, mental health has become a matter of concern. People are prioritising their mental health over many things and when they will find their employers concerned about their mental health they will start respecting the company more.

Some restaurant employee retention strategies blogs may or may not consider mental health an important aspect but we believe it is important. Even schools have started talking about mental health, everyone is talking about it, various campaigns have been started by NGOs and other official departments then why it should be avoided here.

Flexible pay schedules can retain them

Giving salary is important but giving it on time can retain them. Not getting salaries on time can turn many workers off and whenever they will find a better opportunity they will quit their job.

It is necessary for businesses to maintain flexible payment schedules to retain employees. You should release the salaries of your employees in the first five days of the month. This is one of the best restaurant employee retention strategies.

It also adds to the reputation of the restaurant which can increase footfall. It is an achievement for a business when employees talk positively about their jobs when they are not on duty.

Safe and better workplace can work

If a good working environment can keep your employees, a bad one can help you in losing them. It is the primary responsibility of restaurant owners to create a safe and secure workplace for employees.

Employees should not have a mindset that the owner is selfish or exploiting them for his interest. Instead, they should feel safe at their workplace and enjoy working there. A safe and better workplace motivates workers to come office every day.

Appreciate them

Motivation could be either negative or positive. Different personalities require different kinds of motivation. This is an important part of restaurant employee retention strategies that employees must be motivated either negatively or positively.

People who are shirkers require negative motivation while others require positive motivation. Appreciating employees can help them in improving their services. Make sure you are praising them from time to time to keep them feel contended.

Your company culture should be good

A good culture is a reason why your employees are coming to the office every day. These could be the best restaurant employee retention strategies that your company culture should be good. Apart from a good salary, employees should have other reasons behind coming to the workplace every day.

It leads to increased productivity and accelerates job satisfaction. This could be done by offering career development opportunities, improving communication, knowing their feedback.

Reassess your onboarding process

You may have not heard about these restaurant employee retention strategies that the onboarding process affects employees’ quitting data. An efficient onboarding process fills the minds of employees with a positive attitude toward the company. They consider your restaurant as a respectful entity only after noticing your onboarding process.

By organising both online and offline onboarding processes you can gain the trust of your new employees. Check your entire onboarding process, look where you are lacking and work in these areas.

Your hiring process should be good

You have to be clear with your goals and expectations. This can help you in performing an efficient hiring process as you can easily filter out those candidates who don’t fit or don’t have the potential to stay connected for a longer time.

This could be done only after being vocal with your compensation, additional benefits, work responsibilities, goals and expectations with your employees. You should ask relevant interview questions for your restaurant. It should be related to working conditions or you can put them in some hypothetical situation to know their mindset.

Knowing the mindset of an employee is very important. You should know their personality type as this will help you in knowing whether they are capable enough to stay in the environment of your restaurant.

Also, you should try on your part to give a physically as well as psychologically peaceful environment to your employees.

Know the causes behind exit interviews

This is one of the best restaurant employee retention strategies. You should know why people are leaving your restaurants. Is there something problematic from your side? To get an answer to this question, you can simply conduct exit interviews for employees who are leaving.

Make sure you have prepared some questions in advance to know where you are lacking. If there is a personal problem then it’s fine but if there is something wrong on your part, you should rectify it and prevent your employee from quitting their job.


restaurant employee retention strategies

These are some amazing restaurant employee retention strategies that can be implemented by small business owners. You can always try hands-on other strategies as the main aim is to satiate employees and keep them connected with your business.

Some restaurant employee retention strategies may work for one business but not for others. This is a matter of hit and trial to find a strategy that can work the best for your business.

You can also share some restaurant employee retention strategies.

Which of these restaurant employee retention strategies are you going to use? Drop their names in the comment section.

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