How to Retain Restaurant Staff During a Hiring Crisis


As an employer, being well-staffed to meet demand is one of your top priorities. Read on for six ways to retain your staff during a hiring crisis.

1. Make your first day at work a memorable one

You should always be visibly excited when welcoming new members to your team. Before the first day of your new hire, create an onboarding document to guide them through their first shift. Ask one of your star players to be their “buddy” during their first week on the job to show how much you value their early experiences on your team.

2. Keep communication open

If you use a communication platform in your restaurant, be sure to constantly engage with your team. Use it to keep them up to date with important news in the workplace, like onboarding new hires or a change in their employee handbooks.

Having good communication within your team is essential for a happy and healthy workplace. The more you communicate, the better able you will be to provide your staff with what your staff needs to stay in your restaurant.

3. Identify stressors and eliminate them

Your servers have been dealing with impatient guests. Your Michelin-starred sous-chef has always had two professions. Your new host juggles being a full-time student while tackling the dinner service. Work-life balance is essential for your team. Without having time for their personal lives or time to relax after overwhelming situations, holding them back can become difficult.

If you notice that a member of your team is running late on their shift or seems more tired than they usually are at the end of their shift, they could become exhausted. Communicate with your staff frequently to make sure you are aware of any urgent frustrations or setbacks affecting their performance and morale. Then you can help them work with your team, letting them know that they have a voice in their career at your restaurant.

4. Encourage growth opportunities

The lack of career development is one of the main reasons many employees leave their jobs. Make sure you can help your team learn and grow in your restaurant. Giving your employees the right tools to progress towards their career goals highlights the potential for them to progress on the job, which will make them more likely to be retained.

5. Offer special benefits

Do you often end dinner service with a lot of leftover food in the kitchen? Instead of throwing it away, offer your employees to take it home. If they are students or working parents, they will certainly appreciate this bonus with their busy schedules.

You can also offer to sell all your unusable pantry items and produce for your employees at a greatly discounted rate so they can bring their groceries home without having to go to the store on the way home from work. Not only do you save them money, but you save them time so they can focus more on their personal life outside of work.

6. Have “stay” interviews

You’ve heard of exit interviews before. But the residential interviews have a completely opposite purpose. Since revenue is no stranger to the service industry, you want to make sure you can reach out to employees who seem dissatisfied in your restaurant.

If you can sense the possible resignation of an employee along the way, set aside time for a 1: 1 with them. Ask them how the job is going and what is going well for them. Then dive deeper into your conversation and ask them what’s wrong with them at work.

The more willing you are to receive feedback from disgruntled employees, the more they’ll appreciate their relationship with you and feel heard. And, you can put their feedback into action and make your restaurant a better place for them to work.

Make the long term possible

As the holiday rush and private dining give you an influx of hungry customers, you need to make sure you do everything to support your team or you risk losing them. Help them overcome stressful situations with excellent communication and you will be on your way to retaining them for the long haul.

Want to learn more about how you can help your employees thrive at work? Sign up for a free Assistant trial and find out how streamlining your planning processes can give you more time to focus on improving your people.


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