Adopting strong restaurant staffing strategies at your restaurant is important for a successful busy summer season, and the long-term well being of your establishment. The key is to nurture a good relationship between management and staff, and ensure staff members are content in their position. With high staff turnover, comes high training costs and loss of productivity. Strong restaurant staffing strategies will help improve productivity, retain staff and save money. Here are some key staffing strategies:
Restaurants tend to hire based on a meeting, glance at a resume and gut feeling. Improve the hiring decision-making process by implementing a point evaluation system. Assigning points based on an applicant’s attitude, availability and experience, and comparing points between candidates does not take much longer and will give you a more well-rounded idea of who will be the best new team member.
Scheduling can be a source of frustrating for both restaurant management and staff. There are two methods that will help retain staff and keep them content:
- Printing schedules 1-2 weeks in advance let’s staff plan their lives around their work schedule and work out any potential conflicts well in advance. Posting schedules only days before the schedule begins can be very frustrating to staff.
- Of course, staff are required to adhere to certain guidelines for requesting time off, but sometimes there is a tendency to push staff too hard or even punish staff for wanting time off. This can include verbal warnings or even taking away busy and/or their desired shifts. At the end of the day, everyone deserves to have a life outside work and recognizing that will help your staff feel valued.
Fill in employees
Reward employees who fill in when someone calls in sick or doesn’t show up. These team members are valuable, and it’s good to show your appreciation by rewarding them. This could include a gift card or dinner after service. This also motivates the rest of the team members to fill in when needed. When team members aren’t available, staffing agencies can help get you the staff members you need.
Cross training staff is very helpful when team members call in sick or no-show, plus teaching staff new skills help retain restaurant staff. This could include teaching dishwashers how to bus tables, servers how to bartend, or senior staff members how to supervise or take inventory. This will help you build a stronger team with employees qualified for a number of duties.
Incentivize staying at the company long-term
Having restaurant staff that have been with the company for a long period of time increases staff productivity, loyalty and ultimately helps you save money. Assigning rewards to a certain number of years or achievements with the company will help retain staff. These incentives could include health insurance, tuition assistance, gym membership, scheduled pay increases for management or even a car. Rewards such as these will keep your staff pushing to do a better job, stay healthy (less sick days!) and stay with the company longer.