5 strategies to improve retention in your restaurant

By Matt Parkin

Keeping top talent is essential for the success of any restaurant, so focusing on retention is key. High turnover can lead to reduced efficiency, lost productivity, and a negative impact on customer satisfaction. By implementing effective retention strategies, you can keep your best employees engaged and motivated, and improve the overall performance of your restaurant.

Here are five strategies to consider:

Offer competitive compensation

One of the most effective ways to improve retention is to offer competitive compensation and benefits. This doesn’t just include salaries and wages, but also perks such as health insurance, paid time off, and opportunities for career advancement.

Get creative with your approach! For example, one restaurant decided to take their budget for job postings and use it for benefits for their staff instead. Another offered to cover Uber or taxi rides after late-night shifts.

By offering competitive compensation and benefits, you can attract and retain top talent while improving employee satisfaction.

RELATED: Five strategies for your restaurant in today’s labour market

Provide ongoing support

Training doesn’t stop after the first week on the job, ongoing support for your employees is important. This can include training for new menu items, service techniques, and other necessary skills.

By providing regular training and support, you can help your employees stay up to date and improve their performance, which can increase their confidence, boost job satisfaction and reduce turnover. Not sure what to train them on? Ask them what they want to learn about so you can provide tailored learning opportunities that benefit you both.

Create a positive work environment

The work environment in your restaurant can have a big impact on employee retention. A positive, supportive, and inclusive workplace can help employees feel valued and engaged, improving their job satisfaction and reducing the likelihood of them leaving.

There are organizations doing great work advocating for physical and psychological safety in the hospitality industry, with resources to help in creating a place where employees want to work.

By fostering a positive work environment, you can improve retention and enhance the overall performance of your restaurant.

Offer opportunities for growth

Many employees are looking for opportunities to grow and advance in their careers. A recent survey revealed that “exciting growth opportunities” was the top reason why job seekers choose one job over another.

By offering opportunities for growth and advancement, you can keep your best employees on your team, while keeping them engaged and motivated. This can include allowing them to take on additional responsibilities, learn new skills, or move into leadership roles.

Recognize and reward performance

Recognition and rewards can be powerful tools for improving retention. By recognizing and rewarding your employees for their good performance, you show them that their hard work and dedication are valued and appreciated. This can include things like bonuses, promotions, or public recognition for their achievements. By recognizing and rewarding their performance, you motivate them to continue to perform at their best, improve employee satisfaction, and reduce turnover.

Implementing effective retention strategies can help improve the performance of your restaurant and keep your best employees engaged and motivated. By offering competitive compensation and benefits, providing ongoing training and support, creating a positive work environment, offering opportunities for growth and advancement, and recognizing and rewarding good performance, you can improve retention and enhance the overall success of your restaurant.

Matt Parkin is the Business Development Lead at FindWRK. He helps employers quickly connect with hourly employees without needing a job posting.