Service with a Smile: Increasing Restaurant Employee Retention - Netchex

Turnover certainly isn’t a new problem in the restaurant industry, but employers can’t afford not to invest more into increasing restaurant employee retention. Job insecurity peaked during the pandemic with restaurant closures, and retention perks are quickly becoming must-haves for keeping up with the competition.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), turnover in the restaurant industry has averaged just below 80% for the past ten years. 

How have things changed in recent years? A lot of restaurant workers used the pandemic to train for new careers, but employers still need to fill a growing number of jobs. Gen Z teenagers are open to waiting tables, but many were too young to gain work experience before the pandemic. Onboarding and training a new front-line worker used to cost around $5,000 before recent inflation. 

2024 will be the second summer with more than 525k seasonal jobs to fill in restaurants.

What is Retention?

Making the most of each hire, retention lowers turnover and reduces costs. Business owners prioritized retention last year, and it’s still a trending topic today. Take care of your employees with fair pay and a positive culture, and you won’t have to hire and train so many replacements. 

Upskilling helps retention by encouraging professional growth in jobs without much potential for promotions and raises. Fortunately, you can tackle the biggest causes of turnover with software for restaurants

The Role of Restaurant HR and Payroll Software

Several of the biggest challenges in restaurants get easier to manage with problem-solving HR software. Automate your most tedious administrative routines with software that improves accuracy.

READ: Now We’re Cooking: How Restaurant Hiring Software Combats Industry Struggles

Streamline administrative tasks

Spreadsheets and paperwork are the most annoying parts of running a restaurant. Use HR software to complete scheduling and payroll in minutes instead of hours. Then, you’ll have more time to spend on the people who help your restaurant succeed.

Improve employee satisfaction

Happy workers stick around longer with the same employer. Payroll software helps you take care of your workers, paying them correctly and promptly. Give them instant, remote access to schedules as they’re posted, and they’ll appreciate accessibility that makes their lives easier.

Support professional growth

Restaurants typically only have a few senior positions, so promotion opportunities are limited. Use a Learning Management System to cross-train workers and you can encourage staff to explore different roles in front and back of house. An LMS lets you set custom training schedules for each worker and track their progress.

How to Increase Restaurant Employee Retention

There’s no one answer to turnover, just like there’s no one-size-fits-all way to attract new customers. Don’t just think about the needs of your staff–talk to them, and listen to their feedback. 

Offer competitive benefits and pay

Even the best workers will consider leaving for higher pay elsewhere. Perks and benefits are great side items, but take-home wages are the “main course” of your compensation package. Use restaurant payroll software to send accurate payments on time. 

Emphasis on teaching and training

Promote a culture of learning instead of treating training as a one-time hassle. Yes, it’s time-consuming as an employer to train new hires with zero experience, but your best workers still have room to grow and learn new skills. 

Better onboarding

HR software can help new hires hit the ground running with onboarding solutions for restaurants. Send remote access to digital paperwork and orientation videos. You can assign courses and track completion before your new hire’s first day in uniform.

READ: Take Care of the HR Prep Work with Restaurant Onboarding Software

Encourage better communication and teamwork

You can’t have a great restaurant without teamwork and communication. Drama and personality conflicts are inevitable, but managers and employers have to keep everyone working together. 

Create better schedules

Your employees have other obligations outside of work. Make sure schedules are fair for the holidays as well as the rest of the year. Listen to time-off requests, and try to make accommodations whenever possible. Some of the most important features of scheduling software include options for shift bidding and shift swapping.

Enable greater work-life balance

Better scheduling is a big step towards work-life balance. Use stay interviews to find out about issues that matter to your employees. Vacation time and family medical leave help workers have a life outside of work.

Create a supportive work environment

An employee wellness program doesn’t cost much, but it can have a big impact. Boost employee engagement by showing your commitment to staff and their best interests.

Better employee recognition

Celebrate the achievements of your most motivated workers. People who feel unappreciated may look for a new job, even leaving a job with adequate pay. 

Use surveys to understand employee satisfaction and engagement

Create a culture of feedback with engagement surveys. Your managers already go to extreme lengths to please unsatisfied customers. You should be just as invested in the happiness of staff.

Benefits of Implementing Restaurant HR Software

With all the opportunities for deploying AI in HR, it’s a bad time to fall behind in HR software. 

Reduce operational burdens

When HR software accelerates and automates routine tasks, more time becomes available for more rewarding tasks. Get back in touch with more important work.

Enhance employee retention

Employees stick around when their company is efficient and supportive. Software makes it easier to take care of your people with accurate payroll and meaningful perks.

Don’t settle for the bare minimum when it comes to managing restaurant staff. HR software gives workers remote access to schedules, hours, and remote training. Take care of your restaurant’s future by taking better care of the people who work there.

Discover how Netchex can help improve restaurant employee retention rates in your restaurant with industry-specific restaurant onboarding software:

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