Halting Turnover Turmoil: Tips to Attract and Retain Top Talent in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry

With a shrinking labor pool and employee turnover higher than ever before, it’s no surprise that finding and keeping staff is one of the biggest challenges restaurant and hospitality managers face today. Not only are there tremendous costs associated with training new employees, but high turnover also negatively impacts customer experience and points to a larger problem within the business. To solve labor challenges, operators must understand how to effectively manage the entire employee lifecycle.

In the door & on the floor. From start to finish, hiring and onboarding can be tough and time-consuming, requiring significant amounts of paperwork. On top of managing job postings, tracking applicants and onboarding, hiring must also be completed in compliance with federal, state and local laws. To recruit the best, restaurant and hospitality operators must implement quick and easy processes that include all of the necessary checks and balances, or risk losing talent to a competitor. As the first point of contact between the manager and employee, hiring and onboarding set the tone for the rest of the staff’s employment, which makes them even more important to ace.

Schedule & pay the right way. Getting the right people in the right place at the right time should be the norm, but unfortunately, that is often not the case in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Workforce planning, scheduling and time and attendance can be headache-inducing without the proper tools in place. Through accurate demand forecasting, managers can successfully optimize schedules to ensure the right number of staff is on the floor to meet customer demand and drive guest satisfaction. This not only benefits managers, but also keeps employees happier by preventing over- or under-staffing mishaps.

Managing payroll is another labor-intensive, administration-heavy process that requires compiling information from multiple systems as well as abiding by various federal, state and city wage regulations to ensure accurate pay. Fortunately, there are tools available to manage HR, scheduling and payroll to guarantee absolute compliance.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Contingent Workforce Optimization Roadmap

Engage and invest in the best. Perhaps the most challenging part of talent retention is keeping staff engaged. Not only are engaged employees less likely to quit, they can also boost profitability, especially in an industry where customer service is critical to success. To keep employees motivated, loyal and on-brand while creating a strong company culture, businesses must invest in tools that improve communication and collaboration between employees and their managers. Through these open communication channels, things like menu updates, information on new hires and shift openings can be easily shared and discussed.

Additionally, ongoing development opportunities can improve employee engagement by demonstrating dedication to the employee’s long-term success. Investing in employees – from new hires to managers – through personalized learning paths and customized courses can help to deliver a consistent guest experience and increase the company’s bottom line.

Successfully managing the entire employee lifecycle takes enormous amounts of time and money, from hiring to scheduling to ongoing development. Operators looking to attract and retain top talent must be willing to buy into the necessary processes and technologies available to help make the goal of happy, productive and loyal employees a reality.

Simon Bocca

Simon Bocca
Simon Bocca is chief growth officer of Fourth, a hospitality operations platform provider.

Simon Bocca

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