Ever experienced having new hires quit on you after only a few weeks into the job?
You are not alone.
In the restaurant business, fast staff turnover is a real problem. In the US, January 2019 saw an all-time high of 75% of the restaurant employee turnover rate. Here in Australia, two-thirds (67%) of employers have seen an increase in staff turnover in the last three years.
There are deeper issues that are behind this growing problem such as gruelling work hours, high-pressure environment and toxic working culture, but low wages rank high on the list. Employees tend to quit or resign right on the spot, leaving frustrated restaurant managers or owners scrambling for people to fill in the position quickly or tire their existing staff to handle the tasks until someone fills the spot.
Fortunately, there are agencies that provide Temporary Chef Hire and Kitchen Staffing Services, which restaurant managers can contact to save the day. Hiring professional chefs and kitchen staff from reputable agencies can help restaurant owners and managers address urgent staffing issues that may be temporary and in some cases, permanently. And when you hire skilled and polite people, the transition is faster, and your kitchen has a better chance of catching up with the busy flow that is a norm in this industry.
In particular, it is the retention of newly hired people that seems to be the most challenging. After all the interviews are done and people get hired, you only have a short period to get them to stay for the long haul, which is why what you do in the training period is crucial.
While getting the services of short term hire agencies is a quick fix, here are some of what you can do or improve in your current system, to get you a better chance of retaining your newly hired staff:
- Hire the right people
The fact of the matter is, restaurant managers almost always require employees to have a few years of kitchen experience in their belt. This is so that there will be less time spent on training. Training people is an investment, and it is this thinking that makes many managers focus on getting skilled people in.
Yet, it is also this mindset that can help managers give better focus on providing the necessary tools and support to their new hires because the training sets the foundation.
However, what proves to be a better way is when you hire for the attitude. You can deal with skills, later on, that’s what training is for — but letting people in your door should be a matter of having the right character, personality and temperament for the job.
You can look out for telltale signs during the interview. Some hiring managers look closely at the cover letters to get a feel of the applicants’ ability to carry out the same detail or determination when they finally get the job. Another way is by checking if the applicants have been promoted in their previous job or have taken on additional responsibilities. This is regardless of the nature of the last job or if it is relevant to the one they are currently applying for. What hiring managers look for is if the applicants worked at a standard that made their previous bosses took notice and believed that they could handle more responsibilities.
RELATED READ: 5 Things to Look for When Hiring a Chef
- Emphasise support during the training of newly hired people
Providing support for new hires continues after the usual on-boarding and orientation. Support can be in the form of frequent checking ins to ensure that they are able to keep up with the work demands healthily.
Checking in is a win-win for you and your new hires. You can provide a sense of belonging for them and a connection should they need assistance. At the same time, you can determine if your training system is valid and that you are essentially moulding the best staff that you can have for your team. Frequent check-ins will help you determine if they are able to provide services to your customers based on the best practices described in your restaurant’s training manual. When you are regularly holding 1:1 meetings, you have a better chance of creating personalised coaching for them.
Understandably, as a restaurant manager or owner, you have a lot on your plate when it comes to responsibilities but valuing your workforce should be one of the essential duties in your list. If you are having difficulty in doing this, take advantage of technology to help you out. There are now apps and software available that can help you identify patterns of staff attritions, alerting you ahead of time if a staff is a turnover risk so that you can do something about it.
- Engage and get involved
Many people stay in their jobs because of the friendships they make while working. When employees get along, they are more likely to participate in building a collaborative environment.
Getting to know your employees happens during the hiring process, and it is after that process that you should make the most of the information you have in creating an enticing working environment. Team spirit is not something that magically happens or you can demand from your employees. It is a culmination of fostered belongingness and empathy. Often, there is usually engaged management behind it.
At the end of the day, there will always be people who will consider the job that you offer as temporary. For whatever reasons, they genuinely do not have any plans of staying for long. It is a reality that should not hamper the operation of your business because high turnover rates create a negative impact on a business’ profit and loss. They can lead to a snowball effect impacting the quality of service, which can affect customer return rates.
Agencies that provide Temporary Chef Hire can be a helpful solution to urgent staffing issues, but restaurant owners and managers should be able to address this issue by evaluating their current systems, hiring the right people for their business and fostering a harmonious working culture.
That’s it for this week.
As always, Professional Chefs on Call at Anytime!
Ciao for now,