Improving benefits for existing employees might cost a bit more, but hiring a whole new staff is far more expensive. For restaurant owners, the cycle of attraction and hiring can be a constant, self-defeating loop. Although employee turnover rates might seem insignificant in the short term, some restaurants may be losing around $35,000 a year to it.
In many cases, raises alone won’t cut it. One restaurant owner said he offered 10 to 20 percent raises to back-of-house staff. This is despite his restaurant’s limited capacity to operate for the time being. However, he acknowledged it might not be enough to entice people to come back. This is why restaurateurs should concentrate on keeping long-term staff satisfied so they stick around.
Related: 6 ways to set your restaurant apart to attract great employees
When trying to attract new employees and retain existing ones, restaurateurs can implement models like open-book management. Open-book management encourages a culture of ownership and transparency, empowering employees by letting them in on how their work impacts restaurants’ performance.
Business owners should focus on retaining a great team and using that team to shake things up business-wise. Experiment with new revenue streams, change your opening hours, play with the menu—anything that will make for more sustainable profit margins. Take an innovation-led approach and try one of the many non-traditional employment models available to restaurateurs.
Related: Want to generate more revenue for your restaurant? Try these new revenue streams
With the current state of the labor market, employers need to refocus their efforts on keeping the employees they do have happy. This way, they won’t need to spend money hiring and training new staff and can focus on growing their business post-pandemic.
When restaurants treat their employees as disposable, they shouldn’t be surprised when those employees don’t stick around. For that reason, restaurants should consider benefits that are standard for other industries, like paid sick leave, better health insurance, and a more sympathetic M.O. overall. Focus on creating a better work environment and developing a clear growth plan as key retention incentives for employees.