Restaurant Employee Engagement and Retention

A restaurant's success depends on its employees. The happier and more engaged your employees are, the better your business will be. Ultimately, happy employees will provide better results, and happier employees are less likely to leave. This article explores the various ways to increase employee engagement and retention. Read on to learn more about staff appreciation, mental health, and more!

Labor Optimization
A restaurant's success depends on its employees. The happier and more engaged your employees are, the better your business will be. Ultimately, happy employees will provide better results, and happier employees are less likely to leave. This article explores the various ways to increase employee engagement and retention. Read on to learn more about staff appreciation, mental health, and more!
Michaela Fallon
October 3, 2022

Restaurant Employee Engagement and Retention

A restaurant's success depends on its employees. The happier and more engaged your employees are, the better your business will be. Ultimately, happy employees will provide better results, and are less likely to leave.

Read on to learn tips for employee retention, including staff appreciation programs, mental health support, and more!

Employees are the Lifeblood of a Restaurant

A well-managed workforce can be the difference between a successful and failed restaurant. Employee turnover is costly and has a detrimental impact on the team. In 2018, the industry average turnover rate was 75%, making it imperative for restaurant owners to focus on creating a rewarding workplace and providing decent pay and benefits to cultivate and retain staff. Staff is the lifeblood of a restaurant, so hiring carefully and ensuring employee happiness is paramount to the success of any establishment.

It's essential that your restaurant provides a positive work environment for your employees. Everyone should be given a sense of purpose and autonomy. By establishing a sense of shared purpose and autonomy among staff members, you can ensure that they will stay and enjoy their job.

Training and Development

The first step in a successful employee engagement program is to ensure that all team members are properly trained for their role. A great onboarding experience can increase retention rates by 82%, and provides employees with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed. Training can take multiple forms, both in-person and online, allowing restaurants to standardize onboarding across locations and teams.

After employees are onboarded, it's important to help them grow and advance in their current position or provide opportunities to move up. Restaurant owners should consider career path structures that offer opportunities for growth and development. If employees see their role as an opportunity for growth and learning, they are more likely to invest in their job.

Staff Appreciation

In an effort to increase employee engagement, consider implementing a staff appreciation and mental wellness program for your restaurant. Staff appreciation can come in the form of monetary incentives or other activities to reward your team. A simple gesture of appreciation like a gift card or small tokens of gratitude can make your employees feel valued and appreciated. Group activities like yoga classes or movie nights can help foster better employee engagement.

Additionally, to show your ongoing appreciation for your employees, consider enhancing benefits: many restaurant owners have begun offering health insurance and 401k plans. Offering flexible schedules and company-provided devices are also popular benefits.

Measure Employee Happiness and Engagement

As you implement measures to cultivate employee engagement, it's important to measure your results. Parameters for employee happiness vary across industries and even across different restaurants, so you'll have to find the measures and benchmarks that work for you. For instance, an employee net promoter score can be a good way to measure employee happiness. This metric averages the percentage of active, passive, and detractors among staff members.

Another important metric to monitor is employee turnover. Taking stock of where you see the most turnover can help you find opportunities to better retain certain positions.

Ultimately, the best restaurant management practices focus on making their employees happy. Despite the high turnover rate in the restaurant industry, listening to employees is critical for business success. By understanding the concerns of employees, the most successful employers will build a stronger and more productive workforce.

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