Gavina Coffee Solutions

Best Staff Retention Strategies for Your Foodservice Business

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Coffee businesses and their customers are optimistically looking forward to the year ahead. As restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops steadily recover from economic shifts and workforce shortages prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities to add new positions and employee incentives will increase. Business owners are now shifting their focus to improving staff satisfaction for reduced employee turnover.

With the new year and new resolutions for more success in full swing, now is the time to show your staff you value them and remind them why they love being a part of your team. To help you improve your staff retention and keep the right talent, here are 5 of the best staff retention strategies to help you continue your growth in 2022 and beyond.

Practice Open-book Management

Rising in popularity, open-book management is a recent concept that can be a great asset to ensure food service staff retention. In broad terms, open-book management is a form of management where owners are honest and transparent with every employee. This form of management allows your team to gain insight into their job security and provide them with the proper training for their professional development.

Open-book management establishes a sense of trust and connection that is not present with more tight-lipped operations. When your entire team understands the business’s health and how its efforts keep the restaurant functioning, they will want to perform at their fullest potential. Additionally, open-book management provides a great platform for everyone to contribute ideas that actively promote company success.

Prioritize Training and Communication

Finding the right employees from the get-go is just as essential as retaining them after their initial onboarding. To ensure your new hires are prepared for the job, you should establish an effective training program that promotes healthy communication. Consistent, dynamic training improves the overall success of your team by helping them learn how to operate the equipment and interact with customers.

As a starting point for developing your training style, try implementing a 30-60-90 plan. This strategy gives employees clear goals and objectives for their first 30 days and offers areas to improve. Set up monthly interviews to check-in and provide feedback. The right training program fosters growth and allows employees to know that you are investing in them for their hard work.

Refine Your Recruitment Process

Something often misunderstood when seeking new staff is that hiring and recruiting aren’t quite the same thing. Hiring fulfills an immediate need to fill a role and rarely takes into consideration all of the reasons an applicant is or is not the right fit. Recruitment is more involved in that employers must develop a process that actively seeks and attracts the right people to apply. Those that carefully select their candidates based on their experience, their potential, and their culture fit will likely see higher staff retention rates.

It is important to establish a standardized onboarding process that applies to all positions, especially if you own a chain with multiple locations. Both your existing and new employees will know what to expect during the onboarding period, and this will improve communication and efficiency amongst both parties. It also generates trust, as your established employees will know what the profile of the new hires is like. This interaction is key for an efficient business. Also, make sure that every employee has a proper job title, description, and access to an employee manual. Giving them access to fully understand their position will give them a sense of fulfillment and will help clear up the tasks each employee has to attend to.

Offer Benefits

Though not all businesses can offer a complete healthcare and retirement package, there are still opportunities to provide your team with extra perks and benefits. Reward their loyalty and hard work with employee discounts on your menu, including a free drink or meal during their shifts, or special deals on your brand merchandise.

You can also take advantage of your status as a small or medium business and utilize your existing connections within your community. If you have other businesses or working relationships with different brands, you can offer discounts to those to your staff. You can also offer bonuses based on performance or promote a healthy company culture by hosting paid group activities for your team.

If you do feel that you are in a position financially to consider some healthcare benefits, there are multiple options that you can fit into your business plan. Overall, the key here is to make your staff feel rewarded for their efforts and to show them you are putting in the effort to improve their quality of life. Your business might not be able to compete with corporate giants, but a happy employee is a loyal one; it’s the same logic you apply with customers.

Cultivate a Supportive Environment

A common theme throughout all of these strategies has been to create an environment where your employees feel safe and heard. Emphasizing the importance of supportive company culture across your entire team makes for a healthy business all around. A hostile, endangering work environment, especially in the times of COVID-19, is one of the main reasons that many workers will leave their positions. Regardless of whether they are getting good wages or benefits, this can undermine all of your other efforts. It all comes down to the simple truth that an employee who feels valued, secure, and is confident in your interest in their professional growth, health and wellbeing will want to continue working with you.

Apart from cultivating good communication, it’s vital to establish clear policies that prevent harassment, discrimination, and that establish COVID-19 precautions. A clear policy on all of these important matters provides your employees with a sense of security and lets them know you want them to always feel safe when they are at work. For these policies to matter, they must be clear and the managerial staff must have a clear grasp of it so that they can promptly and correctly respond to any issues that may arise. Protect their rights and reward them fairly for their hard work so they’ll know you are invested and will respond with loyalty.

Key Takeaways

Investing in finding quality employees that fit your business’ profile is directly tied to the amount you invest in your business and its success. The key to reducing employee turnover is providing fair compensation, opportunities for professional development, rewarding benefits, and building a work environment that promotes a higher quality of life. If you can cover these main pillars, your restaurant will stand out from the competition and you’ll start to see a steady increase in applications which will increase your staff retention during these uncertain times.

You’ve put in the hard work to grow your business and reach this point in your career. Protect your success and your staff retention through Gaviña Coffee’s customized turnkey solution. Get in touch with us today and start improving your coffee sales for a more profitable future.

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