Turnover in the restaurant industry is at an all-time high – 75%. And restaurants are increasingly feeling the strain. Fifty-one percent of restaurant operators agree that employee retention is the biggest challenge facing them in 2019 – and the number of industry jobs is expected to increase from 15.3 million today to 16.9 million by 2029. All of this is to say that cultivating healthy work environments and investing in staff should be a primary focus for restaurants going forward.
Communication, whether it's internally with your employees or publicly on your website and social media, is key to promoting healthy employee engagement. With increased engagement comes increased staff retention, commitment and overall happiness in the workplace.
Communication Is Key
As a restaurant operator, opening the lines of communication effectively with your staff is important. Management should look at staff members as colleagues and enact leadership methods that include listening to staff – their thoughts, opinions, ideas and more. Everyone, no matter their job title, should be interested in the same goal: creating a successful restaurant experience for guests. Aside from their daily responsibilities, employees want to be included in the company dialogue and contribute to the direction of the business. Inclusion builds confidence and the peace of mind that one's voice is being heard.
Highlight Your Staff
Your business needs a strong team. Employees want to feel appreciated. A common practice that we’ve seen at BentoBox is creating a team appreciation page on a restaurant’s website. Luke’s Lobster is a great example of a business that is successfully highlighting their staff.
With 30 locations in nine U.S. cities and a completely vertical business model (they sustainably source and process all of their own lobster and crab) their “Meet the Crew” page showcases all of their internal employees – from Luke, the founder and CEO, to Lauren, their Director of Culinary Development. And it’s not just the website that’s important. Luke’s Lobster shares their stories on all social media channels. We recommend that you include photos of your staff in action, doing what they do best.
Share Their Wins
Celebrating employee wins is integral to fostering a healthy work environment – one where staff feels appreciated for the hard work they’ve put into the business. Luke’s Lobster also does a great job of sharing employee wins by showcasing their monthly “Lobstars”– their version of the employee of the month.
With more and more eligible workers obtaining bachelor degrees being led away to other careers, and a large percentage of restaurant workers being students or seasonal workers, a shortage in staff has operators finding other ways to keep employees around longer. These methods include offering incentives, such as professional and career training to further knowledge and skills, to health benefits and more. However, an easy way of increasing employee retention and happiness in the workplace lies in increasing employee engagement. These are methods that can be implemented right away.
About BentoBox: BentoBox powers website design as part of CHECK® Business Tools. BentoBox offers a restaurant website builder and develops websites exclusively for the restaurant industry. Creating a strong website for your restaurant can help convert visitors into paying customers, while saving your business time and money. Learn more about BentoBox by visiting website design in CHECK Business Tools.