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How to Reduce High Turnover Among Bar Staff

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Staff Training - December 28, 2021 Written By: Sculpture Hospitality

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Managing a bar and restaurant means having to deal with employee turnover rates that you simply just don't see in other industries.

In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual restaurant and bar employee turnover rate is a staggering 73 percent. That's a lot higher than the average turnover rate for all industries in the US, which stands between 12 and 15 percent annually. 

The huge employee turnover rate of the restaurant and bar industry means business owners spend more time hiring and training staff, and less time focusing on other important areas of their business that drives profits - such as inventory management.

Employee retention is particularly important in today's economy, with restaurants and bars both significantly feeling the impact of the 'Great Resignation'

While high turnover is accepted as a part of the hospitality industry, there are some steps that your restaurant or bar can take to make sure that your employees want to stick around.

Here are five tips to help you better retain your bar staff: 

1. Provide opportunities for growth and upward mobility

A lot of restaurant staff are student workers or seasonal employees who have no plans of sticking around, but you also have quite a few people on staff who enjoy their work and are interested in the restaurant business. Those workers will be more likely to stay loyal to your brand if they feel like they are learning on the job and they can see a clear path to career progression and more responsibility. 

Take advantage of senior staff members and create mentorship opportunities for your junior employees. You can also invest in training and work to create new opportunities for your staff members.

Any job can begin to feel like drudgery, but if employees feel like they are working towards a goal, they won't mind the long hours quite as much.

2. Pay your staff well and show appreciation

A pay check provides staff with the money they need to live, but it can also send a message about their worth within the restaurant. It won't take long for employees to move on to better-paying positions if they feel they are being underpaid.

You can be frugal about a lot of other aspects of your business, but don't shy away from paying high-performing employees what they deserve.

Small gestures of appreciation can also go a long way to making staff members feel valued. Whether you throw a staff party or you make sure a worker gets an extra break when they are having a bad day, a little kindness can create a positive work environment that people are happy to come to every day.

3. Gather feedback

Don't shy away from learning about where you may have made mistakes. Be sure to conduct exit interviews and find out why people chose to leave your restaurant. Keep track of the data you gather and see if you can identify any trends. 

The data and feedback you collect from employees that leave your organization will give you valuable insights on where you can improve as an employer. 

It is also a good idea to regularly check-in with staff and see what kind of suggestions they have for improving the work environment. You might just find that they have some good ideas and implementing their suggestions will make them feel more vested in the business.

4. Practice transparency

Give your employees more insights into how the business is doing and what kinds of management decisions are being made. Make sure that you are measuring different aspects of your business and sharing performance numbers with your team members.

Practicing transparency and inclusion will reduce the gap between management and staff and make everyone feel more invested in the success of your business. 

5. Branch out when it comes to hiring

Take a look around your bar or restaurant. Is 99 percent of your staff made up of young 20 somethings? If so, you might want to shake up your recruiting practices and start to diversify your staff. Baby boomers represent a growing demographic of restaurant industry workers and may be the perfect addition to your team.

Employee turnover in the restaurant industry is always going to be high, but you can encourage loyalty simply by making an effort to reward performance and being willing to make changes when you see room for improvement.

By positioning your bar or restaurant as an 'employer of choice' in your local area you'll open up your talent pool to a large number of candidates and, ultimately, you will be able to spend more time on the tasks that grow your business.

Interested in learning more about growing your restaurant or bar? Get in touch with Sculpture Hospitality today. Our team of specialists would love to help drive up your company's profitability. 

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Program your POS system for Inventory Control

Many restaurant operators have an expectation that their investment in a POS system will cover their inventory control needs because of how the systems were marketed.  As many have learned the hard way, this is just not true.

POS systems alone will not prevent inventory and sales losses.

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