June 22, 2023
Lauren Platero

9 Staff Development Tips to Retain Restaurant Employees

Staff development is essential across the restaurant industry. This profession in particular has a very high turnover rate. Employee turnover can hinder restaurant success, as it’s one of the largest restaurant expenses. So, it's critical to combat it as much as you can. 

Luckily, staff development can help. In fact, it can even add additional value to the business. Maybe you're in need of smoother restaurant operations. Or, perhaps you're trying to dodge the risk of work overload. Regardless of the reason, staff development can solve many restaurant issues

Read on for all the details:

Staff Development: Definition 

Staff development is the concept of training employees and advancing their skill sets. It can involve physical manuals, video training, and personal mentorship. Staff development usually aims to improve one area at a time, too. Keep in mind that staff development can also vary from one industry to the next. 

In the restaurant space, for example, staff development could consist of either customer service or managing high-volume shifts. After all, if you’re striving to enhance a particular skill, it's best to give it your undivided attention. Now, let's dive into its importance.

The Importance of Staff Development

Staff development is important to restaurants, as it helps move the needle in the right direction. As teams continue their education and learn new skills, they’re able to perform their job much better. Over time, this will elevate the business as a whole. For example, the more equipped the team is, thew fewer people you'll need. Consequently, staff development can cut the labor cost. From efficiency to high profit margins, stellar staff development is the baseline of success.

9 Staff Development Tips to Retain Restaurant Employees

To maximize profits and labor in the restaurant industry, staff development is key. The cost of labor alone can be a major expenditure. See below for nine tips to retain restaurant employees.

1. Implement Training Programs 

There are various types of training that can take place within a restaurant. From basic alcohol server training to advanced sommelier training, there are many options for each role. Draft a restaurant training manual for each type of position, from management to servers. Then, these documents can serve as the foundation for all future staff development. Plus, they’ll serve as reference materials for new hires. 

2. Cross-Train Each Staff Member 

One way to seamlessly work together is to understand the details of your coworkers. When you grasp what their role is and how it impacts the business, it becomes easier to collaborate and solve problems. So how can a restaurant nurture this idea?

Upon hiring each new hire, cross-train them across all departments. Not only will they be able to work together amongst their colleagues, but they can fill in. Absentee staff members aren’t as big of an issue, when other available employees can take over.

3. Take Advantage of Training from Technology Providers 

When you invest in food tech and restaurant tech solutions, the provider will offer training sessions. This is essential, as such solutions are meant to maximize revenue and enhance the customer experience. In other words, it's a part of learning the product and improving the business model. 

Take advantage of these resources, as they’ll help educate your team. Learning how these software options work, issues that can come up, and how they affect the team and staff is vital.

4. Regularly Give Performance Feedback 

You can’t provide employees with proper staff development training if you don’t know where to begin. Provide performance reviews on a somewhat regular basis. During these sessions, you’ll have the chance to discuss issues, performance, goals, and room for improvement. In the end, this can be what leads to the most productive staff development.

5. Incentivize Staff Members to Improve 

Employee recognition is always a great idea when it comes to staff development and appreciation. When there is a goal in sight, it becomes a lot easier to become better. So, come up with a variety of ways to incentivize staff to accomplish their professional goals. A few examples may include raises, bonuses, and additional time off.

6. Establish Effective Communication Channels

Restaurants can implement effective communication channels with the help of tech solutions. For instance, cloud technology has the ability to sync information across multiple systems. This way, the back of house and front of house staff can be on the same page. In fact, enterprise restaurants are able to view information across the board. 

Let’s say a server inputs an order into the POS system. The sous chef will instantly be able to view it on the kitchen display system (KDS). This is just one of many examples of how you can opt for labor solutions that support communication.

7. Use a Proper Scheduling System 

You might not view restaurant HR software as being good for professional development, but it can help. When you’re able to delegate shifts based on restaurant data analytics, you can have more positive outcomes. Let’s say you’re aware that certain times of the day are busier than others. You can use this kind of insight to ensure that you’re never understaffed

See, a restaurant labor shortage can impact the staff’s performance. Over time, this can lead to errors and frustration. So, try to prevent the issue before it arises. 

8. Continue Training Over Time 

Sure, initial training upon hiring a new employee is necessary. However, it shouldn’t come to a complete stop when this period is up. As the staff continues to master their job, there’s a chance that aspects of the restaurant may change. 

For instance, you might onboard innovative restaurant technology. Or, you might upgrade your restaurant equipment in the kitchen. There are so many other scenarios that can take place, too. Ensure that you’ll be supplying your team with ample time and resources to adapt to such changes as they occur. 

9. Offer Better Perks Than Competitors 

Staff development usually begins with an incentive to stay with the business in the first place. Create a list of perks and benefits that outperform local competing businesses. If staff members know that they receive the best benefits while working for you, the choice to advance their professional development is much more likely. Plus, the business owner can feel more confident when investing in these areas.

Frequently Asked Questions About Staff Development

Staff development is something that every employer should invest in. it simultaneously supports both short and long-term development. Plus, it helps nurture a positive, customer-facing environment. Want to learn more about staff development in the workplace? Read on!

Why Is Staff Development Important In Restaurants?

Staff development is important in restaurants since the environment is so diverse and robust. Restaurant employees are constantly dealing with unique situations. So, it’s always a good idea to have as much training and as many skills as possible. Plus, a better team can create a better experience for customers.

What Is the Meaning of Staff Development?

The staff development meaning refers to the advancement of a team’s skills and competencies. Such developments pertain to a certain field or industry. However, personal development activities can take place, too. It all depends on the company. 

What Are the Five Stages of Staff Development?

The five stages of staff development are:

  1. Assessment
  2. Motivation
  3. Design
  4. Delivery
  5. Evaluation

How Do You Provide Staff Development?

Companies can provide staff development by investing in the workforce’s training and education. For instance, they can pay for classes and workshops to better their skill sets. Or, they can even go the extra mile and offer mentorship programs or in-person conferences.

What Are the Types of Staff Development?

Several different types of staff development include: 

  • Training 
  • Coaching 
  • Workshops 
  • Mentoring 
  • Conferences 
  • Webinars
  • Promotions
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Higher the Retention, Greater the Success

A dedicated and highly skilled staff is the foundation of any successful business. From enjoying what they do to knowing how to accommodate each and every guest, the right team is what can keep the business in motion. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by having staff development resources available. Ensure that your staff has room to grow and advance, and you’ll be on track to achieve retention and its accompanying successes.