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8 Ways to Keep Your Top Restaurant Talent

Hospitality employees are a hot commodity, which means operations from mom-and-pop to big chains are scrambling to keep top talent. Here are some ways to keep rock stars on staff.

restaurant staff meeting

1. Show your employees the future.

If people feel they have a future with your company, they'll stay. If they don't, they won't. Promoting from within and investing in employee training are concrete ways to demonstrate a commitment to your employees' personal success.

2. Invest in your team.

Most employees want to do a good job, and they want their efforts to matter. But doing the job right, and moving up the ladder of success, is easier with thoughtful on-boarding, training, and skill building.

3. Invest in your leadership.

They say people usually "quit their manager," rather than their job. Ensure you have a strong and committed team by helping your managers continue to improve their leadership skills.

4. Have conversations.

Younger employees ask "the why" more than older employees. Millennials want to understand how their work contributes to the greater good, so give them a forum for sharing their insight. Stay interviews and town hall meetings encouraged buy-in and foster teamwork.

5. Be transparent.

Be upfront about expectations and how you evaluate employees, then help employees get to the next level. If you have incentive programs, be clear about what employees can do to improve results.

6. Think beyond the dollar signs.

The best retention plans aren't just about the money: quality of life, workplace culture, leadership styles and simple perks, like a bus passes, parking, occasional meals out or hotel nights, can outweigh a fatter paycheck.

7. Recognize life beyond work.

Hospitality employees are accustomed to working outside the typical Monday-through-Friday, nine-to-five workweek and, more often than not, they choose non-traditional schedules to fit with other life priorities. Help them make it all work.

8. Celebrate.

Go a little further than the HR adage "Praise in public, criticize in private." Whether it's an individual accomplishment or a team triumph, give credit where credit is due, and do it loudly.

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Jamila Thompson

With 10 years in the restaurant industry and 7 years as a cook/chef, I have a passion for helping restaurant owners succeed and create wonderful experiences for their guests. Food is love.

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