Employees turnover is killing my restaurant

employees turnover

Employees turnover – cause and cure

This employees turnover message from a small family restaurant in Italy resonates painfully throughout the world of hospitality.
Nowadays, managers and restaurant owners from every country and size have this exact problem. And it is not that we have never had this before, but now it is different. You could always find another waiter and never skip a beat in the past. Those days are over! No waiters are waiting at the door to get a job, not to mention a quality waiter with knowledge and experience.

But there is a cure to the employees turnover problem; many companies have used it, and it has been proven to work.
It’s called “Put your employees first”! And if you think that this is some modern BS, I will ask you to stick around for just a few more seconds and then decide what you want to do.
Here is my proof: Many of you have heard the names of Steve Wynn or Tony Robbins, not so many Simon Synek, but those three gentlemen are living proof of why putting your employees first works magic!
We will get to the specifics in a moment, but I want to assure you that this tactic will lower your employees turnover, make you more profitable and help you grow exponentially!

Steve Wynn

For years, Steve Wynn has been changing hospitality and is the great visionary behind the Vegas boom in the last three decades! If you work in Las Vegas, you dream of working for Wynn! Hear what he says:
“If you can help someone feel good about themselves, they will be loyal to you; they will follow your lead! That’s the jackpot of human relationships.”
“If I could get my employees to reach out and talk to my guests on a very personal level, all of a sudden, the crystal chandeliers and the marble mean nothing because you are engaged with someone who cares about you!”
“If I could arrange for my employees to find that rewarding, gratifying, and increasing their self-esteem, I would have plugged into the magic of business! And with the help of some people, we finally figured it out, and it changed my business, and it changed my life!”
What Steve Wynn changed was very simple but highly effective: he changed the approach of his supervisors and managers to their employees during pre-shift meetings and working hours. We discuss this in detail in our leadership class.

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins has been changing the world for almost fifty years now! He is a self-made billionaire, but more importantly, he has helped millions of people become wealthy and live fulfilling lives. So it is not a surprise that when Tony decided to build a resort in Fiji, he made it a top location where stars from every specter of life go, but he also made a company that everyone wanted to work for.

So how do they do it? I think Simon Sinek gives the best answer to this question.
“When someone says I like my job, he means he gets paid well and likes his coworker, but something is missing. When they say I love my job, it means I don’t want to work anywhere else; I care for the people here like they are my family; I don’t care how much more I will earn someplace else; I am devoted to this company!”
This kind of company culture is achieved when we have common beliefs and values. The managers care about the employees’ success, teach them skills, discipline them when necessary, and build their self-confidence. You have to be able to show love and devotion to the people who have committed their lives to this company!

The Naysayers

I can already hear some managers saying, this dude has lost his mind, doesn’t know what he is talking about, or has no clue about hospitality and the people we are dealing with. Nothing can stop employees turnover in our business!

You are right! It won’t work for you if you don’t believe in it! It is something you can’t measure; you can’t create a plan or training and press your employees to follow it. This is why almost no one in our industry even tries to create a great culture. Owners and managers are more inclined to squeeze the life out of their employees without a drop of regret or empathy. They strongly believe those people will leave in a few months anyway, and everything else will be simply a waste of time, resources, and energy. Then when that happens, they pump their chest: I told you so! This mother fucker was no good. I knew he was going to leave. 

It starts with the right leader! This is why Tony Robbins and Steve Wynn can make it and others can’t.

The funny thing is that I believe creating such a culture in a restaurant is much easier than in a multi-level mega-company. We have a leader (restaurant manager), a few supervisors, and then the employees. It is a very short chain of command and much easier to influence the people responsible for your customers directly. 

It is much harder for Mr.Wynn to influence the hundreds of black-jack dealers in his hotel, but he has selected the right leaders from top to bottom, trained them well, and delegated them to run their own units.

Know-how on employees turnover

So let’s see what does it takes to create a great culture in a restaurant so everyone that works for you won’t even think of searching for a better opportunity.

  1. A well-trained manager who is a natural leader has empathy and understanding for his employees, treats them with respect, teaches them, and encourages them to take on new challenges. Leaders should never get involved in politics and gossip and squash every attempt by someone else to start gossiping around. The manager will never scream at an employee. He or she will say good morning to everyone and ask how they are doing and if they need something today. A manager has to have vast knowledge and skills from the F&B department and well-developed communication and leadership skills. 
  2. Employees need to feel supported by their supervisors and coworkers. They need to see that their employer cares about their development and that they have a clear growth path. They want to feel safe in the work environment and see that everyone is treated strictly but fairly. They need to feel important for the company, to be allowed to be themselves and implement their uniqueness in the job. Employees are much more willing to work hard when they see that everyone else is working hard, including the management. A person will love his job only if the job allows him to have quality free time. That means they are making good money, having enough time to sleep, have fun, and be with their loved ones. The good thing is that the people in hospitality understand that we are not working fixed hours, and there will be days with overtime and extra stress. The thing is to show them our appreciation and make them feel valued. 
  3. A system that everyone knows and follows

It might seem impossible, but you can do it too if Steve and Tony can do it. It is human nature to adapt to the environment. If we get the company environment right, we will get the proper behavior from our employees, and the benefits will be much more than lowering employees turnover. If we get the environment wrong, even decent people will start misbehaving! This is how it works, and it begins with the leadership of the company, not with the employees.
I believe we teach all this at The Waiter’s Academy, and we are changing lives and businesses for the better.
It will be great if you join us and help us change the Hospitality Industry for a brighter future!

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