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Why Your Restaurant Staff Is ALWAYS Leaving You

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You spend so much money hiring people, so much time training them, and even more energy RE-training them.

Yet they still leave. Why is this the case?

TALENT and HR are the most difficult things for food business owners to handle and can be extremely taxing, especially if you don’t understand them.

These are the top 5 reasons why your staff is leaving, so you can make the RIGHT changes to lower your turnover rate and build the all-star team of your dreams.

Reason #1: Lack Of Respect

The number one reason why someone quits a service job is because they don’t feel respected.

So many times as owners, we treat our staff like our minions, we tend to forget that they are real people. In doing this we aren’t giving them the respect that they deserve.

It’s important to understand that people work, not just for money, but also for respect and personal fulfillment.

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As humans, we all seek that gratification, we all want to be appreciated. This includes your employees. It’s super important for you to actually see the good in your staff.

A great way to show that you appreciate them could be paying them a genuine compliment. Truly see what is it about them that is so special and give them an authentic compliment.

This can change someone’s entire mood and outlook. They will feel appreciated and reciprocate that by treating your customers the same way.

Reason #2: Hiring Bad Apples

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The second reason why your staff is leaving you is simply because you hired some bad apples.

Picture it: You have a great interview, all your values align, and you’re excited to train this eager new team member.

BUT over time, they should their true colors. They spread rumors, have a poor work ethic, and leave slack behind for others to pick up for them.

One bad apple can spoil the whole pack. This negative energy will bleed through to all the good people on your team. They will feel annoyed having to do more work to compensate, creating a poor environment which leads to conflict.

You Don’t Want Conflict

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Aside from the obvious downsides, workplace tension could also be the reason some of your good apples will quit. Even the best employees don’t want to be working in a stressful and unhealthy environment.

As the owner you need to understand your staff dynamics. Learn to spot and fire the bad apples quickly before it costs even more in the long run.

At our ice cream shop, 720 Sweets, we actually hired someone that fit this description exactly. They were always spreading rumors, and it really changed the morale of the whole team.

I didn’t really know what was going on because I thought I had hired an all-star team, but suddenly people were quitting left and right.

After asking around I discovered that everyone was quitting because of this rumor that we were cutting our budgets and lessening hours. All because of this one bad apple that I let slip through the cracks.

Unfortunately, you can’t always prevent these things from happening, but knowing what to look out for can help you catch the problem as early as possible.

Reason #3: Lack of Empowerment

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The third reason why an employee may want to quit working for you is because you don’t empower them.

If you don’t support your team with the right tools or knowledge to do their job they will feel frustrated and inadequate.

Equipment Matters

Working in a food and beverage environment is already stressful enough. Without the necessary equipment, their stress load increases. This stress translates into feeling like you don’t care about the efficiency of your business or your staff’s wellbeing.

If you don’t care, why should they?

This is why it’s super important to invest in equipment. Not only will it improve the quality and efficiency of operations, it empowers staff to do their job properly by making everyone’s lives easier.

At 720 Sweets, we realized we were limiting how much ice cream our staff was able to produce because of our gravity pump machine. This machine used gravity to pull the soft serve ice cream out and serve. When there wasn’t enough liquid base in the machine, the product came out very slowly, which was very frustrating especially with 20 people waiting in the queue.

You can imagine how our staff must’ve felt.

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So, we decided to upgrade to a pump machine that was able to produce the soft serve at a consistent speed and texture regardless of the amount of liquid in the machine.

Yes, the machine was a little bit more expensive, but nonetheless, our staff is happier because they feel empowered to do their job AND our customers’ wait times were reduced, allowing us to serve more people and increase profits.

It’s our job as owners to empower our staff so they can do their job properly. Without adequate tools, whether it’s kitchen equipment or POS systems, your staff feels unsupported and that it’s not worth their frustrations, causing them to quit.

Make sure to observe and ask your employees about their needs before it’s too late.

Reason #4: No Room for Growth

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The fourth reason why an employee would not be interested in staying with your company is because there’s no opportunity for growth.

Although some work just for the sake of money, most people are looking for more fulfillment. This could be a personal goal, or something tangible like an assistant management position.

Learning Opportunities

If you’re only providing someone with a paycheck, there’s no reason they should be working for you over another business.

However, if you can provide growth and learning opportunities for your staff they feel valued, like they’re getting a good deal. They’re getting paid and they’re learning.

That itself will create a lot more loyalty to your business versus other restaurants who aren’t providing proper training and learning opportunities.

You should see training as a way to invest in the future of your team. While it might seem like a waste of time or energy up front, a well-trained, committed team brings much more value to your business and a good ROI.

Nonetheless, it’s up to us as owners and leaders to empower, train, and to help our staff develop and grow. These are the reasons someone would want to stay with your company. Diversifying your value as an employer is key.

Conferences and Events

Conferences and Events are great tangible ways to show your staff you’re invested in them.

One employee at 720 Sweets has been with us serving ice cream for five years, all because we sent them to different marketing and customer service conferences so they could grow their skillsets.

To them, the job is more than swirling ice cream because they’re able to bring more value to the world.

So if you have opportunities to better train your staff or educate them, view these expenses as investments in employee retention and the individuals themselves.

Reason #5: Poor Scheduling & Pay

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The fifth reason why someone would quit your business is because of poor scheduling or pay.

This is a mistake that I see so many of my peers making because they’re trying to save every dime they can. While you may feel that being frugal is wise, the staff sees it as cheap, and that they’re undervalued.

As owners and employers it’s important to remember that our staff are real people. Just like you, they have bills to pay, commitments to uphold, and lives to lead. If you don’t accommodate them they’re just going to find another job that satisfies their basic needs – it’s as simple as that.

For someone to perform well, they need to have security in their job and their standard of living. If we cannot even provide this, it’s almost unfair to ask them to go above and beyond.

On the other hand, if we listen to our staff and their needs they will love working at your food and beverage restaurant.

If you think that paying that extra dollar or extra shift will cost you too much, remember the price to hire and train someone new. Before penny pinching your staff, consider the gravity of the situation.

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There you have it! The five reasons why your staff is always quitting on you.

The bottom line: make sure that you truly, genuinely care for your staff because they’re not just anyone off the street. These are your family members, this is your team – make sure you’re there for them, and they’ll do the same for you.

What are you doing to do now? How are you doing to take action? Which one of these will you start applying first?

For more tips and tricks on creating a successful business environment for your staff, check out these resources [here].

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