6 Tips for Restaurants to Boost Retention & Employee Satisfaction

publication date: Jul 25, 2023
author/source: Greg Staley


During the Great Resignation in late 2021, a record number of people quit their jobs due to burnout, low pay, lack of advancement opportunities, among other reasons. As of early 2022, there were still 11.5 million open jobs, with organizations struggling to hire amid unprecedented competition for talent.

As 70% of restaurant operators don't have enough staff to meet demand, how can your restaurant boost employee satisfaction and retention? In addition to offering competitive salaries, here are six additional tips:

1. Offer professional development and advancement opportunities. According to LinkedIn, 94% of employees say they would stay with their company longer if it invested in their career development. Help employees set – and achieve – career goals. Provide plenty of opportunities for job training, mentoring, and promotions for hard workers. Employees who gain new skills and knowledge through professional development become more effective, efficient, and empowered, and are better equipped to handle new tasks and responsibilities.

2. Provide the right tools. For overwhelmed, overworked employees, having to deal with faulty equipment, a glitchy computer, or dated software can be extremely frustrating. Employers should ensure that their teams have the necessary equipment (including integrated software) to maximize productivity and minimize frustrations.

3. Make employees' lives easier. While you can't get rid of tedious chores like inspections and line checks, you can make these processes easier, faster, and more accurate with digital tools. Today's innovative tech solutions allow employees to conduct necessary checks efficiently, so they can quickly move onto their preferred tasks, like interacting with guests and cooking delicious meals.

4. Listen to employees. A proven way to boost engagement is to give employees a voice, letting their opinions be heard, and empowering them to feel ownership in your organization's success. In fact, 90% of employees say they're more likely to stay with an organization that acts on employee feedback. Employees are more likely to feel invested in your organization if they feel like their opinions matter.

5. Use a digital scheduler. Stop relying on manual scheduling systems and using post-it notes to remember shift swaps. The scheduling process is significantly easier when you use tech tools instead. Many restaurant employees quit because they can't get the shifts they want, so use digital tools to help ensure that you're properly utilizing all employees and giving them their preferred shifts, whenever possible. Additionally, you can easily see if any employees are being overutilized, which could lead to burnout.

6. Thank your employees often. A simple thank you goes a long way. Show appreciation for your employees and their hard work. Acknowledge your employees during staff meetings and on social media. Give bonuses or small gifts. Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Write thoughtful notes. Staff members will be more inclined to work harder – and stay longer – if they feel appreciated.

Greg StaleyGreg Staley is the CEO of SynergySuite, a back-of-house restaurant management platform. Greg focuses on facilitating better visibility and increased profitability for restaurant chains through the use of intelligent, integrated back-of-house technology. For more information or to discuss SynergySuite's solutions, please contact Greg at greg@synergysuite.com.