Yesterday I was talking to a chef and owner of a restaurant in Spain. He was truly worried about how hard it is to get good staff and retain them. I was surprised to know that they have exactly the same issues we have in the UK.

In hospitality, it is sometimes difficult to find a job where employees can work a reasonable number of hours, with a good salary, in a role that motivates them and which they are excited about.

Hours and salary can easily be managed properly, but the big issue is to keep your team HAPPY.

Human beings want to have interesting work, be accountable , get feedback and be respected, and of course they also want a decent salary, holidays and bonuses.

We’d like to share 5 things to do to retain your dream team:

  1. Team building. If people like their colleagues they will have one more reason to work with you. If you can feel someone is always complaining and has negative energy, sack them straight away! As cross-contamination in food can ruin your whole stock, staff with the wrong attitude can destroy your team.
  2. Incentivize. Set up goals for your team every day and reward those who thrive. If you don’t what is the point? Follow up: people get demotivated if they are performing better than others and there is no recognition.
  3. Listen. To understand what they want you need to listen first, talk to your team and listen. Then be flexible and try to accommodate their needs. It may be more money, fewer hours, more training, professional growth, but you don’t want to find out in their exit interview, if you have one (you should always have one).
  4. Help them overcome weakness, encourage them to be better, develop your next leaders from within the company and turn every day into a learning experience.
  5. Details are everything. A customer will come back to our restaurants because they loved this one dish or found they were really well looked after by the waitress, it is all about details that create a successful experience for them. Same for the staff, make sure staff food is good, try to give them the days off they request and in general try to make their life easier. They will pay you back.

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