Plenty of Indians but “where are all the chiefs?”

It is a breath of fresh air when you gain a new employee who is happy to take responsibility; better still if they do it well. If you are an employer you know all too well about high levels of hospitality industry employee turnover and about how good it feels on those occassions where an employee shows commitment, and is maybe even “foreman material “. Unfortunately, potential chiefs are pretty rare. So if you find a good one, you need to look after them. It is unlikely that your management staff will show the same dedication as you, and lets face it, can you blame them? After all it’s not their business. The ones that do have the same work ethic as the owner usually move on quickly into their own businesses. But there is much you can do to hang on to your valued restaurant employees. Turnover of staff can be expensive and draining for you and your business so it’s worth formulating an approach to the issue, and to how you will develop those staff members that show potential.

Your staff should be an asset to your business.

A common mistake made in businesses is when the owner wants time away and he or she opts to leave anyone in charge for the sake of getting some time out. This is management by abdication.

Putting an employee in a position of authority can be risky for your business; more so if they lack experience. But with the right training and written procedures this role of responsibility can be filled with a reasonable level of efficiency.

Larger restaurants and hotels have a management structure where the owner may not need or want to physically work on site at all, but spends his time working on the business. This brings a different set of issues to the table where structures and procedures are even more important (a subject for another article).

Smaller restaurants can be more demanding for owners, who may feel like prisoners in their own businesses; slaves to the belief that they are the only ones who can do the job and the only ones who can meet their standards. To a point this may be true, but if they are in business for the long haul there will come a time when they will want a break, and this requires some forward planning.

So what can be done?

First of all you need to accept that not every employee will show lashings of common sense. These people will always need supervision and direction but with good training they can become valued and committed employees.

Of course, restaurant employee turnover is a constant challenge to business owners in the hospitality industry. Employee turnover is inevitable, however it doesn’t have to be disastrous if you have a system in place to deal with it. Likewise, dealing with the issues that contribute to staff turnover, for example by recognising when someone is ready to take on more responsibility, will probably also reduce its frequency.

Learning to recognise leadership qualities in other staff members is vital. You may be surprised sometimes; with a little nurturing and the right kitchen and waiter/ waitress training, some staff members respond well and give you the qualities you require for management.

Write down in system form what standards you want. Make things simple and you will achieve your aim; soon you will find that your core staff are showing a lot more promise. This will make you feel more confident when you take time out. It’s a good feeling when you know your business is running properly while you’re not there; it’s an indication you are doing your job well.

HOSPITALITY CONSULTING & COACHING SOLUTIONS