Lower staff turnover and improve customer experience with this secret recipe

How do you make sure your team is not a challenge but an asset to your restaurant? Nadia Galin shares how she keeps her 100 employees happy and staying put: “Every restaurant faces the constant challenge of staff retention. Part of the issue is that you often rely on students and part-timers, who work when most people are enjoying their down time. And yet, keeping your team on board is not impossible, and with the right approach, it can be a great asset for your restaurant, its identity and your customer experience. A good team means you get to butter the bread on both sides with a smoothly running organisation and a special flavour for your restaurant service!”

Happy staff, happy customers

Staff that enjoy working for you are motivated, knowledgeable and driven to do their very best for your customers. A team that is motivated makes all the difference between having loyal customers or having one-time diners. For our restaurant, we look for people who love their job, who are competitive and like to add a personal touch. In our case, we also need people that are multilingual, since our clientele is from all over the world. Now, if you have these people and a good in-house team, how do you keep them on board? It starts with you and how you run your team.

Running your restaurant like a family business

I call myself the leader, but I hardly consider myself to be the big cheese. I think of myself as a mum to our team of 100 people. Therefore, I involve them, making our staff part of our mission and goals. After all, if I share our goals, these also become their goals, and our successes become their successes! There is a reason many family restaurants work so well and have stood the test of time, so be that family to your staff, who spend more of their time with you than they do at home. If you do, they will treat you the same way. This also means moving with the times to make their work easier, like we have done with our smart kitchen system that boosts service efficiency and convenience:

A recipe for a solid team (that doesn’t crumble)

A great team like our restaurant family doesn’t just happen. It takes work and leading by example. Be out there, show your staff that you have their backs and coach them when they need some help. I believe the following ingredients are crucial elements of the recipe for a solid team:

  • Humility – Treat your team as equals and allow them to approach you as such. It may be cheesy, but there really isn’t an I in ‘team’.
  • Organisation – Share responsibilities and give your staff the freedom to do what needs to be done, so they can work with you, not for you. Allow them to go the extra mile!
  • Initiative – Involve your team, ask for their input and encourage them to take initiative. This way, the restaurant will also be ‘theirs’, and they will be invested in making it a success.
  • Discipline – Lead by example. Be on time and work hard, and your team will follow. Ask for the standards you set out, but by doing, not telling.

In the end, it’s all about being there for your staff: helping them, coaching them and defending them. When they know that you’re there for them, this creates a bond. And never forget to tell them that you’re the best team! Because if you believe that, you are!

Take staff turnover in your stride and keep the good vibes going

When people do leave, it’s usually not because they are unhappy. They are simply choosing to explore a different kind of life. So, even though we still have a steady staff turnover, many of our former staff have returned, and we’ve got a good vibe going. This means our team is our strength, and people are happy here, giving customers that extra smile. In turn, our happy customers get to enjoy that same vibe and have a better experience. And that’s what they come back for!

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