Top tips for restaurants to help attract and retain hospitality staff

The opening up of Britain has been a good thing. It was a long time coming and while it was absolutely necessary, it was also a tough time. Now things are slowly returning to normal, we can turn our mind towards business.

One part of lockdown that is presenting a significant problem right now is attracting staff. The hospitality industry has been particularly hard hit, as usual. There are thousands of vacant positions with too few people applying.

So how can restaurants and other food businesses cope?

Here are a few tips to help attract and retain hospitality staff. We hope it helps a little.

Demonstrate a positive culture

The hospitality industry is a tough one with long, unsociable hours. Yet it’s also one of the most fun to work in with the most scope for individual growth. If you can demonstrate a positive culture where staff work hard but are valued, this can help attract new hires.

Simple things like supportive management, after-hours drinks, group activities, fair pay and good conditions can all make a huge difference. A positive culture is one of the most influential ways to attract and to retain staff!

Involve staff in recruitment

Your staff could be an untapped resource in terms of hiring. They could all know people who might make good employees and they can also help you demonstrate that positive culture.

Give staff recruitment cards to hand to friends and family or for them to give to staff at other establishments who they think might be a good fit.

If you add some kind of incentive to staff for every referral, you could have an army of recruiters out there doing your work for you!

Get social

Most restaurants will have a social media presence but too many of them treat it as a one-way street. Get on social, get in the conversation, get your name recognised and then begin mentioning you need staff.

If people read good things about you online, they are much more likely to engage and perhaps want to work with you.

Defined career paths and training

Many people outside the industry view hospitality as a job you do until something else comes along. If we can paint it as a career, with defined career paths and continuous training, more people will view it as a longer term path rather than shorter term.

France values its hospitality staff highly. Waiting staff are prized employees and regard their job as a vocation and not something to do until a better opportunity comes along.

We need to build up our industry the same. Offer defined paths, offer structured training and even qualifications.

This will both attract and retain staff who think hospitality is for them.

Attracting staff is a significant problem right now and is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future. Both the pandemic and Brexit has taken away our usual sources of staff so we have to think differently.

We’ll be covering more on staffing next week as it’s such an important issue.

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