The hospitality industry is known to have one of the highest employee turnover rates. Topping 70% in 2017, it’s an area across all sectors that every business owner should keep an eye on. Employees make career transitions for a long list of different reasons. As the owner of a catering business, it’s more important than ever to hold on to the staff that help make your business successful.
A large amount of employee turnover in the catering sector can be extremely expensive for employers. Make sure you are aware of all the common reasons you could be losing catering staff.
1. You Don’t Pay Them Enough
This one’s easy, and applies to all industries. If you don’t pay your people enough, they will look for other opportunities. Whether your staff is part-time or full-time, the head chef or the newest server, this is their livelihood they count on. Consider industry averages for each position and correlate them to your location. Catering servers in Los Angeles, California should not be paid the same wage as catering servers in Athens, Georgia. Additionally, see if you can gain any insight into your local competition. People will leave a position if they hear that so and so down the street is paying wages higher than your own.
2. Your Staff Feels Undervalued
There are many different factors that can cause an employee to feel undervalued. From the way that a manager talks to them to how much they are paid. You should be intentional with every conversation you have with your staff no matter their position. Show them that they are needed with employee recognition. Maybe you had a guest pull you aside at the last event and tell you that Susie the server was great and very attentive to making their meal more enjoyable.
3. Your Staff Has Poor Equipment
You don’t have to have the top of line equipment to keep your staff happy. However, you don’t want to have a stove that constantly breaks down or serving trays that are old and a constant pain for your servers. Your staff want the equipment that makes their job easier not harder. If you don’t have the budget to buy the top of the line equipment, then make sure you train them on the equipment that you do have.
4. Your Staff Doesn’t See Growth
Nobody wants to work for a company that isn’t thriving. They could feel their job is threatened and there is no room for them to be promoted. People want to feel successful at whatever they are doing. They are the backbone of your business. Are you booking enough catering gigs a week? Do you constantly have staff saying they want to work more? Take steps that allow your catering business to grow with its employees. If you need to boost your marketing efforts to gain more business than do it.
5. Your Staff Doesn’t Feel Challenged
If staff isn’t challenged then they get bored. People want the opportunity to learn new skills and progress whatever their position may be on the catering food chain. Challenging tasks are a learning experience for staff. For example, your dishwasher doesn’t want to be only dish washing at your catering company for the rest of their lives. They want to learn more skills so they can grow and get paid more. When you feel you can trust them at their current position, try giving them more responsibilities. Let them shadow positions that they may be interested in, or give them tasks outside of work so they can learn the skills necessary for the position above them.
6. Your Staff Doesn’t Like Who They Work With
When people can’t get along with people in their immediate surroundings, it makes for a hostile environment. One bad apple within your staff can ruin the whole bunch. When you are rushing around trying to serve everyone at an event in a decent amount of time, it makes the environment more enjoyable when you can do it around friends. Try doing team building activities prior to events like going to sports events or dinner outings to make people feel comfortable.
7. Your Environment Has Poor Communication
Employees need a safe haven to share how they are feeling without the fear of getting in trouble. Your catering business may have bad communication if you hear a lot of yes or no answers, less engagement from staff, and constant hostile behavior. Try having one on one meetings with your staff and make sure they feel comfortable. If you create a space that is welcoming then they will be more comfortable to share how they are feeling. Just in case, you can also have anonymous feedback boxes for staff that has not quite warmed up to sharing or the topic may be too personal.