How to Improve Foodservice Employee Retention Rates

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Maintaining a team of talented individuals in the foodservice industry is not a simple task. In 2016, the turnover rate in the hospitality sector topped 70%, causing foodservice operators to wonder “What can I do to motivate employees to stick around long-term?” When operators take time to research and implement better ways to manage their operations, they improve organizational culture, drive engagement, and boost overall morale, leading to higher employee retention rates. Consistently high turnover is considered the norm across the industry, but it doesn’t have to be.

Show Foodservice Staff Members They’re Appreciated

Being recognized for a job well-done makes anyone feel great. Whether that means meeting a catering sales goal, successfully managing a catering event from start to finish without a hiccup, or achieving a perfect attendance record, these are all classified as wins. Showing appreciation doesn’t always have to mean a monetary or tangible reward, either. Simply saying “Great job!” or “Thank you!” can go a long way, and reminds employees they matter, increasing the likelihood they’ll want to continue to perform well for you and your team.


Keep Staff Engaged with Challenges and Team-Building Activities

Boredom on the job leads to a feeling of indifference, causing people to scope out the job market for something that interests and excites them. Creating a weekly tradition with your team like providing lunch on Fridays or hosting a quarterly outing, and regularly finding new ways to challenge them curbs the monotony that is bound to creep in from time-to-time. These actions keep staff engaged and excited to come to work every day.


Eliminate Staff Burnout with a Healthy Work-Life Balance

As a foodservice manager or supervisor, ensure staff members use their full meal break periods and take their much-deserved days off. Enforcing these actions reduces physical and mental exhaustion from working long hours with physically-taxing job duties. Never make an employee feel guilty for requesting time off, no matter how busy your catering calendar may be.


Keep an Open Line of Communication Across All Levels of Staff

Maintaining transparency across all levels of your staff is important in creating a team-oriented culture. As mentioned in #1 above, communicating individual and company-wide wins is important so everyone can celebrate together and grow as a team. Always address upcoming events, promotions, and exciting news as well as any challenges your operation is facing. This keeps expectations clear across your organization and supports a positive workplace culture.


Keep Tools and Technology Up to Date

Nothing is more frustrating than putting in extra hours JUST to account for working with outdated technology that hinders productivity. Implementing new systems or updating current technology can seem like a burden, but it’s important to keep software systems and kitchen equipment up to date to keep employees satisfied and feeling accomplished. When “the pain of same is greater than the pain of change” it’s important to take time to research and implement new technologies as needed to reduce turnover and keep your operation up to date.


Potential Career Paths are Clear and Communicated Regularly

Knowing a job can be more than just another job motivates employees to work hard to continue growing with a company. Managers need to communicate potential career paths during the interview process and regularly remind staff of the benefits of growing their career in non-commercial foodservice at your operation.

– What can you offer?
– What do salaries look like in different areas?
– Do employee benefits get better the longer they’re employed?
– What do employees who have worked for you the longest love about working for your company and why are they still there?

If employees can’t see what differentiates your operation from the rest, they’re more likely to leave to work elsewhere.


Catering Management Software Improves Employee Retention 

While employee turnover is something non-commercial foodservice operators will always need to worry about, there’s a variety of actions that can be taken to promote employee retention. It’s important to keep a pulse on employee morale and make strides towards improving the way employees manage their day-to-day responsibilities to ensure they feel productive and satisfied in their roles.

CaterTrax’s catering management software, the TRAX Platform, saves employees an average of 15-20 hours per week by providing a comprehensive foodservice management solution that boosts accuracy and employee morale. Implementing their software helps operations improve productivity and is one solution to reduce foodservice employee turnover. Click the button below to book a demo and discover how the TRAX Platform improves satisfaction and drives employee retention.

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