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6 Tips to Keep Restaurant Employees vs Career Advancement

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

It's natural for an employee to aim for a higher post, and there's definitely nothing wrong with that. But for small restaurant owners like us, this becomes a big challenge to our business.

Career advancement is one of the biggest reasons why employees quit. If you own a local restaurant, you may not be able to offer the career advancement that Starbucks or Chick Fil A offers, right?

They have the opportunity to grow and become a manager, maybe become a district manager, or maybe move up, and go to the headquarters of the company. You and I may not be able to offer that.

Here's what happens:

👎They don't see a future in your restaurant

👎You have not created an image of the future opportunities available to them

Why they feel that there are no more opportunities is actually because they have stopped learning.

Why? Because you and I stopped teaching, so they feel like there's nothing else to know about, they feel like they know everything.

So what we need to do are as follows:

👍1. Teach them something new - conduct cross-training.

If you have your kitchen staff or manager, you may want them to cross-train to learn some front skills, and the front, learning kitchen.

Those are getting them out of their comfort zones and acquiring new knowledge.

👍2. Challenge them to learn new things - if they are bored and get complacent, challenge them to learn new things, and constantly up their game and beat their last best.

For instance, teach them about finances, marketing, taxes, budgeting, legal issues, contracts, etc.

Involve them with some of these things and you will be surprised because people actually love to learn these skills.

They will have way more respect for you because they actually know what is it that you are doing when you go to your office and why is it that you are stressed so often.

👍3. Inspire them - share stories of your own failure and some of the things that you've learned along the way.

You know that in the restaurant business, we commit several mistakes, share these to them so they can also learn from it.

👍4. Paint a picture of the future - I don't know what the future holds, of course, you don't. You just simply paint the vision you have.

You need to be creating this promise of where we are going, you must have a vision as to what's the future like are you going to have multiple locations?

Are you looking for a general manager who's going to take over the restaurant and you no longer need to be there because you want your freedom? People need to know what they are working towards.

👍5. Connect the dots how what they are learning today is building their character and resume - sometimes people are not able to see the connections between the task they are doing now and how it affects their future.

And I have this conversation with our people very often. So I know what they want to become in the future.

Like for instance, there's the one who wants to be a doctor who is tasked to wash the dishes for hours on a Friday night.

I connect the dots by saying "You are working with excellence and diligence and handling this hardship, this is preparing you for what you are going to do in the future."

It's building their character, they can give their best, they are getting stronger, physically and mentally, they can stay focused and can handle stress well.

👍6. Read a book together and require an action plan every week - we as restaurant owners and our managers get together for an hour a week.

We get a chapter of a book that we strategically have chosen to go over for them to be exposed to new topics and learn from it.

Most employees are on the search for career advancement, they want an upward progression in their professions, and we can't blame them.

So as restaurant owners, we must do everything we can to support them with their endeavors so they can perform well in whichever field they want to excel, especially in their duties in our restaurant.


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