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Our Best Restaurant Retention Strategy

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

What is your best retention strategy for your restaurant?

Ours is simple, hosting weekly meetings with our team.

As a business owner, you must understand that the performance of your people at work, whether you like it or not, can be heavily influenced by what they are going through with their personal lives.

Here are five reasons why having weekly meetings are vital in managing your restaurant staff:

1. It is a simple way of gathering some intel.

It is critical to have weekly meetings with your people.

So you can check on them and figure out what's going on with their personal lives.

2. It helps you check the pulse and the health of the team.

If you are curious why they are not doing great or not focus at work, there are reasons for that.

And as a restaurant owner or manager, it's your job to find it out.

3. It allows you to cast the vision of your company.

Maybe you have some marketing initiatives coming down the line.

For instance, for the next month, what's the vision of the sales growth, is there a need to purchase new equipment?

Hosting meetings can provide you with the opportunity to communicate those things with your team.

4. It is an excellent opportunity for you to give feedback in a casual setting.

This way, you can review their performance by looking at some metrics and data for the past week. If there have been any issues, then you can quickly identify what causes the problem.

Consequently, you can provide possible solutions. If there's a need for training, then you can implement it.

If their performance has been surpassing despite the challenges you had the other week, it's the best time for you to give positive feedback. It will encourage the team to do better each week.

5. It is notably relevant for receiving feedback from your team.

You can do this by asking specific questions.

How can we, as the management, support the team or a team member better?

What kind of training do they need to perform well in their role?

Or maybe, something is happening in their lives. For example, their finals are coming up, and they need their hours to get reduced.

Through the weekly meetings, we can hear those things that concern our people and give resolutions early on before it's too late.

So when can you start conducting these weekly meetings?

Now is the best time. Next time you go to your restaurant, hopefully, today or tomorrow, grab a pen and paper.

After the rush, sit down with team members for like five minutes, and ask them some questions. It is time to listen solely.

You don't have to prepare for the meeting.

All you need to do is to ask specific questions and listen to their answers thoroughly.

So what questions should you ask? You may ask:

-What's going on in your life?

-What's stressing you out at work or home?

If they share with you about their family on a personal level, you can ask more questions like:

-How old are your kids?

-What's coming up?

These are the things that are maybe in the mind of your team members. And you need to know about it so you can better understand what's going on in their lives and how you can serve them.

Some of the tough questions you may ask are:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you working here?

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how well you get along with the team.

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how stressed do you feel at work?

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you with your pay?

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you with the number of hours that you get?

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how equipped do you feel at work?

Another great question to ask is, where do they see themselves in 3-6 months?

We need to ask this quite often so we can foresee whatever changes are going on in their lives.

If they are getting cold feet in working at your establishment for whatever reasons, we need to be asking those tough questions.

The key here is to listen carefully to what they say and ask follow-up questions.

For example, for the question, on a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you with your pay?

If they say 6, ask them to tell you more.

Some follow-up questions can be, "How much do you think you should be getting?" "What position do you want to work on so that will give you that pay?"

From there, you can identify what skill sets and training your employees need to have for you to give them a raise.

You need to know what your people want. So in return, hopefully, we'll get what we need.

Having weekly meetings with your managers and members individually, or with your team as a whole, can take a lot of your time.

However, this has been our most comprehensive strategy in increasing our retention rate.

It has tremendously enabled us to work together in finding solutions to the problems we have in our restaurant. The truth is, without a happy team, we've got nothing.


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