Staff retention

Currently there is a huge shortage of chefs on the job market and it’s not likely to get any better in the near future. Staff retention is a challenge in any industry and the retention of chefs is massively important for hospitality businesses and many people do not focus their energies on this area enough. The days of making chefs work long hours in hostile and uninspiring conditions have gone – I remember a famous chef once told me proudly that he had 140% turnover in chefs every year! This is not only bad for dish consistency and customer satisfaction, but also for morale and recruiting of staff. It is part of a head chef’s job to nurture, inspire and excite the chefs that work there. They need to be challenged, taught and made to feel valued. When you have chefs that make mistakes and are not performing you need to ask yourself: “What do I need to do to make this person perform better?” And the key element of the solution is training. If you do not have structured training plans to excite your team these days they will leave every 10-12 months to find somewhere more interesting. Have a look at your staff turnover and if it is more than 10% per annum you need to address it with the following points:
  • Interview selection techniques and forms
  • Proper job descriptions
  • Appraisal systems and dates for all the team
  • Training schedules/calendars
  • Proper rostering to avoid excessive hours
  • Time and motion techniques to reduce hours (ie make sure you are using chefs’ time logically – don’t waste it)
By implementing these simple things, you will soon become known as an employer who is professional and fair. And you’ll retain staff longer as a result. Keep a check back here regularly – we will be posting some useful articles and tools to help you with the above.

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