The profitability and growth of restaurant companies are directly linked to the success of their employees. And by success, it’s not their ability to perform flawlessly during any shift in the kitchen or upsell like a pro. Employee success means consistent growth and improvement over a sustained amount of time.
This is no easy feat in the restaurant industry, where turnover is 5.4%, double that of the national average and other industries. However employee turnover comes at a high price. According to Black Box Intelligence, the average cost in 2021 was $1,869 per hourly employee. For manager-level staff, that number can climb far higher.
Getting it Right
Sustaining restaurant growth and profitability means fostering employee growth, and doing so requires not only training programs and upward mobility but hiring the right people for every single position. That process starts with job listings, which seem simple, but should be deeply strategic.
To write growth-focused job postings, restaurant leaders must not only explain the role and responsibilities of each position but should also include company culture, core values, competitive compensation and benefits, opportunities for education and advancement for high achievers, and that each position can be the beginning of a career path.
Culture & Core Values
Both of these are important to include, if only briefly, in growth-focused job descriptions. Your core values should sit at the heart of your business and, if conceptualized and written correctly, should guide everything you as a leader and everyone in your company does. To develop your core values, think about your personal and professional values, how they apply to your business, and how they translate. Think about what is important not only as a founder, owner, operator, or director but what matters most to your guests and staff.
Your culture should grow from these values, and it must be alive and well before you can promote it. For growth-focused job postings, discuss how your culture encourages growth and mentorship. Many cooks seek training and development because working in kitchens with strong mentorship can be a kind of culinary school. When your employees have opportunities for growth through new skills, they are more likely to stick around, improve, grow, and drive your growth.
Offer Competitive Compensation & Benefits
The combination of new minimum wage laws and the now narrowing labor shortage spurred by the pandemic led to a long-term shift in restaurant work compensation. Wages and benefits nationwide are up, with many companies offering pay far beyond competitors to attract staff.
Growth-minded staff are more likely to stick around for the long term (because of your culture and growth opportunities) are also looking for compensation to match. All your job postings should specifically list salary and wage information and any benefits or bonuses available. If you offer wages and benefits that stand out in the industry, make sure to make this information as straightforward as possible.
Emphasize Growth Potential
While potential employees care about details like pay and company culture, many also care deeply about growth opportunities.
Informing potential staff that your business offers opportunities to advance in the restaurant industry can help change the perception of restaurant work and help you attract best-in-class applicants. By investing in your employees as long-term team members rather than just hourly staff, you can build and grow with a loyal, dedicated workforce.
Inform applicants of potential opportunities and training that will set them up for success in future restaurant management roles. Emphasize in your job listing that your organization offers the chance for employees to become proficient in different operational areas while connecting training tasks with the restaurant’s success.
Make sure to communicate that cross-training isn’t just another job responsibility that you are attaching to their roles but a long-term investment in their knowledge, expertise, and capabilities.
Announcing this from the get-go helps you build a pipeline of future managers. By investing in your employees’ expertise, you are signaling that you are invested in their long-term success, which will benefit your company and guests. Finally, cross-training can help alleviate management’s workload, allowing them to focus on what’s important, have a better work-life balance, and ultimately be more productive.
With restaurant staff needs continuing to outpace supply, leaders must strike a careful balance between filling open positions to ensure continued operations and hiring the right people. By creating growth-focused job listings that communicate the basics and the company’s larger culture and growth opportunities, restaurant owners, operators, and managers can ensure day-to-day success while attracting ambitious individuals who want to build their skills into a true careers and grow alongside your business.