Tips for Attracting and Retaining Staff

Kitchen staff smiling while washing dishes

From a balanced schedule to granting days off, there are many ways you can keep your staff happy and new hires coming in. Though resources might make some of these difficult, even one can go along way.

Respect a Work-Life Balance

One of the biggest priority shifts among workers coming out of the pandemic has been putting life before work, or at least balancing the two out. Offering a schedule where staff can expect to not burn out while on the clock can make your open positions an obvious choice for job hunters.

Sterling Silver Signature Chef Michael Weisshaupt employs a similar stance at his restaurant, Fiddler’s Elbow, in New Jersey. “I schedule people two days off in a row and give them a weekend off here or there—or at least Saturday or Sunday. I can’t hire people who are going to always be unavailable on weekends, but I have not declined any requests for time off on those days.”

Avoid Long Hours

Most people don’t enjoy spending their entire day at work. Try to keep shifts to a reasonable seven or eight hour day and avoid those dreaded back-to-back closing and opening shifts.

Accommodate Availabilities

As it’s more difficult today to bring in new employees on a fixed schedule, being accommodating of odd availabilities can be a simple way to attract new faces.

“Some staff can only work five or six hours a day,” says Chef Michael. “We work with them. Five years ago, probably not. But now I say, ‘hey, if you can work a lunch shift from 10 am to 4 pm, that’s perfectly fine.’”

Plan Staff Outings

Does your staff have a great comradery? Consider hosting an event where they can gather outside of work. Plan it for either after work hours or, if you’re able to, close down for a day to dedicate time to your employees. A day focused on entertainment can earn respect from not only your staff but also customers who see that you are treating your employees well.

“We started doing a lot of employee events,” says Chef Michael. “We’ve hosted a pool party, holiday party, golf outings, trips to local stadiums. And we try to add a little extra to it too—you know, get some beers into the van, bring the grills so we can tailgate at the stadiums.”

Introduce Small Perks

Even a small sign of appreciation can go a long way. “If somebody did a great job, we’ll pass along a little gift card or something similar,” says Chef Michael. “That is something we have introduced over the last year that has helped us retain some of the new hires.”

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