Aug 2, 2023

Trying to Find New Ways to Recruit and Retain Your Bar & Restaurant Employees?

Bar & Restaurant news recently brought together industry experts to share best practices to help you get — and keep — the right team members for your hospitality business.

Consumer Healthcare Preferences - Rural Woman Telehealth with Doctor

This year, we’ve heard from CHROs and benefits leaders that they’re experiencing as much as 100% turnover of their workforce in a 12 month period. So we were pleased to see Bar & Restaurant News tackle the topic of how to find, get, and keep your restaurant and hospitality workers

We all know it’s one thing to bring workers on board, and it’s another to keep them. Mat Snapp, executive vice president of operations at Barter & Shake Cocktail Entertainment said that organizations need to treat employees really well if they want them to stay.

“I believe I’m paraphrasing the Marriott family when I say that if you treat your employees better than your guests, your employees will treat your guests like family,” said Snapp. “Without guests, you have no business. Without employees, you have no business.” He adds that it’s crucial to pay attention to those who need your attention and simply put, if you “treat your people great, and you’ll grow and retain them.”

It’s important to create a culture where employees feel valued and supported. By prioritizing employee satisfaction and creating a positive environment, employers begin building the kind of surroundings that help retain top talent.

Sean Sullivan, co-owner of two LGBTQ+ venues in Oakland, California, said “You can have the greatest benefits program in the world, but if staff don’t feel valued, they can leave. Make investments in your staff through training and support, but paramount above all, let them know you have their back.”

Employee Benefits Speak Volumes

Today there are more and more ways to show your employees you care. And remember that benefits speak volumes. The right benefits can not only help your employees with specific concerns like health, wellness and finances, they can also help manage the challenges of their day-to-day lives. For example, CirrusMD clients have found higher retention rates among their employees who use CirrusMD for virtual healthcare. (Check out this recent case study where a large retailer experienced a 45% reduction in employee turnover, comparing employees who used CirrusMD versus those who did not.)

Mat Snapp added how critical it is to deliver the right perks and benefits. “You must have them. Period.” He points out that the industry makes a mistake in hoping employees will feel “grateful” for an industry standard employment model, including minimum wage, tips, good hours, etc. “If you put yourself in their non-slip shoes for a minute and a half, you’d see it’s not an alluring proposal to offer the same as everyone else—you must do better. Be better.”

Laura Sorensen, chief people officer at First Watch, a leading daytime dining chain, said providing resources to help their employees navigate all aspects of their lives has been valuable. “Earlier this year, we began offering a text-based telemedicine platform that lets our teams connect to a real doctor in seconds—again, open to all First Watch employees with no out-of-pocket expenses, regardless of whether they have an insurance plan with us or not.”

Take Time for Recognition

At the end of the day, take a moment to celebrate the important contribution made by your workers. 

Joseph Costanzo, Jr., former owner of the Primadonna Restaurant in McKees Rocks, Pa., said his employees stayed with him because of the positive environment he created. “The most valuable way to retain employees is to make them part of your success, not just an accessory for your own greatness. Every Saturday night, I would do a role call saying, 'Bus people, are you ready? Chefs, are you ready? Servers, are you ready?' Going up and down the line. I would wait for everyone to say that they were ready. Then at the end of each night, we would celebrate the invigorating feeling of completing service together. No one person was more important than anyone else. Everyone needs to be valued and appreciated. You need to treat people like family because they are.”

CirrusMD is proud to deliver virtual care solutions to workers at a growing number of restaurants, food service and hospitality businesses. We share the commitment of so many organizations to create a better, more positive work environment for their employees, and are proud of delivering immediate access to affordable, high-quality virtual care.

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