How do you keep restaurant staff post Christmas?

The Staff Canteen

The chef shortage is always a hot topic as it continues to be difficult to entice people into a career in the restaurant industry.

So when it comes to employing chefs over the Christmas period how difficult is it to then to keep them in the role in the new year?

Research from HR News suggests that a whopping 93% of recruitment agencies say there’s not enough trained chefs in the UK to meet demand. And with the festive season bringing in longer hours and generally being a lot more stressful than any other time of year there’s usually not enough time to train up staff for a job that requires a lot of skill as well as endless amounts of enthusiasm.

But Mary Ball, HR director and founder of PrivilegeHR, has shared her advice with HR news on how she believes hospitality recruiters can find and retain qualified staff long after the Christmas rush has died down.

We also took to our social media platforms to gather your thoughts to find out what you think can be done to retain staff well into the new year.

Is staff training key?

Mary stresses the importance of training staff to feel confident they’re qualified for the job.

Mary said: “It is absolutely essential that every member of staff receives adequate training and if this is offered as part of the advertised job package it will make the position more desirable from the offset, attracting employees who are keen to develop and progress.”

Mary continued by advising chefs to employ younger staff who may not have the skills but will have the drive to learn. But on Facebook Rob Taylor was keen to point out how he finds the younger generation of chefs coming into the industry shying away from hard work. Perhaps this is due to the bad reputation the industry has been given over the years for the long hours and hard work for not a lot of pay?

Job satisfaction

Another of Mary’s tips is staff satisfaction, offering bonuses and incentives as a way to reward hard work and make employees feel valued in an industry that can often be criticised for its lack of encouragement.

“Investing in your employees could save money in the long run as it means less time and money put into re-recruiting”, says Mary.

A reputable wage was also a general consensus on our Facebook page with most of you urging employers to avoid using agencies who will also get the wrong person for the job. How do you encourage staff to have a voice?

Encouraging staff to have a voice was also high on Mary’s list, who believes having staff input could help the growth of the business.

“Trust your staff to input their ideas and be vocal about their issues and this makes for an effective work place.”

Mary’s final point is for chefs and recruiters to teach their staff skills beyond what is required of them. This in turn will have a positive impact on the business and they may be able to help train other employees new to the business.

“If a chef can communicate effectively with a wider team of waiting staff and fellow chefs then this makes for an all-round more efficient workplace.”

By Michael Parker


Do you agree with Mary’s advice? Perhaps you can think of other ways to retain staff long after the Christmas holidays. Let us know your thoughts by commenting below or head over to our Facebook page or Twitter to keep the conversation going.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th December 2017

How do you keep restaurant staff post Christmas?