How to Develop and Grow Your Restaurant Employees

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How to Develop and Grow Your Restaurant Employees

A key component of becoming an employer of choice in the restaurant industry is developing your team members. When you provide opportunities for your employees to develop and grow their skills, you give them a path for growth in your restaurant, among other things. In this video, I explain how to develop and grow your restaurant employees.

Labor costs are rising every day. I remember trying to reassure independent restaurants who were terrified of the $15 minimum wage the moment it showed up in the SeaTac Airport in Seattle back in 2014.

They and many others thought the increase in the minimum wage would kill the restaurant industry. Then they watched year after year, from coast to coast, state after state, the adoption of a path to that number, or even higher. Then in 2021 and 2022, we experienced a labor shortage. And now, would I dare say, many restaurants wish they could go back to paying as low as $15 an hour. By the way, we're still here. The restaurant industry has proven itself to be an integral part of the economy.

So what is the solution to higher labor costs and staffing properly?

Number one, make the job easier. A part of why people are leaving our industry is we're overworking them. It may mean that you have to simplify your menu, remove some tables, take steps out of processes to make it simpler and easier for your employees. If you make their job easier, they're going to want to stay.

Number two, you need to develop your team members. You need to take the time to invest in them to make them better. With better training and more knowledge, you get:
• Better staff
• A better run organization
• A positive work environment
• More efficiencies
• Happier guests
• Higher sales

Here are just a few ideas of how you can develop and grow your restaurant employees.

Skill training, which includes things like getting the food handler card, alcohol safety training, English as a second language, product training, knife skills, service training, the list goes on and on. There are so many ways that you can broaden somebody's knowledge, whether it be greater knowledge of wine or beer, and other things they're serving at the table, so they can create a better guest experience.

I have two restaurant owner members – Ryan and Neely James in Ocean City, Maryland ¬– that I think the world of. When they bring on any new hire, they create a plan of development for that employee. The idea is to provide a path to management in the future if the person has the potential and interest. It’s a plan of what a person needs to learn to get to the next level in their job and it’s overseen by managers.

If you combine individualized development plans with a list of continuing education for each employee, you'll be on your way to lower labor costs and higher sales.

Be sure to visit my YouTube channel for more helpful restaurant management video tips.

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