hospitality staff retention


Hospitality staff retention is a real problem of this industry. It is mainly because of  late hours, physically challenging, working on weekend and holidays …and the list could go on.

Still people are your most precious asset and the key element to success.  It’s time to learn more about

This article aims to support you in your effort to keep your best people and increase overall performance, thus hospitality staff retention.

Motivation – the key to hospitality staff retention

You have heard this word a lot, but…what is in fact motivation, what makes people tick.

A recent study conducted by Monster on 16286 employees shows that motivation is determined by 5 factors: the job itself;working environment; working relationships; responsibilitiesand, of course, remuneration. This last one was considered the most significant by more than 58% of those interviewed.

If you like to read and reflect more on motivation, we recommend you the book Drive, by Daniel Pink.

The first we would like to say it that NO, a raise of salaries is not always the best option! Then where to start from? We suggest starting by listening! Yes, take those minutes of your time and listen to listen to each of your employees and try to find out why they do it. What makes them come to work every day…? This is way you are more likely to find out that perfect mix of the above factors for each individual.

Allow us to better explain the factors above.

  • The job refers to the load and the nature of the position, potential development, autonomy
  • The work environment refers to timetables, working conditions (light, uniform, noise, exposure to chemicals etc.)
  • The work relationshipsinclude recognition, respect, friendship.
  • Responsibilities refer to the degree of difficulty of tasks and the level of risk.

Now that you have a better idea about how motivation works, allow us to advise you on how to increase it.




If you expect dedication, then start with information! Inform your people what is going on, what you expect from them, which are your goals and objectives as a business, what is the current financial status, what is your vision regarding the future from business perspective.

Then, remember to also involve them. Ask them for instance what they think they could do better every day, what suggestions they have regarding improving daily tasks and motivate them to do so by offering presents for the best ideas.

For instance, a weekly meeting to reveal the results of the previous week and the objectives and targets for the next one is always good to have.


Keep them together

Monday morning coffee, yearly parties, birthday surprises are few ideas but you can of course come with your own. We advise that you come up with repetitive events and rituals that increase the feeling of belonging to the group and are excellent opportunities to better knowing your teams.


Allow people to use their brains and skills and you will thrive together! The monotony of doing the same things every single day is a clear motivation killer. Give to your staff new responsibilities and let them take initiatives and they will feel more involved in the business and the future of the restaurant.

Let your people to come with new ideas and create a weekly “Chef’s Special…” and prevent the boredom of daily repetitive tasks.



Criticise only privately, but congratulate publicly

It may sound pure common sense but it is one of the golden rules to follow if you want to keep your best people. Public recognition of somebody who has achieved something great in front of the whole team is showing appreciation and sometimes values more than financial rewards.

Concerning telling off and criticising, it is much better to call your employee to your office and tell him/her privately what he/she has done wrong, but also do not forget to give him/her the chance to explain themselves and offer them the opportunity to answer the magic question “How could you do this better?”.

Be part of the team not only on top of it

If you manage a big team or a small one, it important to be a member of it as well. What we mean by that is to let everyone know that they can really and truly count on you when they need support, help, direction or even when they have personal issues.

Any of your staff must feel safe to come to you and tell you when they made a mistake or something went wrong, otherwise things can and will escalate.

Business Lady
Business Lady


Thank you for reading!

If you are managing a café you may also want to read our blog post regarding cafe management.



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