A Personnel Approach
Would your employees say your business is a good place to work?
Would they say they get a fair share of the revenue?
Would they say the workload is fair and manageable?
Would they say they have a good manager?
If the answer to any of these questions is not a clear yes, then you’ve got some work to do.
The bottom line is that people have options. Service industry work is hard, and can be incredibly frustrating at times. Our job as employers is not just to offer up the role and pay rate. We need to think about the employee experience from a holistic perspective. And we need to do everything we can to make the relationships with the people who make our businesses possible as equitable as possible. Because at the end of the day that translates to your customer experience, your bottom line, and makes work sustainable for everyone.
I’ve learned a lot about staffing in the specialty coffee industry over the past 10 years (mostly through making mistakes and suffering the consequences) and although the situation is always dynamic and specific to each business I would offer the following starting points to help you to improve your team member recruiting and retention strategy:
1. Know how you stack up in terms of compensation including tips, benefits and perks compared to your competition so you can have an informed conversation with potential new hires about what to expect.
2. Know your throughput expectations and maximums for each role in your business so you can balance a fair workload and know when it’s time to add new team members.
3. Ask your team members where their friction points are in service and focus on finding solutions that smooth out the wrinkles and let them focus on providing an excellent customer experience. Don’t be afraid to ask if they have recommendations for solutions (they are the experts after all).
4. Do everything you can to maximize compensation. Offer more money to fewer people (as long as it’s physically possible to accomplish the tasks of the roles). Keep in mind that fewer people working also means larger shares of tips.
If you have questions or want to talk more about staffing strategy drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEO, Irving Farm New York