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How Hospitality Pros Attract & Keep Great Staff

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Finding the right staff for your hospitality venue plays an important role in ensuring the success of your business. After all, successful venues are those that welcome their patrons and give them a positive experience that encourages them to return.

And since your staff are the face of your business, they’re going to have a large impact on your customers’ experiences. So it’s crucial they’re as motivated and engaged in the venue’s success as you are.

When you’re just starting out, it can be hard to get the insider’s take on hiring and retaining hospitality staff. So Impos has enlisted the help of Ben Walsh, owner of Noosa’s award-winning bar Miss Moneypenny’s, and Ella Harris, co-owner of Cuckoo Callay Café and two other hospitality venues.

Cuckoo Callay staff members enjoy a break with the resident pets

Read on to learn about their insights and insider tips to ensuring you have the best staff for your business.

It’s better to retain good hospitality staff than start from scratch

Speak to any hospitality professional and they’ll agree that it’s incredibly difficult to find good staff. Ella, whose 3 venues hire about 70 staff members, says much of it comes down to whether your staff members are just passing through or are invested in hospitality as a career move.

“You definitely notice the people that do this full time, our managers and chefs, that commit their lives to hospitality, because they really do care and work hard,” she says.

“This is their career. They want to make something of it much more so than, say, a backpacker who’s here for two months and who wants to go out every Saturday.”

Meanwhile, Ben Walsh says it isn’t about focusing on sourcing good staff but instead about finding ways to retain your best employees as much as you can. But in an industry renowned for its high turnover rates, how do you encourage your good staff to stick around?

Make them want to work for you

Attracting and keeping staff comes down to the prestige of your venue. If you’ve cultivated a positive atmosphere and a great reputation, it’s a big win for hospitality staff. If successful, word will get around and you’ll soon find yourself inundated with applications from experienced, high-quality employees keen to jump on board.

“You have to stand out from the crowd,” Ben Walsh says. “You have to be a recognisable, attractive option that will look good on their resume.”

happy-hospitality-staff-pose-for-group-photoThe team at Miss Moneypenny’s bond while posing for a team photo

“And when it comes to getting key personnel to go into key roles, you’ve got to sell yourself on your brand, your offering, and attract them that way so they know that this is a feather in their cap.”

Make your team one big family

If staff members don’t feel like they belong to something, they’re more likely to move on. That’s the reasoning behind Ella’s motivation to create a big family among all the staff at her 3 venues.

“For example, the people from the restaurant eat their breakfast at the café most days, and people from the café eat at the restaurant all the time,” she says.

lunch-feast-at-cuckoo-callay-sydneyCuckoo Callay staff share food at the other cafe location.

“We have team bonding sessions all together. So, I think it’s just about trying to make people feel like they’re a part of something.”

Provide opportunities for career progression

It’s great to make your staff feel like one happy family but it’s even better to have a happy family with career opportunities and chances to develop.

This may be easier for some hospitality venues than others. Yet it’s important to identify those staff members with ambition – and to cultivate that ambition as much as possible.

For example, if you’ve found a server who consistently goes out of the way for their customer, consider promoting them to a service manager role. Is your bar manager wasted behind the bar? Bring them up to an assistant general manager position.

Ella says offering career progression is a good way to retain staff – and of course, having more than one venue provides greater opportunities for promotions.

christmas-parties-help-build-positive-company-cultureHosting Xmas parties like the Cuckoo Callay team (pictured) brings staff together.

At the end of the day, you’ll have to find your own unique way to make your business stand out as a fun, lively, and fulfilling place to work. But once you’ve attracted the right staff to your venue, it’s worth doing everything you can to nurture their time with your business.

Impos offers a range of services to help you manage your employees, from time attendance software to rostering features. Learn more about our POS systems or get more hot tips from the insiders on starting your own hospitality business today.