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How to retain a dream bar team

High rates of staff turnover are common in hospitality and can be financially crippling for your business, costing you time, money, and valuable resources. Reducing staff turnover will increase the return on your investment in training and reduce your recruitment costs, while a happier team will deliver more for your guests and your business. This increases guest satisfaction and ultimately drives higher revenue. 


Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes 

The Nature of Hospitality Jobs

Hospitality has always been a more transient profession with higher staff turnover rates than other industries. This is not only due to the higher number of part-time staff operating in a more short-term capacity, but also because of the industry being fiercely competitive, more so now than ever before. As a result, attracting and retaining the best staff is critical to the success of your business.  

Retaining great staff is of immense value, not only for what they bring but because it is significantly easier and more cost-effective to retain great staff than it is to recruit and train new team members. 

As a first step, it’s important to listen to your team to know how they feel about their work and understand their needs in their role so you can provide benefits and opportunities that will encourage them to stay. This will help you keep your team with you for longer and will also help you attract the right staff in the first place.

Investing In Your Team

Investing in the benefits that your employees receive can go a long way towards retaining their services for longer. Often, employees will look at the full benefits package, not just the salary, and this will help them decide on whether to accept a job or not. To make your venue stand out from the crowd, some of the benefits you could offer include: 

  • Competitive salaries – these should be bench-marked against other local hospitality operators and other local non-hospitality employment options. If your pay isn’t competitive then staff will be easily tempted away.  
  • Achievable bonuses – this will keep your staff motivated to perform and reap the benefits of doing so.  
  • Good residual benefits package - in addition to your financial package, consider staff discounts, reimbursement of travel costs or other indirect rewards that might make you more attractive as an employer.  
  • Staff wellness and wellbeing – if your staff feel good and well looked after, they will be happier at work. By offering something simple like complimentary gym memberships or reimbursement for certain leisure activities, your team will stay fit and healthy. 
  • Flexible working options – this shows your team that you are respectful of their work-life balance. 
  • Regular team building activities – these sessions will help staff to connect and bond outside of their working environment and enjoy shared leisure activities.  

Training and Development

Employees should always feel confident and supported in their place of work, making regular training and development critical for staff retention. Regular group training should be mandatory, whether this is delivered internally by senior staff and management, or externally by brand sponsors. However, for those who need extra support, individual training may be required. This could be through basic job shadowing with senior staff or more advanced through specific programs or industry qualifications. 

Mentoring and coaching should also be considered. This is where more experienced staff members can be engaged to support the training and development needs of less experienced staff members. In these cases, both parties will benefit. Overall, investment in training will create value for your venue and your team alike.

Good Management Is Key

A strong support system for your staff can go a long way towards retaining them. Many studies have shown that bad management is the number one reason for people leaving their jobs. These supervisor and junior management positions are the daily point of contact for many staff and play a critical role in staff satisfaction and by extension, staff retention.  

To ensure you have a strong management network, it is vital to implement training and development for managers and shift supervisors. If you’re going to promote from within the existing team and offer career progression, you need to provide effective training and development so the individuals feel supported.  

It’s also important to have clear and transparent policies for managers and employees so they know exactly what is expected of them and set a standard for behavior and communication. In turn, these procedures can be referred to when codes of behavior and communication are breached. 

Top tip! Communicate with staff from a position of empathy and kindness. Where possible, implement an ‘open door policy’ where employees can talk freely to management and have confidential discussions in a timely manner, rather than having to wait.

Retaining Your Dream Team 

In a competitive marketplace, retaining your staff is the best way to improve your performance and reduce your ongoing recruitment costs. Investing in staff training and development can be one of the most significant costs for hospitality operators and will generate the best return if the staff you’re investing in stay with your business.

Always remember it’s easier to retain great staff than it is to recruit and by offering training and benefits, your team will stay for much longer. Additionally, many of the elements that will help you keep your staff with you for longer will also help you attract the right staff in the first place, aiding staff recruitment, as well as staff retention.

Key Takeaways

  • It is significantly easier and more cost-effective to retain great staff than it is to recruit and train new team members. 
  • Listen to your team to understand their needs in their role so you can provide benefits and opportunities that will encourage them to stay. 
  • Competitive salaries, achievable bonuses, residual benefits package, staff wellness and wellbeing services, flexible working options and regular team building activities are just some benefits that you could offer your team. 
  • Regular training and development is critical for staff retention. 
  • Ensure you have a strong management network as this plays a critical role in staff satisfaction and staff retention.  


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