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A Manager's Plan to Overcome Staffing Challenges in a Restaurant

by Gina Scott, studioD

Restaurants and retail stores are two businesses that experience a high turnover of workers. Managers must hire quality chefs and cooks along with personable hosts and wait staff. A successful restaurant depends on its guests experiencing quality service and tasty food. Strategies can be employed to overcome the staffing challenges at a restaurant.

Fair Pay

One way to address high turnover in a restaurant setting is to offer the employees a fair wage. Strive to offer all staff a competitive rate in the local market, and exceed it whenever it is possible or warranted. In addition, offer a decent benefits package to those who qualify. Look into where benefits for part-time employees can be offered as well.

Hire Wisely

After consistently hiring many employees to staff a restaurant, the manager may feel that he knows a solid candidate when he sees one. However, a potential employee can interview well and still not be up to par. Formulate key questions in reference to your primary challenges, such as employees not keeping their shift commitments. One question to ask would be how an applicant might manage a last-minute offer from friends to go to a sold-out concert when he had already committed to help a friend move. Dig a little into how an applicant logically perceives such dilemmas, and it will give an insight into how the employee would work too.


One way to overcome staffing challenges and retain employees is to make sure that all staff members are adequately trained. Every employee from head chef to bussing staff should be trained on his job functions and the proper way to promote the atmosphere of the establishment. Additionally, servers are essentially the salespeople of a restaurant. Beyond training, encourage their success with commission-based rewards and bonuses for reaching sales quotas.

Be a Good Boss

Finally, one of the best ways to avoid staffing issues is to be a boss who is fair and approachable. Good behavior and healthy work habits trickle from the top down. If employees feel disrespected or unappreciated, they won't be loyal to a restaurant for long. Make it fun to work for the restaurant, and foster a team atmosphere where everyone helps each other out. Predictably reward good behavior and show consequences for negative choices. For example, give a bonus or a free item as a thank-you to those employees who consistently take on shifts when others call in sick.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Gina Scott has been writing professionally since 2008. She has worked in real estate since 2004 and has expertise in pop culture and health-related topics. She has also self-published a book on how to overcome chronic health conditions. Scott holds a Master of Arts in higher-education administration from Ball State University.

Photo Credits

  • Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images