The turnover rate in the hospitality industry is far higher than any other, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics putting it at 130.7% in 2020. Even before the pandemic, it hovered around 70-80% when HR experts consider 10-15% as the healthy annual turnover rate for most industries.

While retention rates are notoriously low in the industry, they don’t have to be low in your business. You can create a loyal team in your cafĂ©, bar, or restaurant by taking some of the following actions:

Offering Desirable Perks

Looking after your hospitality team with perks like health, dental, and restaurant workers’ compensation insurance might be all it takes to retain a loyal workforce. Such benefits are rarely offered to the average service worker, making your business stand out for all the right reasons.

While such insurance types can be an added cost for your business, they give your team the support and protection they need to provide exceptional customer service. This can help you build a loyal customer base that more than offsets those costs.

Providing Advancement Opportunities

Many people enter the hospitality industry because they don’t have the qualifications or skills for other jobs they would prefer to be doing. For many employees, service work can be a means to an end rather than their dream job. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a rewarding career opportunity.

Consider offering training and advancement opportunities for your employees to work their way up the ranks. There’s no reason why they can’t start their hospitality career as a server and end up more than qualified to work in management.

Paying a Living Wage

Service workers in the United States earn a mean annual wage of $29,010 annually. However, CNBC reported that Americans need an average post-tax income of $68,499 to live comfortably.

You might not be able to double your employees’ income, but a fairer pay structure might stop them from seeking employment opportunities elsewhere. Consider paying them a higher base salary to offset poor tips and ensure their financial comfort. You might also offer free meals to help them save money on their grocery bills.

Being Flexible

It shouldn’t be hard for hospitality workers to take time off when necessary. Illnesses, mental health days, and family emergencies are valid reasons to swap shifts or call in sick. If your workplace makes it challenging for employees to take time off, your best workers might start looking for jobs with more empathetic management teams.

Ask your workers about the most convenient hours for their needs, and do your best to create permanent work schedules for all employees to achieve certainty. The more flexible and helpful you are, the more your team will appreciate working for you.

Embracing Technology

Many hospitality workers can be burned out, especially when faced with short staffing and packed restaurants. While a busy restaurant is typically successful, you still need to take care of your staff so they can do their job to a high standard and enjoy it.

Explore technological solutions to save your team time and effort. Online booking systems, meal preparation machines that cut prep time, and inventory management software might all be options you explore to make your employees’ jobs a little easier.

Improving employee retention rates can be challenging, especially in the hospitality industry. However, your business can buck the trend and become a shining example to other companies by doing the above actions.