Restaurant Server Tips and Tricks

Employee turnover rates in the hospitality industry traditionally run much higher than most other industries. While the numbers for 2016 aren’t in yet, the previous 5 years have seen the rate climbing steadily higher each year, with a rate of 72% in 2015.

As a restaurateur, you want to try and keep the turnover rate low at your restaurant, and also be prepared for it when turnover happens.

Cross-training your staff helps keep a disruption in staff from becoming a loss in money and in restaurant customer service.

When your restaurant is staffed with people who can navigate different tasks effectively, your whole operation with runs more smoothly. While it may seem like extra time and effort in the restaurant training process, consider these benefits that impact your bottom line.

Increased flexibility.

When each person has been cross-trained to do other tasks at your restaurant, the whole staff becomes more elastic. Instead of being idle during downtime, employees can look around and see what needs doing and who needs help, and jump in where needed. Ideally, this happens without needing to be instructed by a supervisor. Employees are also prepared to jump in if someone calls out sick or has an accident.Increased camaraderie.

Cross-training employees gives them an opportunity to make relationships with co-workers in all areas of your restaurant. These relationships help build a genuine sense of teamwork and also fosters understanding of each person’s daily tasks.

Increased advancement.

One of the top reasons for employee turnover is that employees think the only way to advance their career is by going to a new restaurant. By cross-training your employees, you are helping them advance their own career by learning new skills and gaining more personal investment in your restaurant. Suddenly, they see room to advance at your restaurant and can move up without moving on.

Waitress delivering restaurant customer service

Increased efficiency.

Continually having to train people on a task has the added benefit of making that task happen more efficiently. Train each person to do a task the exact same way so that whoever needs to do it can do it easily and efficiently.

Increased profits.

This may be a more indirect benefit to cross-training, but it’s still a welcome side effect. By running your restaurant more efficiently, you can do more with the staff you have, as opposed to hiring more people with limited skills. You’ll spend less time and money on training and more time interacting with diners and make more money!

Your restaurant can’t afford scathing online reviews that risk damaging your restaurant reputation because one person called out sick, had an emergency, or left your restaurant for another job.

When each person becomes more valuable, your whole restaurant will benefit.

Training your staff? Upserve’s Staff Management guide shows you how to hire, train and retain the best of them.

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Kristin lives on the West Side of Providence with her wine blogger husband. When she's not co-hosting their monthly wine tastings, she's planning her next travel adventure and daydreaming about Spanish jamón. She can often be found pouring over travel guides at her favorite neighborhood spot, Nick's on Broadway.