How Restaurants Can Prevent Employee Burnout and Reduce Turnover

How Restaurants Can Prevent Employee Burnout and Reduce Turnover

Workplace burnout is a serious problem in the hospitality industry, as many restaurants are on a bootstrapping budget. Often, it is the most dedicated and hardest working employees who succumb to burnout, leaving restaurants with difficult-to-fill voids. To better prevent employee burnout, an understanding is needed, backed by a well-thought-out plan of retention.

“Even if companies haven’t literally lost their employees, many have lost them psychologically.” – Jon Gordon

Scope of Workplace Burnout

The findings from a recent study of 3,000 employees in the US and Canada, sponsored by Staples Inc., sheds light on the magnitude of business burnout:

  • 91 percent of employees say they work more than forty hours per week.
  • 65 percent cite feeling pressure at home that is a carryover from their jobs.
  • Working more hours to stay afloat is a pressure that causes many Americans to mentally check out of their work lives.
  • Frustration and cynicism are often the two main hallmarks of occupational burnout.

Perhaps the most interesting fact presented was that 59 percent of workers state that being encouraged to take breaks by supervisors helped to decrease their feelings of burnout, whether they actually took a break or not.

The response to the act of showing concern is an indicator that the Golden Rule, or law of reciprocity, is still the most important guiding principle in life and business. Simply, treat others as we want to be treated.

With this in mind, the Staples study lists the three simple “perks” that employees value above all others as wellness programs, comfortable break-rooms with technology and fresh snacks and beverages.

The Purpose-Driven Workplace

For nearly a decade, studies have consistently indicated that employees want to work for companies with a purpose. Employers that can facilitate this (marginally tangible) request seem to have better retention rates. Differentiating on this point translates favorably in today’s lean business model.

“A lack of purpose goes deeper than simple business burnout.” – Dan Pontefract

Of course “purpose” means different things to different employees but Dan Pontefract, author of The Purpose Effect, provides the following guidelines.

Be appreciative. Restaurants that have successfully implemented programs focused on rewards and recognition of their employees have reported better productivity, stronger engagement, retention, and loyalty. Cracker Barrel, for example, has a strong rewards and recognition program and boasts improved turnover rates.

Be engaging. Sharing organizational goals and plans with every team member, no matter their role, creates a feeling of purpose. In and Out Burger is one chain praised by current and former employees for its positive work environment.

Be ethical. This is key to an organization’s integrity. It says to employees and customers that the company is taking responsibility. This fosters a sense of pride in the company for the employee.

Be fair. When a culture based on fairness permeates the entire organization, the results are improved “people practices” throughout. Make sure that your organization has a level playing field for all employees to succeed and advance. Restaurants like Five-Guys and TGI Fridays consistently top lists of the “best restaurants to work” because they promote heavily from within. These brands also offer benefits that help any employ with the desire, advance to higher levels in the company.

Be inclusive. Identify and recognize all that are affected by your company, including clients, employees, families, community, and beyond. Next, seek ways to serve all these entities as stakeholders and acknowledge each group as an integral part of your success.

Be flexible. When possible allow employees the opportunity to self-schedule. This has been shown to increase employee satisfaction which is the number one driver of productivity.

Employees are the single most valuable asset of your business. Understanding when and how to show that you value your employees is imperative in management and retention. This will reflect outwardly in terms of productivity and workplace satisfaction. In the lean business economy of today, there is no easy solution for employee burnout. With these strategies, however, companies can move toward increasing employee engagement and satisfaction as well as improving retention.

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Work Culture: Creating A Place To Love Not Leave

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A great work culture not only makes your business more fun and less stressful for you and your employees, it is critical to your competitive success. Find out why it’s good business to be a happy business in our latest post!

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5 Reasons the Hospitality Industry is a Viable Career Path for Millennials

5 Reasons the Hospitality Industry is a Viable Career Path for Millennials

It used to be that men and women in their twenties would work in the hospitality industry only as a temporary job, something to get them through college or to help them transition from part-time work to their “real job”. But things are changing. 

Many millennials are discovering that the hospitality industry is actually a great place to launch their careers. If you’re trying to figure out your career path, or are a manager working on a hiring plan, here are 5 reasons why the hospitality industry is a viable career option for millennials.

1. Social engagement

Contrary to the seemingly obsessive nature with all things technological, members of the millennial generation actually thrive when they are in social situations. The hospitality industry suits this desire for making personal connections and allows for networking opportunities that lead to possible new employment opportunities or social functions.

Many millennials do not want to be tied down to a computer all day long–they would rather spend their day having meaningful interactions. Which is exactly what you would encounter when working in hospitality.

2. We are motivated by our passions, not money

Millennials are unique in many ways, including the desire to have a fulfilling career instead of just working for a paycheck. Millennials are more likely than any other generation to turn down a higher paying job if it isn’t going to fulfill them on a personal level.

The hospitality industry isn’t exactly known for paying out maximum incomes, but it is known for providing a place where workers can grow and thrive. As an industry that provides a work/life balance, a livable wage and an opportunity to continue learning, this could be the right place for you!

The hospitality industry suits our desire for making personal connections and allows for networking opportunities that lead to possible new employment opportunities

3. We want to grow in our careers

Millennials don’t expect to work for one company for 45 years and then retire, like previous generations did. In fact 91% stated they plan on staying at their current employment less than three years. The key here is that they don’t necessarily want to switch companies. They want to grow in their careers, and in many industries, they just can’t do that at one company.

The hospitality industry, though, can be different. There are a wide range of professional opportunities within the hospitality industry that foster professional growth (i.e. Management, Marketing, HR, etc.)

4. We are engaged with what’s happening online

Millennials are very comfortable with technology and interact with it on a daily basis. This can be a huge gain for the hospitality industry, which is starting to catch up to other industries when it comes to being tech-savvy. Millennials can help the hospitality industry move forward technologically by being tuned into how people are using social media, reviews and apps to find restaurants and hotels.

Being tech-savvy can work to your advantage. Especially if you are seeking opportunities in marketing or social media management within the hospitality industry.

Forget everything you read about millennials being a “me” generation. When it comes down to it, we genuinely care about the world and they want to help people.

5. We want to help people

Forget everything you read about millennials being a “me” generation. When it comes down to it, we genuinely care about the world and have a need to help people. We want a rewarding career that allows us to give back to our community. Millennials are not clock-watchers — we don’t want to punch in at 8 and out at 5 just in the name of getting a paycheck.

Motivated millennial employees can take your restaurant, bar or hotel to the next level with their social understanding and tech skills, so don’t underestimate them. And if you’re a millennial employee, don’t underestimate the career opportunities that await you in the hospitality industry. This is a great industry that supports the quality of life that most of us want to have outside of work due to the non-traditional work schedule and the opportunities to make a livable wage. 

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Hotels: A Great Place to Start or Advance Your Career

Hotels: A Great Place to Start or Advance Your Career

If you’re interested in a career in the hospitality industry, a hotel is an excellent place to start. There is a very wide range of entry-level positions that can lead to mid/upper level professional positions. Let’s take a look at the general entry-level jobs available and the possible paths of advancement that each one offers.

Desk Clerk

A hotel desk clerk works a basic, fairly low-impact customer service position that isn’t difficult to get into. Some hotels may ask for prior related hospitality experience or a high school diploma. Very rarely do hotels require any higher education or formal training.

This is a very good position to advance into management as you’ll rapidly learn the hotel’s day-to-day operations. If you’re considering pursuing a career in accounting, another interesting branch is to work as a night auditor. This overnight job retains the functions of the front desk clerk, but with less incoming traffic during the shift, the rest of the time is spent preparing the daily revenue and room occupancy reports.

Hotels have a wide variety of departments…

Administrative Assistant

Hotels have a wide variety of departments in which they require administrative assistants; accounting, development, human resources, legal, marketing, etc. This is yet another area that enables you to quickly learn about day-to-day operations and has room for advancement to a variety of other departments.

Depending on the complexity of the job, the educational requirement for an administrative assistant may be anything from a high school diploma to a related bachelor’s degree. It is a job that can potentially be obtained without prior experience.

Accounting

Accounting work doesn’t differ much in a hotel from what is done pretty much everywhere else; hotel accountants will process financial data, prepare regular reports, manage payroll and conduct audits among other duties. Opportunities exist not just at individual hotels, but at the corporate offices of chains as well. Duties can expand to working with investments, strategic initiatives and business case recommendations.

Opportunities exist not just at individual hotels, but at the corporate offices of chains as well…

Areas to potentially move up include real estate, the supply chain and management of individual hotel locations or regions. These positions will usually require a degree, but there are plenty of entry-level opportunities for new graduates.

Marketing

Marketing is another area in which jobs are available both at the independent and corporate level. Opportunities are particularly rich for those who speak another language and have a deep understanding of cultures that a hotel brand is expanding into.

This position requires a degree, but a wide range of communications, psychology or social studies bachelor’s degrees are often sufficient to secure an entry-level position.

There are plenty of opportunities to advance in a hotel.

Food Service

Most of the world’s top chefs pass through a hotel or resort at one point or another in their careers. This is a great breeding ground for chefs looking to learn traditional cooking techniques.

There are plenty of opportunities to advance in a hotel kitchen and often all it takes is a little luck and timing. Craft your trade, learn from those around you, play your cards right and you may become the next executive chef.

A lot of people do not always look to hotels as having a plethora of professional opportunities. Hopefully, this blog has opened your eyes to some of the paths forward as you look to develop professionally. Regardless of what career path calls out to you, a series of hotel positions always looks great on a resume.

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Pro-Tips to Get Hired on Sirvo

Pro-Tips to Get Hired on Sirvo

Welcome to the inside track on how to best use Sirvo to get hired. Don’t worry, it’s not rocket science and it won’t take much effort at all. Just a few tricks of the trade that will increase your chances of finding that great job that you’ve been looking for!

Upload eye-catching photos

While there are several ways to distinguish your profile from others’, one of the most effective is to include unique profile and cover photos that showcase your personality. If you are a chef who is passionate about food, use a photo of a dish you created and want to show off. Perhaps you are an adventurous individual and enjoy rock climbing, diving or hiking, then add photos that highlight those interests.

Not everything on your profile has to be industry related; it should be a well-rounded representation of who you are.

Not everything you do on your profile has to be industry related; the employers on Sirvo are looking for those who will fit in well within their company’s culture. And, isn’t that what you’re looking for too? You want to find a job with a team you’ll jibe with and at a company that supports who you are. This is the whole point behind profiles and business pages; to help provide more insight into culture and personality so that you find a great job that you love!

Sure, experience in the industry is important, but it’s not everything. Employers want to hire unique individuals who will add an interesting dynamic to their teams.

Pro-tip: To further highlight your personality, complete the interests section on your profile. Having a common interest with the person who may hire you can be very beneficial.

Speaking of experience…

Yes, one can simply list their past experience within the industry and leave it at that. Or, you can choose to go into more depth about your previous positions and explain exactly how you contributed and what you learned in the process. The latter will definitely do more for you in the long run because it shows employers that you not only take pride in your work but you’re also passionate about what you do.

Don’t limit yourself by only including a few past jobs.

Also, don’t limit yourself by only including a few past jobs. Restaurant and hotel managers aren’t just looking to fill the positions they have listed, they are often looking for candidates that may one day ascend to mid to upper-level management positions, HR positions and marketing positions.

Use the experience section to highlight why you are best the candidate for the position for which you are applying and also for the position that could quite easily jump-start your career.

Pro-tip: Including your job title in the profile header as well as completing the skills and certifications sections can help you get recruited by employers via candidate search.

Utilize our search features

New jobs are posted daily, which means that more tenured posts move further down the list, but you can easily hone in on the type of position you’re looking for by using a keyword. Whether that’s a specific job title, restaurant section (like FOH or BOH) or shift, your search results will appear in seconds!

Maybe you already have a decent job, which you’d only leave for a position at certain company or concept that you’ve been wanting to work for. Easy! Simply toggle the Search Companies tab, type in that company’s name and head to their business page to see all of their open listings.

If you’ve had your eye on a certain company and you’re just looking for a way to get your foot in the door, this the perfect tool to take advantage of.

Sirvo was designed so that both employers AND job seekers can throw out the big net.

Apply to more than one position

The more jobs you apply for, the higher the chances are that you’ll get hired. This is a competitive market right now and there are many qualified candidates these days who are applying for the same positions you are. It’s possible (and even probable) that someone got to the punch before you did. Or, maybe you weren’t the right fit. Whatever the reason, one application may not do the trick.

The great thing about Sirvo is that it was designed so that both employers AND job seekers can throw out the big net; your profile makes it fast and easy to apply for several positions at once and, if you’ve uploaded a resume, Sirvo saves it so you don’t have to keep attaching it to every application.

The point is that it doesn’t hurt to apply to as many positions as possible even if they aren’t exactly what you are looking for. The industry is suffering from a 70% turnover rate, which means there is always the opportunity for upward mobility. You never know when that Barback position may turn into the Bartending position you were originally gunning for.

Unlike other hiring platforms, anyone can start a conversation on Sirvo, including you!

Message employers directly

Unlike other hiring platforms, anyone can start a conversation on Sirvo, including you! Perhaps you have questions about the position or simply want to send a message expressing gratitude for consideration. No matter the subject, this is a great way to separate yourself from the pack.

When the opportunity arises, just click Send Message from the company’s page and reach out with any questions or comments. All business pages on Sirvo are managed by those responsible for interviewing and hiring, so your message will be read. Whether or not it stands out is on you.

Sirvo is a great resource for anyone looking for a job within the hospitality industry. We have all kinds of job listings, from entry level to management, with some of the most renowned companies in town. Thanks to the partnerships we’ve formed with the Colorado Restaurant Association (over 4,000 members) and EatDenver (Denver’s Independent Restaurant Network), we have the inside scoop on Denver’s best jobs!

Click on either link above to see open listings from partner members specifically or head to our job board to see all of our listings and start applying today.

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This is How to Upsell Menu Items Like a Pro

This is How to Upsell Menu Items Like a Pro

The more you can sell to any one customer or party, the more money you make off of the table. Seems like simple math, right? In order to properly convince your customers that they need to make more expensive choices, however, you need to avoid annoying them with constant attempts to upsell. Here are the basics so you can hit the ground running with your upselling game.

Make It Natural

The best servers don’t let customers know that they’re trying to increase their sales. Instead, they make an offer that sounds perfectly natural for each stage of the meal.

When you first comes to the table, for example, you might start off, not by asking if the customer would like to enjoy an appetizer or if you can take their drink order, but by suggesting a particular appetizer that is on special or has been receiving special attention.

The best servers don’t let customers know that they’re trying to increase their sales.

When the suggestions are part of the conversation, customers are less likely to realize that they’re being upsold, and more likely to take you up on the offer.

Make It Tempting

Every time you suggest that a customer purchase something that they weren’t already planning to buy, from an appetizer to dessert, you should make it tempting.

Suggesting that it’s your favorite dish or describing the dish in detail is a great way to tempt customers and convince them that they need to try it. Describing the perfect after-dinner coffee or suggesting a great drink to go with the meal is another excellent tactic for tempting customers to add on an extra purchase.

Be Specific

So, you know those customers who come in and order right away? Well, it’s likely that they’ve decided that they are going to skip the appetizer, dessert and maybe even drinks altogether, and just get an entree, period. These customers are tricky to upsell because they already have an idea in their minds.

Suggesting a specific item is a great way to add to the temptation.

However, suggesting a specific item is a great way to add to the temptation and maybe even get them to bite. By describing a dish or drink in detail, you help to create a picture in the customer’s head, which may entice them to get more than they originally intended. Plus, you’ll come off looking like a pro!

Show Enthusiasm

Customers are more likely to be intrigued by a special offering if there is an indication that it just cannot be missed. Showing a little extra enthusiasm can be exactly that – a sign that this is a must have. You’ll sell much more if you’re excited about what you’re selling rather than acting indifferent.

Don’t underestimate the power of a positive nature when it comes to convincing customers to try something new!

Read the Customer

Some customers are more likely to take a server’s suggestion than others.  A customer who is in a hurry or who is short with you and doesn’t want to engage in conversation is unlikely to be convinced by upselling techniques.

Continued pressure can result in lower sales or even a dissatisfied customer.

In this case, continued pressure can result in lower sales or even a dissatisfied customer who is unlikely to return to the restaurant. It’s important you learn how to read the restaurant’s customers so that you can determine when a tactic is effective and when you need to give up in order to preserve the customer experience.

Upselling is a tactic used by most salespeople. In a restaurant, it’s the job of the server to convince customers that they want to add a little extra onto their meal, from an appetizer or dessert to an after-dinner drink or two. By learning how to effectively upsell, you can increase your profit, as well as the restaurant’s, on a regular basis.

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Experience Sirvo for yourself

Sign up now to find hospitality jobs and hire top industry talent.