Employee turnover rates in the restaurant industry are very high in comparison to other sectors.
Even without the worries brought about by the current Covid-19 pandemic, staffing in the restaurant industry has always been a cause of concern for business owners and managers. Staffing issues are often rooted in sensitive matters such as low wages and long tiring hours for the employees.
While higher wages and better working hours and conditions provide the most ideal long term solutions, hospitality kitchens can still face staffing problems. These could be problems such as unplanned leaves, or a need to balance the number of the workforce for planned vacationed leaves.
One quick way to address staffing issues can be done by hiring short term or temporary Chef or Kitchen Staff. Getting the services of a reputable chef agency such as Anytime Chefs can help solve your staff vacancies quickly when you need a staff the most.
Anytime Chefs has been helping multiple restaurants, resorts and venues in Perth and across Western Australia with staffing to rapidly fill in when the work volume is high. Anytime Chefs specialises in relief chefs, which means that we can support you throughout the entire hiring or recruitment process, instead of having to involve multiple companies involved to support or build your venue.
In addition to hiring relief chefs and kitchen staff, you need to have a different backup plan, and this is where cross-training comes in.
Cross-training is the action or practice of training or being trained in more than one role or skill. In a hospitality kitchen setting, selected employees are trained to multitask to fulfil more than one position.
You need to build a team that can step-in in a variety of roles when needed. Your business operation can run without the worry of being understaffed.
Here are some cross-training tips to help you run a smooth kitchen operation despite staffing problems.
1. One ready person for each role.
Assess your current staffing assignments and make sure each employee has at least one person who can step into their role.
If possible, do away with the back/front of the house specific roles. Because when you have a cross-trained staff, it is easier to do some reshuffling off the floor chart. Of course, the difficulty of work should be considered.
In case of a no show employee, you will not be left in a panic because you have anticipated such situations and have prepared for it accordingly. In this industry, anticipation goes a very long way! You want to avoid service interruptions that can potentially affect your operation and reputation.
2. Select the right people.
Choose the right people to do cross-training. Look for the natural leaders as well as team players. Look for the ones who are well respected by other employees and with a thorough knowledge of the processes at your restaurant. Look for the ones who exhibit patience and professionalism.
You may not have that one perfect employee who embodies all of the required traits, but that’s what training is for.
RELATED READ: 3 Strategies to Help You Retain Newly Hired People
3. Do dry runs.
You need to evaluate how well your trainee is performing his new role. You need to determine the impact his performance is bringing to the overall workflow in the kitchen.
If possible, ease them into their additional roles gently. Let the trainee get the feel of the job without the risk of encountering actual guest or diner complaints as a result of their performance. It is crucial that their skill level is assessed well to ensure that they can take on the job.
During training, you will discover a trainee’s best and worst traits. Consider them when you do evaluation and performance appraisal so you can personalise your training to assist them further.
4. Motivate for success.
Motivate your trainee to help them address their doubts and boost their confidence.
Sometimes, people who can mentally handle all information and execute procedures can still succumb to poor performance anxiety. An excellent and motivating talk can help.
Other times, you may need to motivate them as an extra boost of morale when the workload is high. And when you establish this from the get-go, all the better!
To function as a team, your employees need to feel connected as a team. Encourage a work culture where each of their excellent work efforts can contribute to success. Teamwork can lead to a better employee working relationship since everyone can empathise with each other when they know the kind of work required for each role.
Teamwork can result in healthy relationships, efficient work and growth in profits.
5. Have an open-door policy.
Your employees need to know that their feedback is welcomed and even encouraged.
Make them feel that they are listened to when they provide feedback whether they be of the actual training process, the responsibilities of the new role, the challenges they are encountering or even suggestions!
Cross-training allows you to have a kitchen that is flexible, efficient and well prepared for unexpected absences. And when you are ready for any eventuality, you are more likely able to provide fantastic and quality service to your guests.
That’s it for this week.
As always, Professional Chefs on Call at Anytime!
Ciao for now,