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Why Onboarding Your Restaurant Employees Is Important

So you’ve hired your latest batch of employees. Congratulations, but your job is far from done. Your new employees’ experience during their first few weeks will be vital in determining their long-term retention and job performance. Here are the top two reasons why you should develop a formal onboarding process for your new restaurant employees.

Improve Employee Retention

Employee turnover in the restaurant industry is among the highest across all industries. While almost every restaurant owner struggles with high turnover, few realize the impact of onboarding on employee retention. Consider these numbers:

  • Up to 20 percent of employee turnover happens during the first 45 days of employment.

  • Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 50 percent greater new hire retention.

Having a formal onboarding process is essential for employee retention. Don’t just give new employees a handbook and call it a day. Assign new hires a mentor from your existing staff to show them the ropes. Check in with new hires regularly and give them constructive feedback on their performance.

Early employee engagement plays a big role in long term retention. If you don’t think you can afford to invest in onboarding your new hires, consider the cost of replacing employees. You’ll find that any costs associated with onboarding will be marginal compared to the long-term cost savings it affords you.

Improve Customer Satisfaction

Properly onboarded and well-trained staff will provide your customers with a superior experience compared to poorly-trained staff. While your experienced staff may know the dos and don’ts of serving your customers, your new, inexperienced staff will inevitably make mistakes. Granted, your new staff will learn the rules given time. However, you can help new hires avoid making costly mistakes in the first place by providing proper training.

For example, some of your new employees might not know that your restaurant accepts Groupon deals. A customer walks in, asks a new employee about the Groupon deal and is told that your restaurant doesn’t accept the Groupon. In the worst case, the customer may leave. In the best case, your customer will be frustrated to learn that your restaurant does in fact accept the Groupon and that your employee simply didn’t know about it.

This scenario could have been avoided entirely if you had provided the necessary training to new employees. It also highlights the importance of providing ongoing training to your existing staff to make sure they are caught up with the latest updates to your restaurant.

The Bottom Line

Providing your customers with a superior experience gives you a notable competitive advantage and fosters customer loyalty. Making sure your staff give your customers the best experience possible starts with providing your staff proper training when they join and ongoing training along the way.

Many restaurants fail at onboarding their new employees because they treat onboarding as a box to check. However, you can improve your employee retention and customer satisfaction immensely if you treat onboarding as an ongoing process of employee engagement and training.

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