Hospitality team spirit: the value of training programs, leadership, and mentorship (part 1)

There is a reason why companies like Google, Facebook, Hilton, and Salesforce have such high employee retention rates. Based on compensation, diversity, paid-time-off, and other perks, they rank among the highest in employee satisfaction in the United States of America. But you don’t have to be a Fortune 500 business in order to make your staff happy. The food service and hospitality industry has one of the highest turn-over rates, and sometimes it can seem impossible to maintain a strong team. True, our industry is laden with young dreamers, travel junkies, and individuals using their serving gig as a steppingstone for the next big thing. However, the best bars, nightclubs, and restaurants cultivate a strong bond and create friendships and good times that transcend the title of “just a job”. So how does a small business who can’t afford extravagant employee lounges and expensive incentives maintain high employee retention? We’ll start with some of the basics…


Like in any good team, leadership matters. When it’s poor, it can trickle down like melting ice, disrupting the whole and derailing the entire business. This starts with the ownership or management team. Hiring the right managers is crucial to running a successful business. Your management team should display the kind of work ethic you want to see from your staff. A strong leader is involved, provides support, and displays a passion for the industry. He or She is not one to sit above the team barking orders, but is one who sits with the team, developing them into a strong and united entity.

Create a Strong Training Program

It’s never fun when you get thrown into a new position, a ‘sink or swim’ situation, where you are left to fend for yourself without any support. Of course, it’s important to hire employees who are self-sufficient and proactive. However, setting your staff up for success not only relieves their anxieties, but it can also set up your expectations and help develop a strong and loyal employee. At RMD, we have a structured training schedule that begins at New Hire Orientation. Each step is laid out for each position and includes all the materials needed to support and educate the new employee. Every bar, restaurant, and nightclub manager is trained to be able to follow these schedules and provide strong leadership and a high-quality introduction to our company’s policies and procedures.  A good training program not only shows that you have your stuff together, but it also shows that you are invested in your team. Employee handbooks, quizzes, study guides, and training day schedules help to create a solid foundation for your staff to build upon. It also helps you identify possible weaknesses or challenges that might arise in the future and confront them before they become an issue.



Mentorship is also a huge part retaining good employees. Growing a company is easier when you invest in the employees you already have. Being able to see leadership qualities in someone on your team and cultivating those strengths could set you up with a strong restaurant, bar, or nightlife manager in the future. And the idea of growth within your hospitality company gives your employees a reason to stick around!


Make Your Employees Feel Valued

Whether you are the Busser or the Restaurant Manager, the Bartender or the CEO, everyone has a role to play, and every position is important. It feels good to feel valued for the hard work you do, and when you’re validated, you’re more likely to perform at a higher level. Value, of course, can come in the way of compensation. And most of the time, that is what is coveted most. Being fair about compensation is important…very important. But there are other ways to display value as well.

  • Listening to concerns and challenges your employees may have, and taking action when appropriate.
  • Rewarding hard work through bonuses, recognition, awards, etc.
  • Providing mentorship for those who want to grow with the company
  • Setting goals and rewarding achievement of those goals
  • Recognizing someone’s strengths and supporting areas of weakness


Find out more about RMD Group’s bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Find out how you can improve your existing venue, or to turn your bar, restaurant, or nightclub dream into a reality with RMD Consulting.


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