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Personnel Management in F&B Industry

Difficulties in personnel management in F&B fields

High quits rates

It is challenging to manage staff when the employees, especially service staff, constantly quit their jobs. The reasons may vary. First, a host of positions, such as waiters or waitresses, are relatively temporary. Those applying for this job may be students earning extra pocket money or unemployed workers seeking a part-time job while finding a full-time one. As these staff have fulfilled their goals, they would move on and quit their current positions. Other reasons for high quits rates are low salary, staff cutback, business shutdowns, among others.

Staff resignation costs more expenses than you can imagine. According to Waspbarcode, when an employee leaves the job, the company loses at least 20% of the company’s salary. The lost expenses include the loss of productivity as

the employee quits the cost of finding and training a new replacement and the reduced productivity until the new employee can catch up with the work, among other expenses. 

Inconsistencies when scaling up or extending

That a business is successful on a small scale doesn’t guarantee the same success when scaling up. Managers need to make sure that the quality of the food or beverage they offer among different branches is the same, the staff act in accordance with the same rules and values, among others so that there will be consistency over the whole management system.

Failure to do this will lead to either loss of revenue due to staff disloyal or loss of loyal customers due to the inconsistent quality. 

Limited budget for staff training

As part of training personnel, firms and businesses need to organize training sessions or workshops for their staff, which requires investment in hiring trainers, venues or materials.

A direct repercussion from high quit rates, as mentioned previously, is that as employees frequently leave their jobs, the companies will need to pay extra fees to educate new employees. This happens to every F&B business, from small eateries or drink bars to chain stores, etc.

Suggestions for personnel management in F&B

Hiring the right staff

Almost all companies, especially chain stores or corporations, need to establish a human resource structure, which helps determine the various positions necessary for operation. For example, in restaurants or eateries, the staff board should include: 1. Managerial staff; 2. Kitchen staff; 3. Floor staff; 4. Bartenders; 5. Delivery staff.

As for recruitment, owners should determine the staff requirement they need, as shown in the Job Description (JD). A good job description should outline specific information regarding duties, responsibilities/work commitment, remuneration and others.

As the JD is ready, it is the responsibility of the HR to source the suitable candidates.

Establishing a clear training curriculum

Training and educating staff is the key to ensuring consistency in the offered service. It is necessary that every staff in the company can understand the basic information about how the business operates and how to respond to customers in specific situations.


Part of the training process is to create a staff training manual, which specifies the companies’ rules, regulations, and values, among others, and ensures that every staff member reads it before doing their job. The manual serves as a great source of reference for companies when they want to seek information in the future.

Following this step, staff need to undergo a further training process which helps them understand the detailed instructions in the business and how to use the equipment in the store. 

Next, cross-training is key to productivity. The usual way of thinking is that everyone should be in charge of their jobs until they finish. However, this may be problematic when you are short on staff. Imagine how complicated the situation may get if the bartender suddenly gets sick and no one can replace him. 

Most companies nowadays will educate their staff with basic knowledge about various roles. They will assign the employees to different positions at different hours. This makes versatile employees and creates flexibility when there’s a need to fill someone’s position if the person is not available.

Enhancing incentives

With the exact nature of the job, what keeps employees stay is incentives in the same industry. Incentives can manifest in but are not limited to three ways:

Frequent salary reviews

A lot of F&B firms hire staff with meager entrance salaries while keeping a promise to review the salary every six months. Yet, most companies fail to keep that promise, instigating a sense of discontentment among their staff.

By reviewing staff salary regularly, staff will feel that their work is valued, and they will be more spurred on to devote themselves to their job.

Career trajectories

One of the reasons people quit their jobs is that there is no path to the future. Some feel like if they keep doing this job, they will get nowhere and soon be replaced by younger ones.

This is why it is of paramount importance for managers to provide their staff with a clear career trajectory that helps them know where they are at and where they can be.

Staff happiness

As the employees gain a sense of salary satisfaction from their jobs, what makes staff want to stay is a healthy working environment where they feel empowered and motivated.

Staff’s emotional state is pivotal, especially in the F&B industry, where pressure can be immense and hospitality is required at the same time. After all, staffs are human beings. How can you expect your employees to make customers happy if they are not happy per se? Unhappy staff will result in low productivity, loss of customer satisfaction, and thus high attrition rate.

The bottom line

To sum up, personnel management can be a very complicated issue. Thus, F&B businesses should make sure that there is an effective staff hiring procedure, well-regulated training curriculum and programs, and lucrative incentives to manage the team more effectively.

Hufr has many hotels and F&B job openings available in Ho Chi Minh city, make sure to take a look and apply if you are interested.

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