growth problems

Growing up in the biz, I learned that anybody can be replaced instantly whenever there was a problem with employees. Now that I am running the place it is much busier and the simple fix-all of hustling alittle faster simply does not work b/c everybody is maxed out. I know I need to hire more employees but by the time they are actually useful they usually do not feel like working anymore (HS/college kids) and all the training is wasted and tiresome. I guess I will wait till cloning comes around. Any other ideas?

Thanks for letting me vent…did I say I hate employees?


First of all, the name changes confuse me. Wasn’t it Puff Daddy a few years ago?

Secondly, I know what you’re saying. I’ve seen (and I am currently experiencing) this problem first-hand. I’ve got an idea for you that you might find useful. You can try it at least and if it doesn’t work you’ll be no better off than you are now so you might as well give it a shot:

Your kids are losing interest and getting bored from the day in, day out monotony of the pizza shop. Most kids and young adults now-a-days are “quick reward” oriented. I don’t know if it’s from the video games where they complete a task and immediately move up to the next level or if they just lack the attention span we did when we were growing up in this business. Either way, you’ve got to adjust to this new crop of employees.

In order to gain their interest, make everything a contest where rewards are given (which you can usually barter with other businesses to get these rewards). Here are some ideas you can use…

  1. Create employee of the month criteria (including zero absents) .
  2. Fastest pizza maker
  3. Most deliveries per hour average
  4. Highest order taking ticket average
  5. Fastest box folder
  6. Record nights (keep employees in the loop and you’ll find they’ll start to help you get these nights).
  7. Evaluations once per month or every other month
  8. My favorite - raises based on tenure (25 cents for every 500 hours)

In today’s world you’ve got to make your place a fun environment where they want to come to work. If they come in everyday and bust their ass in a high stress environment, then go home… they won’t last. We DID last back in the day because we were raised with the philosophy, “work hard and you’ll make it to the top”. Unfortunately, that quality is very hard to find in today’s younger generation. You’ve got to shift gears and make your workplace an environment in which they want to have fun. You create that fun and give them attainable goals to hit and you might find a solution to your turnover problem. -J_r0kk

Good Advice.

I’ve had many talks with younger people about what motivates them. Its funny, but the last thing that does is money. What they want is a fun place to work in. When applicants come in I can always over hear them asking the employees if its a fun place to work. If it were me, the first thing I would ask is what does it pay.

I’ve told people countless times that if they just do A, B & C I will pay them 1, 2 or $3 an hour more. Things like show up on time, don’t forget your uniform, at least try to spell people’s names right when you enter them into the computer. That carrot does not seem to work with most kids. I don’t understand it myself. Instead of working five hours and fifty minutes at $8 an hour, why not show up on time and make $10 an hour for six hours???

Every business in town is hiring and they know it so they are not worried about losing their job especially when Mom & Dad are supporting them anyway.

I feel your pain, but Like J_rOkk said, you just have to find creative ways of motivating them besides just more money.

I wouldn’t touch #3 with a 10 foot pole. From what I remember hearing, Domino’s got killed in a lawsuit saying that the corporation pushed drivers to drive too fast (30 mins or free). I could be wrong, but that’s what I remember hearing as to how that guarantee got squashed. I think that highest avg deliveries per hour could open up similar liability.

the 30 min guarantee is also why insurance companies won’t cover drivers, instead of most deliveries I would do something like best out the door average.

It never fails this time of year we go through the same thing. About 2 months ago I told my manager to start hiring. He looked at me like I was nuts. I said trust me get some people hired.

The way we hire is two at a time. Two Cooks or two wait or two hosts or two drives. I have found it is the way to go. I consider it an investment. We burn labor like crazy for a bit but in the long run it is the same as hiring one at a time.

Several things happen when you train two at a time. The new employees don’t feel so awkward. The trainers get two for one. There is a sense of competition between the two to out do each other. You can evaluate the progression because you have two.

One usually doesn’t make it but if they both make it high five…we can always use another good employee.

The past two weeks my manager has understood. We always seem to lose employees around graduation, prom, etc.

There is nothing worse than getting yourself in the place when johnny needs to be fired but you can’t because he is all you got. Or you are afraid to tick off johnny cuz you need him this Friday. I would rather pay a little extra labor and have johnny’s replacement trained and ready to go.

Our employees tend to get strung out when we wait until the last minute to hire and they have to pick up the slack AND try and train.

i find that giving them no more then 3 days a week works best. And have alot of part timers. Alot easier to cover a shift when your bench is plentiful. Also, around this time of year, the high school kids will quit to be off for the summer. I get alot of college kids coming in right after college ends.

all of the above is true…and at one time or another we all go through it. luckily i have been blessed with really good people for a long time now and haven’t had to deal with it in a while but you know how it is … it could all change tomorrow.

one thing i used to never understand though…they say it isn’t about the money but would leave to go work at McD’s for 50 cents more an hour, then you try to explain they won’t be making any tips there so they will be actually making about 5 to 6 DOLLARS an hour LESS there, and they reply…“but i’m making 50 cents an hour more.” ???

bottom line is that a lot of kids just don’t really want to have to work at all, so when you find ones that do, ask if they have friends that need jobs… i offer them 50 bucks if their friends last 6 months. their friends are usually going to be good too, because…birds of a feather…

there are people out there…good luck!

Agreed - a good worker referring a friend is perhaps the best possible source of a hire.
I’ve found NO hard and fast rules, (except perhaps “follow your gut”) for hiring kids to work the counter - or for that matter, for hiring ANYONE (I used to hire 6 figure sales managers…).

But I have people begging to work here - as drivers, cooks, or cashiers. And my employees decline positions paying more.

I think at least one contributing factor is that I think of and treat my staff - even the ones leading a high school life - like I’d want to be treated - and with consideration that sometimes they have priorities that can conflict with their job at my pizza place. If it’s an exam or a boyfriend or a car problem or whatever - I don’t belittle their issue. They know I’ll go out of my way to change a schedule. They know I won’t freak out if they are late with a realistic excuse (not repeating lates - but tires, or families, can blow up).

I let them have fun as long as fun won’t offend a customer. Heck, I have fun with them. They know that it’s important to me that this be a fun place to work. They know that I notice and appreciate dedication and hard work - and that appreciation (THANKS!!! GREAT JOB!) is partly why they ARE dedicated and hard working.

My $0.02.

Creating and maintaining a positive, fun, rewarding, challenging work enviorment is the key to keep quality employees.

My 2% of $1.00.

the way I see it is a lot of owners play too much of the boss… always serious, treating the help like crap, bitching about stupid things that its not worth bitching about, freakin out and making situation more stressful, they don’t realize they making things worse and not knowing that he or she has the power to control the helps attitude… if u are positive and always in a good mood, keep urself calm in stressful situation, ur help is going to look up to you and take in some of what they see… if the opposite happens, the same the help is going to be stressed out and have no motivation to do good for u…

my saying is … is easy to find help but is very hard to find GOOD help…

Try looking into your training program. Changing the way the first 2 weeks at your shop work out for new employees will have a significant impact on their ‘usability’ and reliability.

does any one else tell the employees thank you for comimg in today or tonight—it really leaves them with good feelings even when they messed up they really remember that

Thanks for coming in today and posting that. :smiley: Great job !

I went from over-staffed to way short in a week. 2 are in the hospital, 1 got her first free apartment from welfare so she doesn’t have to work anymore, what happened to the other one again? Now I’m down to 2 people plus me and my husband for this weekend. This Sat & Sun are my cad’s. Get the KY :x

Anyway, last Friday was rough, so at the end of the night I bought my kids ice cream and told them how great they are. Went a long way!

Record nights is maybe my best tool I ever thought up. I thought my drivers were a little slow, so I started keeping track of most deliveries per night and let everyone know of records. Everyone in every shop I have ever owned can tell you all the delivery records. Everytime I implement this, I am able to cut delivery costs by at least 30%. It is amazing.

When a new record is set, (after the records have been set for several months) I give out a bonus. I pay this maybe once a year, but has them shooting for it everyday.