worst staff turnover rate we have ever had!

Wow… 30 days? Are you certain? If we fire someone we have to pay them within 24 hours.

Regarding offering training for manager, that can be a great tool to get a solid employee to step up their game. In our store the difference in pay between assistant manager and cook ranges from $2.50 to $5.00 per hour depending on bonuses and assistant managers get a season ski pass which is worth $1000, paid vacation and scheduling priority which assures them hours in the off-season. Even if we do not currently need another assistant manager we can discuss this and train them to be an opener which clearly sets them up to be the next assistant manager when there is an opening.

On the other hand an employee asking for a raise can also be a fine teaching moment. We recently had an cook ask for a raise and that gave the manager an opening to discuss what needed to change in his work for that to happen. Because we have a solid history, known to the crew, they know that if we say they will get a raise at a certain point it will happen.

All, in all my goal is that our employees do not need to ask for raises. We have a set of standards (besides showing up on-time etc! lol) that lays out when you get a raise: New cooks without kitchen experience $9 per hour for one or two pay periods depending, then $10 per hour or out. New cooks with experience get $10. In either case, when they know the menu and can “keep up” on the line they get $11. If they become capable of being the line captain and also running “cut” on big nights they get $12. That is the top wage for cook. If they become assistant manager they get $12 plus bonus. Bonus begins after training. When they can open and close and run a shift they get $1.50 to $5.00 per hour depending on how busy we are, cost controls, cash control, cleaning and smooth operations. Throughout the year, that bonus averages a little better than $2.00 per hour so maybe $14.25 is a good number for our assistant managers. When we are really rocking (next week!) they get $16-$18 per hour depending on numbers, costs etc

I regret each day that I lost the crew I opened with. This has been my first crack at running a pizza shop, but I have been managing kids from teens to mid 20s for years and these were some of the best I’ve worked with. It was a major source of tension between my parents (mostly offsite owners) and myself. The business was losing money for many reasons that first 10 months or so, and they swiped at the lowest hanging fruit: the 18-20 year old kids. The main argument was a common one: employees on their phones (texting or whatever, not calls) on the clock. It never bothered me because it was during downtime and not while customers were in the store. At the end of the night, the kitchen was always clean and fully stocked. The other complaint was that they didn’t go above and beyond to take enough initiative to seek out things that need done. My counter is that that is what you pay a manager for.

I don’t think they realize what a big deal it is that they all showed up on time to begin with. But they also all cared about the quality of the product they put out (because they realized it was a direct reflection of themselves), they were courteous and helpful to customers, and they never complained about working all weekend, every weekend, even though they weren’t working tipped jobs. To the point were I would schedule them off for a Friday or a Saturday night every 2 months or so and they would seem confused.

There was no secret formula. I paid well, but not amazing. We started with 2 holdovers from the place when we bought it that were actually excited for the change because they saw we were improving things. When we needed more staff, they recommended 2 friends of theirs. I interviewed them individually and laid out our plans and expectations. They liked working with their friends and responded to my management style. I don’t BS or power trip. I lay out my expectations. If a mistake is made that is an accident, it happens. I try to teach or find a way with them to make sure it isn’t repeated. I dont tolerate mistakes that happen just because of laziness or not caring, but I never ran into that with this group. I also don’t put out the vibe that I’m squeezing every dime out of everything (even if I am internally). I explain how and why we try to save money and if we are successful, I share a portion of that profit with them.

Eventually, they got tired of being harped on for mistakes they weren’t making and being told they weren’t trying hard enough. Essentially the job became less enjoyable for them and they all left and I didn’t blame them. I left for a month and half as well. They have all moved on to other jobs that they don’t like as well, but the pay is better and more hours. I can’t offer enough of either to entice them into returning now. Now my fiance and I are here every day, with one other staff member, who has been great, but only wants limited hours. Now I’m worried about finding someone who is willing to work 15 hours or so a week and still give me the quality we’re looking for. I’m worried about dropping back into the horror stories you all have. Stories I have plenty of experience with in the past.

I guess the point is, good ones are out there. And when you find them, you have to figure out what makes them tick to keep them.

On the west coast the back of the house is dominated by first or second generation Mexican/Central American employees. Why? They show up on time, don’t b*tch, put their head down and get the job done.

I wish I had access to that demographic up here, every major city that I have been to has a crew like that, they work hard, get things done, and are grateful for having a job in the first place.
You guys are helping me out a ton by me realizing that I am not alone being very dissatified with my current available labor pool.
I refer to our local labor pool as “Very shallow, and highly polluted”

It is the same here “down under”.
Our wages are higher than yours (no tipped wages here) and they go up every year about 5% (Govt cost of living increase).
Young people on the whole lack initiative, desire to work and are too focused on social networking. They mostly tend to having to be led by the nose rather than think for themselves. If something is not right in front of them then they say it is there even though it is easily found close by. They just simply don’t now how to look past their noses. The general consensus amongst employers here in whatever business is that today’s young people lack the whole concept of what is required to be an employee.
A lot of the blame here can be put down to parents who no longer “parent” their children but need to be their child’s friend. They do everything for the child rather than upsetting them by demanding they get off their collective ars3s. It as created a scenario where it is unusual to find new young staff who know how to wash dishes, hold a broom or mop, or even speak confidently. Many parents work longer at their jobs now than ever before and coupled with our high wages young people are not getting the basics of learning at home as before - washing up, cleaning, family communication, respect to others, discipline etc.
This is why there pool of available workers are at the lowest levels ever and this is why we are having so many problems getting, training and retaining staff.
I’ve joked for years that my ideal business would be a hole in the wall concept that has a row of vending machines - pizza, fries, coffee,packaged salads, cool drinks, confectionery, snacks. Just go in each day and top up the machines, empty the coins, bank it and then go play golf :slight_smile: No staff.
Dave

I have wondered if I could build up enough sales by doing online only ordering - no phones - maybe take walk in with a sign that explains that online orders get priority and then work inside by myself (or with VERY minimal staff - maybe 1 or 2 part time weekend help)…without the phones ringing and having to be interrupted by them, I think I could be pretty darn efficient. It probably wouldn’t be the highest volume operation, but there could be some decent take home without staff doing strange things. We are doing almost 30% online ordering right now with little to no promotion. My Dominos friends (franchisees) tell me they are close to 50% - additionally, I worked on their web ordering software team a few short years ago and I can confirm that they were headed in that direction then. I am not sure if the world is completely ready for that yet, but every year that passes it feels more and more possible. It is tempting when I think about how well you could control the food costs, the product quality, the business image, reduction in insurance costs, up-selling, pricing and of course MAJOR reduction in labor costs! I not quite ready to gamble on this yet, but the lack of a decent labor pool sure gets me thinking along those lines…

Big balls needed to do it but I like the idea.
NO STAFF !!! Found Utopia at last :slight_smile:
Dave

I kind of liked your idea better! At least there was golfing involved!

I am not quite ready to go all in on that yet - which is to say I don’t have the funds to find out if it would work or not, but maybe at a later date. In the meantime, focusing on building the online ordering and streamlining it is a real priority.

“Just go in each day and top up the machines, empty the coins, bank it and then go play golf :slight_smile: No staff.”

A friend of mine owns the car washes in town… That is is pretty much how it works except that now the self serve car washes take credit cards so he only has to go deal with all the coins every few days instead of every day as most people pay that way (and use more time) and the bill changer does not get jammed as often.

I feel green with envy :frowning:

Online ordering;

I wish it would be worth it here, I am betting that less than 30% of the permanent year-round residents in my area even have internet access at home.
I really envy you guys now.

I tease my wife that we are going to unplug the phones, take only online orders, and only accept credit cards for payment. She is old school and says it will never happen on her watch. We do about 30% online orders and 60% credit cards. It seems like every time I take a phone order they are browsing the menu online as they order.

We do about the same in cards (around 60 - 65%) but online still need to grow quite a bit (now about 10%).
The more online sales = less staff = less problems
Dave

Cards are sometimes 90% now but average about 70-75%. In fact, there have a been a few nights where the cash taken in was not enough to pay credit card tips to the drivers which is inconvenient. Online is over 20% in the off-season when it is all locals but when the tourists are here it drops to 10-12%. It seems to me more a regular customer thing for us.

You pay out CC tips in cash end of shift??
We do CC tips on checks, for the very reason you just stated. And that I want all cash taken nightly to hit the bank account so there are less discrepancies if a regulatory agency ever wants to pay a visit

Absolutely we pay them out in cash. The few times we have been short on the cash it is a matter of $20-$30 so not a hardship really. Just something to keep track of. I don’t see where discrepancies and regulatory agencies has anything to do with it and I do not need my employees money in my float. CC tips are already in our POS so it is no problem reporting them as they appear in the payroll report automatically. I think there is a greater chance of getting something wrong taking possession of the money and then paying it out later.

I just run a Tip Report for All orders at the end of the week, It shows me both the CC and cash tips under each employees name, this way things get reported properly and the proper taxes can be pulled from pay checks too.
My tipped employees get $4.50/Hour plus tips, if they do not average at least $8.00/Hour, we make up the difference on their checks. With paying out CC tips in cash, i’m afraid it would really screw up our payroll accounting.

When we check out the driver at the end of the night, the CC tips are entered into the CC system from the slips where the customer added them and they are therefor accounted for in the cash reconciliation with the driver just like the rest of the CC total. The driver also reports cash tips and those are entered. Both cash and CC tips are in the payroll report at that point so there is no issue at all with payroll accounting. The work related to that reporting is done when the driver checks out each night.