The National Restaurant Association has introduced a program aimed at keeping employees in the industry by clearly defining the steps a crew member can ascend into supervisory and managerial positions.
The idea is to provide a ladder into positions of higher responsibility and compensation and thereby provide a defined career route.
Called ServSuccess, the initiative provides the educational means to elevate employees from one tier of abilities to another. The participants also benefit from their practical experience.
"Restaurant employees will be able to use their years of experience to jumpstart their professional advancement by validating their skills and knowledge,” Dawn Sweeney, CEO of the National Restaurant Association, said in introducing the program at the Association’s annual convention in Chicago. “For restaurant operators, it provides the training and workforce solutions to grow business and service to their communities."
Many restaurant employers have recognized the need to standardize the rungs an employee with ambition can climb. They’ve embraced the concept as an antidote to the widely held impression that restaurant positions can be a dead-end job.
ServSuccess provides an off-the-shelf way of setting that ladder of upward mobility.
The instructional modules and interactive study guides were crafted to fit the time constraints of current restaurant employees, the Association says.
The industry is scrambling to find more effective means of recruiting and retaining employees as it continues to grow. Over the next decade, according to the Association, about 1.6 million more positions will be created within the industry.
Research suggests that many employees have few opportunities for advancement in their current jobs. About 51% are actively looking for another position, according to research firm TDn2K.
The personnel specialist has estimated that restaurant employers spend an average of almost $2,000 to replace an hourly employee and nearly $15,000 to recruit new managers.