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The key to successfully recruiting and retaining top talent in your kitchen is putting your employees first. Here are #FairKitchens top recruitment and retention strategies you can implement in your kitchen today!

Doing this ensures employee loyalty, productivity, and long-term success for your staff and kitchen.

With the right approaches from #FairKitchens, you can ensure the success of your staff and kitchen by implementing these recruitment and retention strategies.

Putting Employee Wellbeing First

Promoting employee wellbeing is critical to retaining top talent. At its core, having wellbeing in the kitchen is about creating an environment where employees can reach their full potential with support rather than stress.


#1 Foster open and transparent communication

Create a safe kitchen space where employees feel comfortable expressing their concerns and needs. Encourage open dialogue about expressing their thoughts, concerns, and ideas to understand each employee’s needs better so you can better accommodate them.(2)

#2 Create a supportive work environment.

Create a supportive and positive workplace culture where teamwork, respect, and appreciation are valued by recognising and rewarding your staff’s hard work and accomplishments. This boosts employee morale and creates a more encouraging atmosphere to work in.(1)

#3 Offer flexible work schedules

Introducing flexible scheduling options can help relieve stress for your team and boost employee retention. This flexibility helps accommodate personal commitments and gives employees more control over their work-life balance, preventing burnout and increasing productivity.(6)

Provide mental health support

#4 Provide mental health support

Taking care of your team’s mental health will ensure they don’t risk burnout which leads to decreased productivity and overall drive. Provide resources and education on healthy eating, exercise, stress management techniques, and mental health support.(3)

Learn more about how you can support your team members struggling with mental health with SADAG’s tips.

Leaders must create a supportive environment for young employees

With the daily demands and challenges faced in the hospitality industry, leaders must create a supportive environment for young employees to not only help young talent grow; but attract new talent too.

Provide a safe space for collaboration and learning

#1 Provide a safe space for collaboration and learning

Foster a collaborative work environment that values teamwork and encourages young employees to share their ideas and perspectives. Provide opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration and project assignments that allow them to work with colleagues from different backgrounds and gain diverse experiences. (6)

#2 Emphasise open communication

Establish open and transparent communication channels encouraging young employees to express their thoughts, concerns, and ideas. Regularly check in with them to understand their needs and address any challenges they may face. Actively listen to their feedback and provide constructive guidance and support. (2)

#3 Invest in employee development through mentorship programmes

Offer training and development programmes specifically tailored to young employees’ needs. Provide them with opportunities to enhance their skills, learn new technologies, and stay updated with industry trends. Encourage participation in workshops, seminars, and conferences to foster continuous learning and professional growth.(4)

#4 Offer competitive salaries and benefits that recognise employee value

Implement a recognition and rewards programme to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions and achievements of young employees. Regularly recognise their efforts and provide constructive feedback to motivate and encourage their professional growth. Celebrate milestones and successes to foster a positive and supportive work culture.(6)

Engaged and loyal staff members are more likely to be committed

Investing in hiring and employee retention tactics is key to keeping staff engaged and fostering loyalty. Engaged and loyal staff members are more likely to be committed, productive, and dedicated to the organisation’s success.

#1 Fair Compensation and Benefits

Ensure that employees are fairly compensated for their work. Offer competitive salaries, benefits packages, and opportunities for performance-based incentives. Conduct regular market research to stay updated with industry standards and adjust as needed.(6)

#2 Training and Development Support

Offering training and development programmes to your employees is an effective way to help them advance their professional development and build sustainable leadership skills - that can help your business in the long term. By upskilling your staff, you can provide new opportunities to excel in the kitchen – fuelling their goals, focus, and ultimately, retention. (6)

#3 Employee Development Opportunities

Offer clear career development pathways and growth opportunities to young employees. Give them a chance to take on new responsibilities, lead projects, and participate in professional development programmes. Show a genuine interest in their career goals and support them in pursuing advancement within the organisation.(5)

Recognition and Rewards

#4 Recognition and Rewards

Implement a robust recognition and rewards programme that acknowledges and appreciates employees’ efforts and achievements. Regularly recognise their hard work, provide specific feedback, and offer rewards such as bonuses, incentives, or public acknowledgements. Celebrate milestones and successes as a team.(6)

In partnership with SADAG, the #FairKitchens 24/7 toll-free Helpline

In partnership with SADAG, the #FairKitchens 24/7 toll-free Helpline is available to you and your staff whenever needed. All calls are confidential, and you can remain completely anonymous.

Our Helpline offers free telephonic counselling with referrals to mental health professionals and resources nationwide. We can help you with any question or problem or even just lend an ear if you need to talk to someone.


  • All calls are confidential, and call-backs can be arranged to suit your availability.
  • Counsellors offer practical solutions on how to manage your mental health better.
  • We provide useful self-help tips and tools.
  • We offer crisis intervention where counsellors can provide emergency intervention and case management, which might entail ambulance services, hospitalisation, police, and checkin/ follow up calls.


Promoting work-life balance requires ongoing effort and commitment from kitchen management and staff. Investing in the well-being of your team can help you create a productive work environment that leads to long-term success and growth.


  1. How to Promote Work Life Balance in the Restaurant Industry. [Online]. Dec 2022. [Cited 2023 June 08]. Available from URL:
  2. Shoes For Crews Europe. HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR WORK-LIFE BALANCE IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY. [Online]. Sep 2018. [Cited 2023 June 08]. Available from URL:
  3. Martin C. Supporting Employee Mental Health, Wellness, And Work-Life Balance. [Online]. Sep 2021. [Cited 2023 June 08]. Available from URL:
  4. Charaba C. Why your organisation needs to invest in employee development. [Online]. May 2023. [Cited 2023 June 28]. Available from URL:
  5. Wilkinson I. Better Employee Retention: 8 Key Ways to Retain Top Talent. [Online]. June 2023. [Cited 2023 June 28]. Available from URL:
  6. Half R. 14 Effective Employee Retention Strategies. [Online]. April 2023. [Cited 2023 June 28]. Available from URL: