Recruitment & Retention: Your Staff and You

The hot topic in hospitality right now is the issue of staff – there simply aren’t enough to go around for the wide range of positions open. Changes to the labour market have strongly incentivised workers to view positions as inherently flexible and this combined with a limited workforce means smaller institutions such as schools are struggling to fill positions. When reviewing catering solutions, the immediate and ongoing issue you will inevitably face is staffing. When it comes to dealing with staffing, your primary issues are threefold: Recruitment, Retention, and Replacement.  


Recruitment is initially self explanatory – after all, your dining halls cannot operate without chefs and catering assistants to fill them. What may not be immediately apparent are the ongoing costs involved with the process of recruitment; namely, can you afford to continually delay beginning student catering operations until you have a full roster of experienced, qualified workers, or do you attempt to start out with insufficient staff and attempt to resolve the inevitable issues on the fly? School administrations must be prepared for the fact that positions in the current labour market could take weeks or even months to fill, and any major job search provider will impose ongoing costs for the duration of the hiring process.


Retention is slightly more difficult to quantify: the current labour market strongly encourages workers to treat positions as flexible, and there is great incentive to “job hop” in search of better pay, hours, and working conditions. It’s up to your school administration to provide a compelling enough offer to prevent this; many employers choose to do this through providing pay incentives for loyalty, as well as staff perks such as work related celebrations or lifestyle benefits – all of which will come at a cost (Ghani et al, 2022).


Replacement is arguably the most expensive of the three staffing issues your administration will encounter. Replacing a lost staff member is consistently more expensive than putting in the work to retain them (Houssein et al, 2020), and this only grows worse the longer you have a position vacant that requires overtime or agency fill staff to work around – or if more staff begin to resign. Much of the issue stems from the fact that individual school administrations rarely have the necessary resources to make a truly compelling value proposition for staff retention, often as a result of operating around strict budgets limited by a lack of buying power and difficulties arranging for any staff perks. Replacing your staff incurs the same costs as recruitment albeit without warning, and unexpected en masse resignations can be disastrous for unprepared school administrations. 

The Solution?

gather by Cater Care believes in staffing done differently. As we strive to be a partner rather than a caterer and a genuine fixture within the school community, we believe that our staff need to be a reliable and welcoming presence in the lives of your students. gather staff are put through a unique training programme that prides itself on being face-to-face, interactive, and genuinely educational rather than the box-ticking timewaster that these training sessions so often are. Rather than subjecting our staff to death by Powerpoint, our training puts the gather team through real-world situations to ensure that your students will receive the best experience, every time.

catering staff

Staffing can be a complicated issue at the best of times, and when you’re already trying to run a school, it’s never the best of times. If you’d like to pass off the logistics and have the headaches of attracting catering staff taken out of your hands, get in touch with David O’Brien to discuss the options for your school administration and community. 



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