Tips on Hiring and Retaining Young Employees

Labor markets are still recovering from recent events. Businesses, such as restaurants, are struggling to retain their younger employees. Some are even struggling to get the younger generation, such as Gen-Z, to apply. In recent studies, Gen-Z is an entirely different generation from most employers (Millennials). Gen-Z often requires different approaches.

Gen-Z are those born from the years 1997-2012. According to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and the Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK), Gen-Z are more pragmatic and most often labeled as “social justice warriors.”1 They are looking for employers who genuinely care about their mental and physical health, employers who offer diversity and flexibility while also maintaining a positive culture.

So, the best way to retain your younger employees and keep them engaged will require you to understand them better. Take note of how they interact with customers and co-workers. Observe how they respond to pressure and how they utilize the software.

What Gen-Z Wants from a Restaurant Workplace

As previously mentioned, the best way to keep the younger employees engaged is to understand them better. Gen-Z are already sparking changes and inspiring innovations in many businesses, including restaurants. This is evidently why more iPad restaurant POS systems and AI-inspired technology are being utilized in many restaurants.

Gen-Z was born into the digital world, so they function best with technology, up-to-date software systems, and Wi-Fi. This generation likes things that are easily accessible, which is why businesses must have employment communication and online scheduling.

Moving on, Gen-Z are not scared to leave a job they feel doesn’t suit their needs. This generation has sparked debates amongst many, with some employers labeling the last few years as “the Great Resignation.” Gen-Z focuses more on sustainability, mental health, equality, and new ideas. If a company doesn’t fit within an employee’s ideals, they most likely will migrate or won’t apply.

Communication preferences

Digital communication channels are best to use when communicating with staff members, especially those in the younger generations, such as Millennials and Gen-Z. However, when communicating with employees, it is best to avoid personal messaging apps such as Facebook messenger, text message, or iMessage. Some would like to keep their work and personal life private and avoid sharing their personal numbers with other employees.

Therefore, managers should find a digital communication app or software to facilitate communication between managers and their employees. Some digital communication platforms allow managers to schedule recurring meetings, tip pooling, and scheduling.

How to Attract and Retain

Highlight benefits

Gen-Z are more financially motivated. Although, we can’t blame them. Necessities are getting more expensive, the housing and renting markets are at crazy numbers, and more are struggling to keep up with their finances with just one job. However, with most of them working more than one job, they burn out. Last year, 58% of Gen-Z reported burnout.2

Be upfront about their wages, vacation days, and scheduling flexibilities. As most Gen-Z are aging out of their parent’s insurance policies, it’s best to highlight those benefits if your business offers them.

Focus on diversity

The majority, if not all, of Gen-Z have fought for diversity, which includes race, gender, and LGBTQ+. They will want to resign if they feel they are not being represented or treated differently due to their differences from their peers. In most businesses, employees must build relationships and trust with their peers. This helps increase productivity and retention in the long run.

Offer mentorship and training

Employees can become frustrated with their job if they feel like they aren’t doing enough or may become “lost” in the workplace. This can cause them to become overwhelmed and quit. The best way to avoid this is to offer proper training initially. Later down the road, if managers feel their focus is shifting elsewhere or they aren’t performing as well as they were before.

FSR and QSR jobs may seem easy to people from the outside or experienced workers. Still, sometimes the job roles significantly affect employees’ mental and physical health over time. It is best to check on your employees and keep track of their performances. From there, managers can decide which training will benefit them, such as customer service training, bookkeeping, relearning the menu, and more. This will show employees that they are being looked after and cared for. This may incline them to stay and improve their skills rather than search elsewhere.

Allow for flexibility

Everyone has a goal that they would like to reach. Younger employees usually have more than one job. This could include saving up for college, paying off student loan debt, saving up for a new car, paying off their rent, and more. However, because they are constantly working, some don’t have time to themselves, or personal interferences get in the way of their work schedules. Managers should keep this in mind and allow for certain flexibility regarding time off, sick, and vacation days. Keep a policy in place to avoid conflict.

Contact Us

Goliath Consulting Group is a restaurant consultancy group based in Atlanta, Georgia. To learn more about digital training and the types of software that are offered, contact us to find out which is the right fit for your restaurant: or email us at

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Published by Linda Springer

Hi! My name is Linda Springer, and I am the Digital Marketing Manager at Goliath Consulting Group. During my free time, I enjoy reading fantasy novels to escape from my everyday life and traveling to countries with rich histories and cultures.

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