Netizens share/exchange useful tips on talent retention in Malaysian FnB industry

A SIMPLE but pertinent query on a Facebook (FB) forum regarding staff retention in the FnB (food and beverage) industry has elicited plenty of responses.

It is an issue that seemingly affects eateries in all segments. Mamak restaurants are finding it extremely difficult to get the required number of migrant workers due to restrictions and have resorted to automated servers to alleviate the problem.

On the other end of the spectrum, posh Michelin-rated outlets are finding it difficult to recruit properly trained staff despite the large number of universities and colleges offering hospitality programmes.

With finding the right staff becoming such an issue, retention of talent is even more important. Hence, the query posted on Entrepreneurs and Start Ups in Malaysia FB forum by netizen Maizatul Kamal certainly generated a lot of interesting feedback.

Some did say that this issue was not confined to the FnB line, making the issue of talent retention even more pertinent given it affects almost all industries.

Some suggested implementing twice-monthly pay structure to allow staff faster access to cash that will help them better manage their finances.

One poster even suggested taking inspiration from Liverpool FC’s manager Juergen Klopp.

Some posters blamed FnB business owners for having unrealistic expectations for this trend.

Many posters simply suggested that it was down to economic factors and that FnB operators just need to cough up better wages.

Given the number of higher education institutions offering relevant programmes, one poster suggested tapping into fresh graduates to alleviate the problem.

One poster summarised the key reasons for this problem and offered some solutions.

The feedback was varied but all agreed that staff retention is a very real issue in this sector of the economy.

Perhaps the Human Resource Ministry can step in to devise a programme to help alleviate this issue given that the hospitality industry was hit especially hard by the pandemic. This would also provide employment opportunities to the B40 segment which is struggling with increased cost of living.

Of course, there will be the temptation for many to demand that regulations regarding foreign workers be loosened to allow them to fill this gap. But given the current climate of hostility towards migrant workers – especially undocumented labour – this is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

After the lockdowns, can this segment of the economy comprising many SMEs overcome this labour issue? – Jan 23, 2024

Main pic credit: Muhibbah F&B Sdn Bhd

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