[This is a sponsored post from Arryved.]

The labor shortage didn’t spare any food and beverage business. Everyone from hyperlocal mom and pop shops to nationwide chains has suffered from the repercussions of the (not-so) Great Resignation.

This How To Hire & Retain Great Staff webinar features three panelists from varying businesses—restaurant, brewery, and distillery—that are all facing the same problem: Staffing is tight. They got candid about the uphill battle to return to normalcy, and the lasting changes their businesses have made to keep staff happy and onboard for the long-term.

Even Heaven Hill Distillery, the largest family-owned distillery in the U.S. with brands like Deep Eddy Vodka, Elijah Craig Bourbon, Larceny Bourbon, and countless other beverage favorites, is still recovering from being short staffed the past three years.

Despite being in business for 87 years and heading into the third generation of family ownership, Heaven Hill has faced significant staffing issues at its two locations in Kentucky. But, just like the rest of this resilient industry, it knew the only way forward was up.

Navigating Troubled Waters Mid-Expansion

Like many hospitality businesses, COVID disrupted a huge project for Heaven Hill: Its facility in Bardstown, Kentucky, had just undergone a $20 million renovation.

“Immediately we hit the ground way understaffed and we’re still struggling staffing-wise,” says Jeff Crowe, the Director of Visitor Experiences for Heaven Hill. Having been on the team since 2013, Jeff can confidently say that staffing had never been a problem prior to the pandemic.

Luckily, after some planning and process changes, the company is “heading out of the tunnel and in the right direction” according to Jeff.

A Retention Recipe For Success

With its esteemed distilling reputation, Heaven Hill has an easier time recruiting interested applicants than it does retaining them. For that, the team created a three year plan for each individual staff member. If the person is sticking around long-term, Heaven Hill builds on that plan even more.

“Once we realize they’re definitely here to stay, we start a plan for success: We find what they’re good at and build off of it,” says Jeff. Here’s how Heaven Hill further invests in teams:

  • Training: Heaven Hill learns what a staff member is interested in and finds relevant education and shadowing opportunities to generate buy-in.
  • Incentives: In addition to offering complimentary meals, Heaven Hill changed their payscale, and now shares transparent numbers for what each staff member can expect years down the road.
  • Feedback: Heaven Hill directly asked staff what they didn’t like about work, and made the necessary changes. For instance, now closing time is 5pm instead of 6pm!

These efforts not only make staff better at their jobs, it keeps morale high. “It’s made a HUGE difference in overall sales, overall morale, personality, energy, engagement,” Jeff shares. “So it’s been money well spent for us.”

Learn How YOU Can Hire & Retain Great Staff In A FREE Webinar

Distillers aren’t the only ones to gain staffing wisdom from the How To Hire & Retain Great Staff webinar. In the on-demand recording, listeners can also get advice from:

Learn more best practices for how to attract great staff and keep them on your team by watching the discussion here: