Be a leader, not a boss! Nurture talent and develop individuals, but not too fast. A big problem in staff retention can be promoting too early, a great server will not necessarily make a great trainer, it's easy to make this mistake as you think you don't have time to go recruiting, you should always be on the lookout for new talent.
A comfortable, skilled server who loves their job could very easily become unhappy and demotivated in another role and rather than go back to being a server, they most probably will stick it out until they throw the towel in or you do!
You need to be a nice person (Gordon Ramsey is a very successful TV star) say thank you when they do a good job. Your staff need the right tools to do the job, if you don't care why should they? Always get rid of poor staff as the good ones will not tolerate 'carrying' them for long.
Tips; always contentious, I believe servers should always keep their own, the superstars will make great tips whilst the poor ones will not, superstars will stay, others will go (always a percentage to the kitchen, bussers and bar though)
I truly believe in the 3 straws theory - Imagine 3 straws lying side-by-side. One represents the employee, one the company for which they work and the third, the customer. For any business to operate properly, these 3 straws must be of equal length.
If the customer does not receive a quality product his straw shortens; if the company does not make enough money the company's straw becomes shorter. If all three straws are equal length then the customer received a great product in a great atmosphere, the company received a good return on its investment (i.e. professional and happy employees) and staff receive fair payment for their service by wages and tips.
Hospitality staff members are assets, not liabilities. If we think that our staff are lazy and entitled, we will tend to find we become surrounded by lazy and entitled staff. If you focus on the bad, you'll just get more of it. Focus on your team members’ strengths and you'll always find ways to help them flourish by playing to their strengths.