31 July

Reducing Restaurant Turnover

Synergy Restaurant Consultants | Restaurant Management
Restaurant turnover

Do you feel like you’re constantly on the look-out for new hires at your restaurant? You’re not alone. It’s been reported that the restaurant and accommodations industry had as 74.9 percent turnover rate in 2018. This is nothing new for the hospitality industry, particularly since many restaurants, for example, hire teenagers who usually see the jobs as something short-term. Further, seasonal hiring is very common in the industry as well, lending to such low job retention rates. According to the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, the average cost of employee turnover is $5,864 per person.

So let’s cut to the chase. We know it’s costly to constantly be replacing workers. So what are ways you can reduce employee turnover?

Low Pay: This is probably one of the top reasons restaurant workers leave–they simply aren’t making enough. This is particularly the case in states where tipped workers do not have to receive a standard minimum wage per the Fair Labor Standards Act. At this point, we can see how stress can mount for workers whose main pay actually comes from tips. So what can be done here? It’s worth taking a look at what other restaurants in your area are paying their workers to gauge how much you may need to raise your pay. Some businesses even forgo tipping altogether in lieu of higher base pay.

Poor Management: Have you noticed workers reluctant to follow restaurant protocol? Have you witnessed, or even been in, arguments with other staff? This is a clear sign of poor management. Are your physical work conditions sub-par? All of this can certainly lead to employee dissatisfaction. A great way to uncover problem areas is to conduct exit interviews or get into the habit of getting staff together for regular meetings where all feedback is welcome.

Uninspiring Workplace Culture: Do your staff members wake up looking forward to coming into work? You might find this to be a little laughable but a place with good workplace culture (and management) can mean all the difference, and can indeed be a place one feels excited being at. It starts from the top. As mentioned above, poor management needs to be fixed. But above that, examine what exactly is it that you sets your restaurant apart from the rest? Do you offer any employee perks? At Starbucks, employees are actually called “partners” and are entitled to full-tuition coverage to Arizona State University, medical benefits (for those working over 20 hours a week), 30 percent off food and coffee, and more.

Now that doesn’t mean that must to implement all these ideas–we know budgets vary widely. There are other economical ways you can incentivize employees. Recognition is key for any worker in any industry. Throw in the cherry on top to that kudos by awarding great employees fun prizes (movie tickets, amusement park passes, gift cards etc). Here are more great ideas on employee recognition via Toast.

For more information and tips on how to reduce employee turnover, check out these articles from Gallup and QSR Magazine .

Restaurant Management