4 Tips for Overcoming Restaurant Employee Turn Over

Written by Rachael Skinner

March 21, 2018

“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a nearly 73% turnover rate for restaurants and hospitality industries in 2016.” (Source: National Restaurant Association)

While there is no way to get staff turn over to zero, there are ways to reduce costs in this area. The costs of hiring, including posting the position, hours spent reviewing applications, setting up and conducting interviews, lost time in training, and newbie errors, don’t typically have a line item on the P&L. Nonetheless, they are expenses, and may be higher than you think.

Consider these solutions to reduce high turnover:

Cross-train quality staff

Cross training allows staff to have a greater sense of ownership and control over their career advancement, while also allowing you to better leverage them when last minute needs change. Knowing they have the opportunity to learn and grow, is the Millennial’s primary focus in work, and with their growing presence in the workforce, they can’t be denied.

On-going, quality training helps retain employees but also increases productivity and job effectiveness, and cross-training is a great way to build in training “refreshers” for continued improvement.

Be clear in communication

Clear, honest communication will help in hiring, training, offering feedback and getting better performance because the employee knows and understands expectations. Give opportunities for employees to be heard too – communication, after all, is two sided. Some employees are scared to talk to management, so consider ways to encourage constructive and positive peer communication as well.

Make an effort to touch base with employees about what is working and what isn’t. Even a brief 5 minute conversation can keep an employee who is seen having a rough shift from walking out, and yet management finds themselves too busy dealing with issues they consider more urgent. What is more urgent that talking to an employee rather than having to spend time in yet another interview?

Make it meaningful

Find out what really matters to your staff and take steps to make those things part of their employment experience. Historically, restaurants fail in good employee care, so look beyond just benefit packages at rewards, recognition, and even volunteer or give back opportunities that staff want and need for fulfillment.

Studies show that most employees want benefits that don’t necessarily cost a ton of money, so instead, give employees a more satisfying work environment by truly providing what they desire.

Keep it simple

Make it easy for prospective employees to apply for work. In today’s digital realm, job seekers can spend hours a day filling out and submitting applications and getting no responses. Be kind by making the process clear and easy – better yet, incentivize current employees to bring in referrals. A great network can help reduce advertising costs for job posts, and less time sorting through unqualified candidates.

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