Turnover has always been a problem in restaurants, but it’s getting harder to ignore. According to a 2022 National Restaurant Association survey:
- 89% of restaurant operators listed labor costs as a “significant challenge”
- 62% of restaurants are already struggling to keep up with the current workload
- 79% of restaurant operators said they had job openings that were difficult to fill
- $5,864 total cost of replacing a server, including recruiting, training, and lost productivity
Turnover isn’t just expensive; it erodes your company culture. A short staffed restaurant has a harder time satisfying customers. The workers who remain are overworked to the point of burnout. Excessive turnover can become a never-ending loop, with the poor conditions causing more workers to quit.
HR software can help you reduce restaurant turnover and provide more support to current staff at your restaurant by improving your back office processes and enhancing the employee experience.
Most common reasons for high restaurant turnover
Some workers were never going to last long at your restaurant. Apart from attitude problems, and personality conflicts, several factors can contribute to high restaurant turnover.
- Compensation: Between tips and hourly wages, some workers leave for better opportunities.
- Schedule conflicts: Worker availability and preferences don’t always align with available shifts.
- Career growth: Manager openings, promotions, and education are reasons to leave a restaurant job.
- Toxic work environment: An unfortunately common theme in the restaurant industry, but not unavoidable.
- Disconnect and lack of communication: Do you struggle with poor communication between managers or HR and employees? It doesn’t have to be that way.
How to reduce restaurant turnover
Improved hiring process
Advertise job openings in new ways to reach a broader pool of applicants. Pay attention to resumes. Has the applicant jumped to a new job every few months? What do their references have to say?
Better and more efficient training
Even the best workers get frustrated with a bad training process. Provide employee handbook manuals to explain policies clearly and reflect current procedures. Also, offer not only in-house training, but training around industry knowledge and career growth/
READ: Why Upskilling is the Key to Employee Retention
Fair, accurate, and on-time pay
Nobody likes being shortchanged, but wage theft costs US workers around $50 billion per year. A small difference in wages, benefits, and bonuses can affect whether your staff leave. Payroll software like Netchex guarantees accurate and on-time pay for all your employees.
Easier, more efficient shift scheduling
Schedule conflicts are inevitable, but scheduling software (with the right features) lets workers swap shifts and request leave. Keep the restaurant fully staffed, and managers will be able to accommodate reasonable requests.
Boosted employee engagement and satisfaction
Take a step back to recalibrate the relationships between managers and restaurant staff. Plan incentives and rewards that get everyone invested in the restaurant’s success. Support worthy causes in your community with workplace giving programs, gift cards, and affordable catering.
Offer more benefits, perks, and incentives
Innovative perks and benefits keep your compensation competitive without putting you into the red. Work with other local businesses to get your workers a discount on gym memberships, childcare, and other useful perks.
Professional growth plans
Your best workers won’t settle for a dead-end job. Encourage professional development through cross training and management training. A Learning Management System (LMS) can promote a culture of continuous learning.
Promote a human-first work culture
Wherever you fall on the “customer is always right” mantra, your managers should also know the importance of supporting staff. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) starts with recruiting, but it can also make your staff feel more safe and supported.
Develop a beneficial offboarding process
Get honest feedback about workplace culture during exit interviews. Address new problems as they develop, not waiting for a crisis. Offboarding is just as important as onboarding, but you need to have your checklist and questions ready in advance. Stay on good terms with departing staff whenever possible, protecting your local reputation.
More consistent and clear communication
Make sure managers know company policies and avoid playing favorites. Company communication should reduce confusion, not add new opportunities for misunderstanding.
It’s time to leverage the power of tech for your restaurant!
Your employees will benefit, as will your HR professionals and your budget. Making smart enhancements and keeping the long term in mind can truly transform your restaurant and set you up for a long and flourishing future. What tools will you be checking out first?