Great article in QSR magazine entitled "Escaping The Burn-and-Churn Employee Treadmill" . The article quoted a figure from the National Restaurant Association that the employee turnover rate in the restaurant and accommodations industry was a staggering 63% in 2013. In order to lower this figure the author suggested restaurants should evaluate their internal culture and create an internal loyalty program.
As a restaurant employee scheduling software company, we are witnesses to this employee turnover. Numbers of employees on restaurant schedules fluctuate nearly ever week. Based on my years experience in the restaurant industry, I agree wholeheartedly with the author's suggestions and would also add one more. I was always an advocate of full disclosure of the restaurant's sales to engage the staff and get more buy-in.
Whenever I made the day's position chart, I wrote the restaurant's projected sales for that day at the top. I told the crew that was the goal to hit today and updated them throughout the day with the sales number. By having a team goal, the crew worked more cohesively. They knew everyone had to pull their weight to create memorable experiences for the guests by serving fresh food, providing cleanliness and superior customer service. By providing sales goals and updates, the crew also understood the reality of business. They understood increased sales would creates raises, more hours and advancement opportunity. Inversely, they also understood the ramifications of down sales such as a freeze on raises, loss of hours, and possible job loss.
There is no magic bullet in decreasing employee turnover. Every restaurant can create their own recipe for retaining employees using ingredients such as good pay and benefits, positive work environment, strong training, flexible hours and a internal loyalty program. However, I suggest a base ingredient be involving your employees in the business.
Richard Averitte, Marketing Director, ShiftZen