How to Reduce Turnover in Your Restaurant

Hiring a new employee is much more expensive than continuing to employ an old one. According to Investopedia, hiring a new hourly employee can cost upwards of $3,500. When an employee quits, your business takes a hit. A few major things that increase turnover are insufficient training, inconsistent scheduling, and a lack of growth. Your employees are people who want to be respected. Reducing turnover is simply a matter of treating your employees well and respecting that they're people too.

Hourly jobs, especially in the restaurant industry frequently cause burn-out. The high-stress environment coupled with the lower pay can be grueling. You can change that! By actively avoiding turnover through treating your employees well, you'll take that extra layer of stress from their shoulders and foster a friendly work-environment.

Here's how you can reduce turnover in your restaurant.

1. Hire the Right People

Hire the Right People, How to Reduce Turnover in Your Restaurant

The biggest factor in reducing turnover in your restaurant is hiring the right people. Don't just hire someone who can perform the job functions, hire someone who really fits with your values as a person and as a business. This process will take more time and effort but it's worth it to find good people.

To learn more about getting good applicants for your restaurant, read this article.

2. Foster Loyalty

Happy Bar, How to Reduce Turnover in Your Restaurant

You've heard of customer loyalty programs but have you heard of employee loyalty programs? It's the same concept, you reward people for sticking with your restaurant. For employees this may look like partnering with local businesses to give your employees a gift card every few months or giving them bonuses regularly. Rewarding employees for continuing to work at your restaurant gives them a reason to stay. 

3. Consistently Increase Their Pay

Laptop, How to Reduce Turnover in Your Restaurant

No one wants to stay in a job with no growth. The biggest reason people leave their jobs is they find something that pays better. Consistently giving your employees raises gives them a big reason to stay. Without that incentive, your employees may struggle to continue working for you.

4. Be Considerate When Scheduling

Scheduling, How to Reduce Turnover in Your Restaurant

Working an hourly job can make it incredibly hard for people to plan their lives. If you only know your schedule for the next seven days, you can't do things like schedule doctor's appointments, plan events, or have much of a social life. Give your employees a set schedule and allow them to work it out amongst themselves when they need to switch shifts. People tend to burn out much slower when they have consistency. 

5. Train, Train, Train

Training, How to Reduce Turnover in Your Restaurant

Train your employees well when they start and keep training them as they continue. Train them enough to specialize in one or two areas as well as being comfortable in others. If you train them well enough, your employees will never feel like a fish out of water.

6. Give Opportunities for Advancement

Restaurant, How to Reduce Turnover in Your Restaurant

Alongside giving your employees growth salary-wise, opportunities for advancement are another important factor in inspiring employee retention. Make a clear organization between employees. Titles like team lead, shift manager, and head server are great for any restaurant. They give you a simple and efficient way to delegate as well as showing your employees you value them.

7. Give Positive Reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement, How to Reduce Turnover in Your Restaurant

People thrive on being told they're doing a good job. Compliment their work even if it's something they do every day. Positive reinforcement allows your employees to feel appreciated. People tend to stay where they feel their work is valued.

Fostering a good working environment takes effort. You can't expect all your employees to be loyal to you without giving them a reason. If you take the time to respect your employees and treat them well, they'll be more apt to stay and you'll spend less money hiring new team members.

Denise Jacobsen, How to Reduce Turnover in Your Restaurant