3 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover

Apr 25 2017

Restaurant Management Manage Your Business

It’s not news that employee turnover in the restaurant industry is high. Much of the time, this can be contributed to factors like ages of the staff, the fact that lots of restaurant employees tend to be teens and millennials going through school, unreliable wages and tips, economic and seasonal changes causing business to slow down, and the potentially stressful working atmosphere of management.  Although employee turnover may often be inevitable, here are a few ways to help reduce and slow down employee turnover in your restaurant.



Sufficient training for new team members is often underutilized and overlooked. Even though new employees may have serving experience, serving practice differs between all restaurants. It is important that your employees feel comfortable with your floor plan, your menu, your point of sale systems, and navigating through your specific kitchen procedures.

Another great source of training is to allow your new hires to shadow and train with an array of your current staff members, rather than just one. This will provide them insight and tips that will help them run successful shifts once they are out of training, and will give them a better sense of your restaurant’s working ethic. Don’t rush the training process.  Allow 5- 10 shifts of training. More times than not, the employee will let you know when they are ready to be on their own for a shift. If your employees feel knowledgeable, comfortable, and are provided all the resources necessary while working their shifts, potential employee turnover will decrease

Employee Incentives:

Let’s be honest – perks are important to employees, no matter the industry. Restaurant jobs are exhausting and laborious. Employees are on their feet for lengthy times, working holidays and unusual hours, and constantly interacting with people, even on bad days. Adding some employee incentives into the mix will keep your employees to remain enthused about your company and their job, and will help reduce employee turnover.

These don’t have to be free benefits and vacation days. Instead, how about discounted or free meals, contests with prizes such as pick your schedule or a weekend off, or even staff parties on closed days throughout the year? This will encourage continued team building and positive communication between all levels of your staff.

Open Door Policy:

A restaurant cannot properly function without a strong line of communication and understanding between employees and management. Maintaining an open-door policy is key when striving to keep employee turnover down. Yes – running a restaurant and staff is strenuous, and at times having an employee approach you during a busy shift is burdensome. But if you do not allow for your employees to feel as though they can approach you at any time with questions, concerns or praises, they will ultimately be un-happy and their employment may not last long.

Re-iterate during pre-shift meetings, interviews and chats that, as a manager or owner, you are there for your employees, and you care about their continued happiness and willingness to work. There is nothing worse than when an employee does not feel comfortable to approach a manager about needing a day off, or information on work place fraud or harassment, amongst other things. In the end, utilizing the open-door policy will help you in more ways than just employee turnover.

Occasionally you will have those few rock star employees who will loyally stay employed for your restaurant.  However, it is inevitable that you will witness a changing staff as time passes. Not all employees who enter the restaurant industry plan on staying in the industry.  And even if an employee does wish to stay in the industry, not all plan to stay at one location for the entirety of their career. Since turnover is unpreventable, your next best option would be to take measures to help reduce the likeliness of this occurrence, where it is avoidable. The above 3 suggestions will not eliminate your employee turnover, but they will assist you in reducing it.

Amanda Wilkening

Amanda Wilkening

Amanda has over 10 years of restaurant experience ranging from Hosting, Serving, FOH Training to bookkeeping. In 2015, Amanda joined the client services department at Ctuit where she trained new clients on RADAR and assisted restaurant management and executives in their day to day reporting and operational endeavors. More recently, Amanda joined the Ctuit marketing team where she is happily applying her marketing degree and knowledge from Sonoma State University.