Why The F&B Industry is Notorious for High Turnovers

The restaurant industry is notorious for having immensely high turnover rates, ranging in the 70 percentile. While employees leaving is an inevitability in the F&B business, there are certain things you can do to keep your staff happy.

The first step to decreasing turnover in your restaurant is figuring out why your employees are leaving in the first place.

Here are a few reasons they don’t want to stay.

They feel underappreciated

For many employees, getting the recognition they deserve for their hard work is almost as important as the paycheck. In fact, in some cases, it may be even more of a factor in their workplace happiness.
In studies, many restaurant staff have reported feeling that their best efforts are routinely ignored. 28% of employees shared that their most memorable feedback came from a manager, while 10% came from a customer.

Work feels meaningless and boring

Finding purpose and meaning in one’s work has proven to help in elevating motivation, job satisfaction, empowerment, engagement, and overall personal fulfillment. When a person feels like they are able to grow and learn new skills and knowledge within the company, they are more like to be committed to their job.

Unfortunately, many restaurant employees have express that they are unable to derive positive feelings from their work. Long hours, low-wages, intense tasks, a high pressure environment and even boredom have been sighted as causes of employees quitting after a few months.

What you can do: [restrict]

Let your staff know when a customer provides positive feedback about their service. Commend your staff if they have performed well.

Provide your staff with challenging but rewarding work. Set KPI’s for them to work to, for example, you offer a commission or bonus if they’re able to increase sales. You could even create an internal competition to foster team work.

You can also make your staff efforts feel appreciated by offering allowances, health incentives, or even something as simple as giving them a day off on their birthday.

No opportunities for career growth

Career growth in the restaurant industry usually occurs when employees move from one restaurant to another. Due to the nature of the restaurant business, where front-line staff exceed the number of those in the management team, it stands to reason that not everyone will be able to move up the chain.

Many employees who aspire to move up the ranks are usually forced to seek opportunities elsewhere in order to reach senior positions. This however is the nature of the F&B industry and can’t be avoided. But it is possible for you to help your staff progress in other areas.

What you can do:

Ask your staff what skills they would like to learn, or even what skills they already have. For example, one of my wait staff had expressed to me that I should set up a website and Facebook page for my business. I told her that I was too busy to focus on it, I then asked her if she could help me with it. Today, my former wait staff is now in charge of the marketing of my restaurant, and I couldn’t be happier!

Poor Management of Employees

Have you heard of the saying that people don’t leave companies, they leave bosses? This saying holds much truth. It’s been reported that 60% of adults quit their jobs due to bad managers.

It’s not uncommon to hear that some employers are mentally abusive towards their staff. Swearing and personally insulting your staff is completely unacceptable.

What you can do:

When managing employees, as owners we must keep in mind that we are also dealing with fully-grown adults and not children. Therefore, we must also impart the same respect to them as we do towards our customers. As employers, we should be mentoring, supporting, and offering our employees opportunities to grow.

Arguments with Co-Workers

Forming a friendships and close-ties in the workplace also determines an employees happiness on the job. According to Forbes, 67% of employees say having a friend at work makes their job feel easier, while 55% reported that they felt more fulfilled.

Like most industries, it is only common that disputes among staff may arise. Many employees also leave because they felt unsupported or unfairly treated in moments of dispute due to factors like favoritism.  Staff are also likely to feel demoralised and isolated when they are unable to find a connection with colleagues in the workplace.

What you can do:

Having team bonding sessions or even team meals daily can help to break the ice and build a relationship between yourself and employees.

Actionable Takeaway.

Managers should take the time to listen to their team members, offer constructive feedback, and support their workplace development. This is as simple as pulling employees aside to thank them for their hard work, pushing them in areas that are lagging, training them in new skills, and trusting them to take on more responsibility in the workplace.


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