The Turnover Epidemic


If turnover isn’t one of your restaurant’s greatest ongoing challenges, you’re either operating on another planet or you’ve employed the services of a robotics company to supply quality workers. Because every owner, operator and manager we’ve talked to has identified turnover as a top challenge — a looming obstacle that prevents their otherwise successful business from getting ahead. Even with concerns about the economy, new restaurants are popping up at a rabbit’s pace in this country. Those new operations will not only have to compete for customers, they’ll have to compete for employees. Combine that increasing competition with a younger generation’s decreasing desire to launch their careers from the foodservice industry — and you’ve got yourself a turnover epidemic.

How Turnover Impacts Your Customers

You don’t need Nostradamus to tell you that a lot of those operations won’t make it. But the number-one reason they’ll fail isn’t turnover. It’s poor customer service. What some savvy operators already realize is that turnover has a profoundly negative effect on the service their guests receive. Customers hate turnover. Why? Service becomes inconsistent or shuts down completely. Managers and staff are cranky from working double shifts. All the extra cost of continually recruiting and training new employees has to be covered somewhere — that could mean raising menu prices. And pity the poor customers who have questions about the menu, for they’ll most likely hear: “Uh, sorry, I don’t know … Today’s my first day … I guess I could check with those guys in the kitchen.”

Break the Turnover Cycle

Turnover, you see, makes your restaurant a far less inviting place to be. And your customers will show you how they feel about it simply by not returning. So how do you break the cycle?

1. Become a better recruiter so you’ll attract more suitable applicants.

2. Become a better interviewer so you can select only the best candidates.

3. Become a better leader so those employees will want to stay.

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