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5 Tips to Reduce Employee Turnover in Restaurants

5 Tips to Reduce Employee Turnover in Restaurants

It’s good to know what drives a person to stay in the restaurant industry and the things that they aren’t the biggest fans of…

Hire Right 

It is easy to look at a good resume and assume that person will make a good employee. However, this is not always the case. Asking the right questions can help you determine whether an applicant is just good on paper or will actually be a good addition to your team.

What do you like and dislike about working in the restaurant industry? This is a great question to help you get an overall feel for an applicant’s devotion to the industry. It’s good to know what drives a person to stay in the restaurant industry and the things that they aren’t the biggest fans of.

What is your ideal schedule? Scheduling is one of the most important pieces of smoothly running a restaurant. Discussing scheduling right off the bat helps ensure that you and your potential employees are on the same page as far as schedules go.

What qualities do you think are important for this position? This question can help you deduce what type of an employee an applicant may be. This question will allow you to determine whether the applicant has a good understanding of what is expected of someone who obtains the position.


Training needs to be a cornerstone of a restaurant’s culture, especially cross-training. Be sure to infuse your training plan into the onboarding process, and set the standard when employees are hired that training is important. Arming your employees with the skills needed to excel in their job not only increases efficiency, it also helps retain your staff and reduce turnover. Show your employees a path to excel in their career with your organization.


Communicate with your employees regularly, and have an open-door policy. The happiest employees are those who feel they have a real impact on the company they work for. What’s more, your employees have insights into your customers and the day-to-day activities of the business that you may be removed from. An employee feedback program that actually implements suggestions is a positive motivator for everyone.

Rewards & Recognition

Let employees contribute in big ways when possible, and highlight the impact they’re making on your company. Assign employees to a special project or put them in an expanded role.

Overly general rewards may sound like a great idea, but ultimately they fail to succeed in their mission. If every employee gets the same rewards for different work, they may not apply themselves fully to the project. Make an effort to reward individuals for their accomplishments in a way that is satisfying to each person. If the same things happen over and over again, they lose their motivating edge. Do something spontaneously or completely unexpected to get your team’s creative energies flowing again. A handwritten thank-you note, or even a personalized email, can mean a lot to employees. Putting down your appreciation in writing gives employees something tangible they can show to others—which both increases their satisfaction, and motivates other employees to strive for better performance so they can receive thank-you notes.

Empower Managers

Make sure that your employees have appropriate ways to communicate feedback about their managers.

Ensure your managers take a proactive approach to employee relations. Create opportunities for everyone to spend time together discussing goals, sharing successes and providing feedback that reinforces your company values. Employee engagement requires strong and clear leadership so that employees have a keen sense and understanding of the company’s values, goals and objectives and what defines success. Engaged employees understand how their contributions directly influence the success of the organization.

Read more about HR tools to help reduce restaurant turnover.

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