5 Easy Tips for Reducing Staff Turnover

Compared to other industries, restaurants see one of the highest rates of staff turnover. Student employees and seasonal workers are one the biggest reasons, but despite the seasonality of the industry, a high staff turnover rate ultimately costs you money. Hiring and training new staff costs a lot of time and money, and also leads to a staff with less experienced workers, which can ultimately affect quality and service.

How can you hold onto your good employees and build a strong staff of responsible employees?

Here are 5 easy tips for reducing staff turnover:

1. Hire Well

Taking the time to hire thoughtfully is key to hiring the right people who will be a good fit for your restaurant. Allow yourself plenty of time for this process, you will be thankful in the long run. Before starting the interview process, have a clear list of the tasks you need this person to do, and also the qualities you need that person to have. Always ask all applicants the same questions in an interview, and listen thoughtfully to their answers. When you’ve found a candidate you’re interested in, be sure to always call at least two professional references.

2. Train Consistently

Employees are able to do a good job when they have a clear idea of what is expected of them and have been trained to meet those expectations. Your restaurant should have an established training program so that each new hire is trained exactly the same way. Establish a protocol so that new hires know who to ask when they have questions and be sure each employee gets the same answer to questions.

3. Present Opportunities for Growth

One of the main reasons that employees leave a job is to advance their careers. Rather than lose good people, foster an environment for growth within your business. Provide in-house training for ambitious employees and create an environment where people feel comfortable talking about their career goals. Promoting from within goes a long way in illustrating to employees that there is room in your business to grow, and that hard work does not go unnoticed.

4. Share Your Vision

Make your employees invested in the success of your business by sharing your goals about that business with them. When employees see how their hard work impacts the overall goals of a restaurant, they share in that success and feel invested in the success of your business. The more your employees have a sense of ownership in their work, the better they will do their job. If they feel like just another cog in an assembly line, with no personal connection, they will not mind leaving quickly to pursue another opportunity.

5. Conduct Exit Interviews

No matter what you do, you’ll always have some people leaving. Maybe they’re moving on to a better opportunity or the position wasn’t the right fit for them. Before any employee leaves, schedule time to have an honest discussion about their time with your company. Always ask specific questions, and be responsive and not defensive when listening to their answers. If you see recurring themes come up in these interviews, you know there are problems that need to be dealt with.

Every business will see some employees come and go, but doing what you can to hold onto the exceptional employees goes a long way in being a stable business.  


If you would like to learn more about creating effective employees check out Split, an innovative solution for restaurants that helps track and set goals for staff.


Writer Bio: Kristin Crane is a writer and designer living in Providence, Rhode Island. She works with small businesses to help them promote themselves in various industries including food, wine, and the arts. She also contributes as Travel Editor to The Lady Project blog.