In the fast-paced world of hospitality, the success of a restaurant hinges on a few things. Not only on food and bev offerings but also on the dedicated, hardworking front line team that bring the entire experience to life. 

Unfortunately, the restaurant industry is notorious for high employee turnover rates. But nobody ever wants to be that restaurant. We get it, we really do. It’s possible to avoid all of this – with a bit of a strategy, proper processes, and some tech.

Don’t get put off by the word strategy – it’s simpler than it sounds, we promise. This is basically your POA for reducing staff turnover. An effective employee retention strategy is usually made up of practices aimed at creating a positive work environment, addressing employee needs, recognising and rewarding performance, offering opportunities for growth and development, and promoting decent work-life balance. A combination of competitive compensation, benefits, flexible work arrangements, professional development programs, clear communication, and supportive management are proven to reduce turnover and retain team members.

Remember this: employee retention is not only about preventing employees from leaving. It’s about creating a workplace where employees feel valued, engaged, and motivated to contribute to the company’s success over the long term.

Given the current shortages of staff across the restaurant industry, holding onto your teams is more important than ever before. Tired of your revolving door of staff and goodbyes? Ready to do something about it?

7 tips to reduce restaurant staff turnover…

1. Offer Personalised Training 

Effective training is a cornerstone of employee retention. No two ways about it. And personalised training ensures employees receive the right training at the right time for smooth onboarding, operations, safety, success, and satisfaction. Whether it’s perfecting knife skills or acing customer service, personalised training empowers your team to excel, boosting their confidence and loyalty.

Luckily, there are plenty of solutions nowadays to organise and execute staff training. Find one that works for you and your team, plug in exactly what each role needs, and leave your system to do the rest of the work.  

2. Embrace the Digital Onboarding Experience

First impressions really do set the tone for a lasting relationship. Streamline your onboarding process with time-saving workforce management solutions that can onboard a new hire in less than three minutes. Really.

From e-sign and mobile onboarding to banking info and document submissions, create an onboarding experience that’s efficient and engaging. By swiftly integrating new hires into your team, you’re setting the stage for a successful and lasting partnership. High fives all round. 

3. Leverage Data for Insights and Improvement

Data is the new goldmine – and it should be informing every decision you make. Lean into systems like Nory to set targets, pulse teams for feedback, and gather insights into how and why your teams are leaving.

Systems like Nory can even take your restaurant’s data, provide you with insights into employee performance, and make AI-driven suggestions to improve it.

Always believe your staff want to do their absolute best, and empower them to get there. In turn, creating a more satisfying work environment that retains top-notch talent. 

coffee machine in coffee shop

4. Cultivate a Transparent and Inclusive Culture

A positive workplace culture is a magnet for talent retention. Enable your employees to access schedules, submit time-off requests, and communicate with managers seamlessly. Operate with an open-door policy. When employees feel valued, included, and informed, they’re more likely to stay committed to your restaurant’s success. 

Issues will arise, it’s inevitable in most workplaces. But once identified, don’t hesitate to address issues head on to ensure a culture of transparency and care. Whether it’s a one off, ongoing conflict, or a certain personality, you need to identify the source and rectify ASAP to protect and retain your team.
Transparent > toxic, always. 

5. Empower Growth

Career growth opportunities are a powerful tool to reduce restaurant staff turnover. Who doesn’t wanna move up the ladder? 

Implement performance tracking, skill development, and career advancement programs. By showing employees a clear path to growth, you’ll instil a sense of purpose and loyalty that keeps them invested in their role and ensure they stick around. 

6. Foster Flexibility and Work-Life Balance

As we all know, juggling work and personal life can be a challenge. Modern scheduling systems allow for flexibility, easy shift swaps and pick ups, holiday requests, and PTO management. Making it easier for employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

Prioritising their well-being demonstrates that you value them not just as employees, but as individuals. Happy days. 

7. Recognise and Reward Excellence

Someone nailed a task? Give them a shout out. Great customer review? Give credit where credit is due. Everyone appreciates a pat on the back at the end of the day. 

Create a culture of appreciation that in turn boosts morale and encourages employees to stick around for the long haul. 

Wrapping Up

Reducing restaurant employee turnover is no longer a mystery. You CAN do this.

With the prowess of modern technology and innovative workforce management solutions, you have the tools to create an environment that nurtures and retains your restaurant dream team. Embrace the power of personalised training, data insights, and transparent communication to pave the way for a workforce that’s committed, motivated, and ready to bring their best. 

Achieving a zero turnover rate is nearly impossible in the restaurant industry – so don’t stress or focus too much on that. Focus on embracing modern technology and innovative workforce management solutions that will pay off in the long run to reduce your restaurant’s staff turnover. Don’t delay in getting started

Frequently Asked Questions

What is employee retention?
Employee retention refers to a business’ ability to keep its employees engaged, satisfied, and motivated to remain with the company for an extended period of time. It’s the practice of retaining employees and preventing them from leaving the company voluntarily. High employee retention rates are normally a result of a positive work environment, effective management practices, and employee satisfaction.

How to reduce restaurant staff turnover?
Businesses often use some or all of the following to reduce restaurant staff turnover: supportive management, clear communication, competitive compensation, benefits, flexible work arrangements, inclusive culture, rewards, and professional development programs.

What tools or systems help reduce staff turnover?
Workforce management tools can help reduce staff turnover by streamlining human resources, onboarding, scheduling, employee engagement, training, development, internal communications, and rewards and recognition programs.

What is a good turnover rate for restaurant staff?
The ideal turnover rate for restaurant staff can vary based on things like the type of restaurant, the industry standards, and the specific roles within the business. However, as a general guideline, a turnover rate of around 10-20% is often considered acceptable for restaurants.
Turnover rates can differ between front-of-house (servers, hosts, bartenders) and back-of-house (cooks, kitchen staff) positions, as well as between different levels of management. Front-of-house positions tend to have slightly higher turnover rates compared to back-of-house roles due to factors like seasonality, flexibility, and the nature of customer-facing roles.