Managing Employee Engagement and Turnover in the Restaurant Industry

Jun 3, 2024 6:18:46 PM / by Matt Thompson

social employee turnover

The restaurant industry is notorious for its high employee turnover rates, which can significantly impact a business's bottom line. According to the National Restaurant Association, the turnover rate in the restaurant sector is nearly double that of other industries.  Whether you are a restaurant manager or owner, we'll give you strategies to manage employee engagement and reduce turnover in your restaurant.

The Importance of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement refers to the emotional commitment employees have towards their workplace. Engaged employees are more productive, provide better customer service, and are less likely to leave their jobs. In the fast-paced environment of a restaurant, having engaged employees can make a significant difference in overall performance and customer satisfaction.

Common Causes of High Turnover in the Restaurant Industry

One of the main reasons for high turnover in restaurants is poor communication. When employees do not understand their roles or the expectations placed upon them, it can lead to frustration and disengagement. Additionally, unpredictable and confusing schedules can cause stress and dissatisfaction among staff. Furthermore, when employees do not feel like they are part of a cohesive team, their motivation and loyalty to the restaurant diminish.

Strategies to Improve Employee Engagement

  1. Clear Communication: Regular team meetings and clear job descriptions can help ensure that all employees are on the same page. Utilizing communication tools and platforms can also streamline the flow of information.

  2. Efficient Scheduling: Implementing scheduling software can help create more predictable and fair schedules. Allowing employees to have input on their shifts can also increase satisfaction.

  3. Building a Team Culture: Organizing team-building activities and fostering a sense of belonging can significantly improve employee morale. Encouraging collaboration and recognizing individual contributions to the team's success are key.

Implementing Employee Feedback Mechanisms

Regular employee surveys are crucial for understanding the needs and concerns of your staff. An open-door policy, where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with management, can also help address issues before they escalate.

Training and Development

Providing ongoing training programs ensures that employees continue to develop their skills and feel valued. Additionally, offering opportunities for career advancement within the restaurant can motivate employees to stay and grow with the business.

Recognizing and Rewarding Employees

Implementing recognition programs, such as employee of the month, can boost morale and motivate employees. Incentives, whether monetary or non-monetary, can also encourage employees to perform their best.


In conclusion, managing employee engagement and reducing turnover in the restaurant industry requires a multifaceted approach. By improving communication, creating efficient schedules, fostering a team culture, and recognizing employee efforts, restaurant owners can create a more positive work environment. Implementing these strategies can lead to happier employees, better customer service, and a more successful restaurant.

How ShiftForce Can Help

ShiftForce offers a comprehensive solution to address these challenges. With its user-friendly scheduling tools, you can create more predictable and fair schedules, reducing employee stress and dissatisfaction. The platform also facilitates clear communication through centralized messaging and updates, ensuring everyone is on the same page. Additionally, ShiftForce's employee recognition features help acknowledge and reward staff efforts, boosting morale and engagement. By leveraging ShiftForce, you can streamline your operations and foster a more engaged, motivated, and loyal team.

Get started with ShiftForce to reduce turnover and boost team engagement.


Matt Thompson

Written by Matt Thompson

Matt has let his lifelong passion of food and people lead him to 15 amazing years as a restaurant manager and another 9 years working as a Director with a major food service distributor. He has channeled this passion to help create and run ShiftNote. When he's not dominating the food service industry, he's spending time with his 4 children and cheering on the Tigers as a Mizzou Alumni.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Lists by Topic

see all

Posts by Topic

See all

Recent Posts