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Hotel Staff & Restaurant Employee Retention

Employee Retention in Hospitality Industry

Staff Turnover in Hospitality Industry

Employee turnover is an unsettling reality for all restaurant and hotel management. Leadership deals with call-outs and no-shows on the day-to-day, putting stress on those employees who are there to work. The stress on employees directly impacts customer service. In a world of options where reputation is transparent, and service is measured in stars on a screen, the customer experience speaks louder than ever before. When was the last time you went to a restaurant or stayed at a hotel without checking their rating online? A well-trained wait staff is paramount to creating that memorable, high-touch experience patrons are expecting. Finding those qualified employees is hard enough, given the wages and lifestyle often attracts those with limited education and experience. But the investment pays off, and it STOPS the vicious perpetuating cycle that “Everybody else quits, so should I”. Increasing predictability in hiring, motivating and retaining top performers will leads to keeping qualified hotel staff, lower costs and more loyal restaurant customers.

  • 66% of the millennial employees will leave their jobs in the next three years because they are interested in the experience
  • Millennials will make up 40 percent of the workforce by 2020 and 75 percent by 2025.
  • 79% of employees quit their jobs for reasons other than compensation

Cost of Turnover in Hospitality Industry

According to the Centre for American Progress, turnover costs a businesses about one-fifth of the worker’s salary to replace them. For businesses that experience a high level of turnover, this cost could be a massive amount. For those jobs paying between 30K to 50K or less, the cost of turnover is 20% of salary. Turnover averages approximately 70% in the hospitality industry, ranging far higher than that of other private sector jobs at 46% on the average. What would even a 10% decrease in turnover mean for your business?


Staff Turnover in Hospitality Industry

The average staff turnover is 30% in hospitality. 32% quit for career advancement and only 21% leave for increased pay. This means 79% of employees that quit their jobs in the industry do not leave due to compensation. Millennials in particular are more satisfied with values such as personal recognition, professional development, and cross-team collaboration. They are also more likely to stay longer when they are engaged by their work. employee retention in hospitality industry will only succeed if demographically targeted.


How to Reduce Staff Turnover at Restaurants and Hotels

  1. Exit Interviews start you off with actionable intelligence by asking the right questions regarding your hotel staff or waiter turnover. The best way to address the most relevant issues and change in valuable ways is to verify what the real issues at each location. Using a third party like Retensa or exit interview software to conduct exit interviews creates the safety net people value to avoid burning bridges. They can be honest about why they are leaving and what if changed would cause them to stay. Pinpoint the root causes for high turnover at your hotel/restaurant and prepare strategies to help increase retention.
  2. Retention Skills Training gives your managers the tools they need to retain and engage their best employees right away. Retensa provides retention programs based on customized insights from what your employees say they want and need from your organization. Invest in training that is customized to the needs of the specific employee population at your hotel or restaurant.
  3. Retention Diagnostic identifies the areas where your hotel or restaurant is excelling when it comes to retention, as well as where it can focus to create the biggest impact. How much time and money could be saved in re-hiring and re-training? Retensa can pinpoint why people join your organization, why they stay, and why they leave. With our data driven approach and customized software, we offer real-time feedback and insights. Our solutions will help to train, engage and ultimately retain your employees with clear and actionable recommendations.


Retention does not get easier by itself. But there are real tactics that work. It succeeds when we get proactive to reduce turnover and increase connection to the firm and future. Call us now at (212) 545-1280 or email a retention expert here.