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The True Costs Associated With Kitchen Turnover

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

Restaurant kitchen turnover is simply the number of employees that walk out of your door, whether they are fired or leave of their own volition. We replace them, but do we truly understand the cost of replacing them? According to the Work Institute's 2017 Retention Report, the average replacement cost of a person is $15,000.


The revolving door of staff turnover

Before you even incur costs associated with a staff member's turnover, you must already recognize the time and money involved with the firing of an employee. Team and management meetings usually start to occur before you fire someone. During the actual firing process, you will incur additional overtime for other employees to cover positions. If they just quit, you have to spend even more covering their positions with overtime hours. These additional hours are usually against the will of the cooks that have to increase their hours unwittingly, potentially creating resentment.


Some of the direct costs include posting job listings along with the interview process which can take weeks, if not months. Once you find an employee, you can then begin with the scheduling process. In my experience, it can take a chef with 20 employees up to 8 to 10 hours per week to plan. The on-boarding process alone of coming in, doing paperwork, introducing the new employee to the team, them becoming familiar with the space and routines, policies and procedures means the loss of the best part of a day.


Some of the indirect financial costs can come through in the form of weeks of unused linens, loss of tools and equipment, and wasted food which will come with training. Associated food costs will suffer when production levels have decreased because of a new employee, but more importantly, the consistency of the food may drop off, resulting in unhappy customers who may never return and even leave bad reviews on social media. But that's a whole other minefield...


By far the most impactful negative result is the rise of poor employee morale. Unhappy employees will cost the restaurant more money than food costs and payroll in the long run. If people don't want to work for your company, your pay rate will inevitably have to rise. With the constant demand for cooks in the restaurant business, they may be out there looking for "better" restaurants to work in, and without a strong employee following, the cycle begins again.


This problem will continue to worsen over the next few years unless management addresses the underlying causes. ChefCentives offers true remedies that promote your culture, training, intrinsic motivation, and a defined career path. We will highlight these in future blog posts.


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