Why Are Food Franchising Turnover Rates So High?

The fast food and chain restaurant industries are labeled as high-turnover industries, and rightfully so. When we say turnover rates, we are referring to the percentage of employees an employer loses in a year. According to an article in The Economist, the turnover rates within these industries is averaging around 100% or more. This means that these industries are basically losing all their employees each year. So, why is this?

  1. The temporary nature of the industry:

It is not uncommon for recent college grads, or even the mid-life generation to treat restaurant jobs as an interim solution when times are tough, or until they find a position in the area of study they’re interested in. In fact, very few food industry employees predict, or have any interest in this job being their life-long career. In addition to the mindset around the nature of this industry already inherently being temporary, there are also times that food industry employers hire staff specifically based on seasonality. For example, during their busiest seasons or during specific holidays they may make their team more robust, but these new employees know they will only be on the schedule and employed for a short period of time.

  1. Young employees:

Further touching on the temporary nature of the industry, restaurant employees are often young, partially within the fast food and chain restaurant industry. Fast food jobs are often taken by those in high school or college as a summer job and/or supplement to another income source. Because of this, their time spent in this role is much shorter. According to an article in the business section of theatlantic.com, 30% of fast food workers are teens, and another 30.7 percent are 20-24 years of age.

  1. Long hours and little to no compensation/benefits:

It’s no secret that the food industry is not a 9-5 job. The hours are not only extremely long, but often very late. In addition to the long and later hours, these jobs involve being on your feet for long periods of time and high stress (quickness matters) work conditions. This wouldn’t feel as tough if the money and benefits were right, but they often aren’t. It is common knowledge that servers live off their tips. This means that your take-home salary is heavily reliant on the busyness of the restaurant as well as how generous customers are. Because of their tips, servers make very low salaries. When referring to the fast food industry, tips are nonexistent and salaries are often at minimum wage (these employees continue to fight that the minimum wage be raised).

  1. Advancement limitations:

Within the food franchising industry and restaurant business, higher ranking positions are extremely hard to come by. Of course, this advancement challenge is not limited to the food industry, but due to the high turnover rates, positions that are usually available are hostesses, food line workers, cashiers, bussers, and servers. The high turnover rate also means that most employees aren’t sticking around long enough to reach or encounter any opportunities for advancement. Additionally, even the salaries for these high ranking positions are often fairly low, unless you are in a high-end restaurant.

  1. Time spent in these positions is often reliant on economy:

Since most fast food and low ranking restaurant workers are temporarily working their jobs until they find another, the economy plays a big role in how long they’ll stay. If the economy is booming and there are several available opportunities, they are likely to leave more quickly. If the economy is in a downswing and the chances of finding another job are unlikely or the process takes a long time, they are forced to spend more time in these positions. Depending on the state of the economy, the turnover rates may actually decrease if employees are spending many years job searching. Furthermore, the numbers are increasingly growing for those that graduate college with a 4-year degree and cannot find a job, forcing them to take such temporary positions. Consider this; for the price of a 4-year-degree, you could have purchased a Brothers Gutters franchise and become a business owner before the age of 20. If owning a business isn’t for you, consider instead investing in a trades school and entering a significantly less saturated workforce pool. See more on this topic in our article Blue Collar is The New Middle.

restaurant industry has high turnover rates, trades industry has low turnover ratesNow that we understand the high turnover rates of the food industry, what does it all mean and how does it relate to our industry? Well, contrary to the restaurant business, the turnover rates within the trades industry averages below 50%. At The Brothers that just do Gutters our turnover rate is particularly low. We focus on building a culture of happy workers and our employees that do leave often return to work for us after “trying” other opportunities realizing the potential, positive environment, and opportunities already available to them here at The Brothers that just do Gutters.

restaurant industry has high turnover rates, trades industry has low turnover ratesFranchisors, Ken and Ryan, continually help to foster success and growth of, not only their franchisees, but all employees that work for The Brothers Gutters Corporation, including the tradesmen who are doing the actual work. As part of our business model, we have a comprehensive Skills Ladder that outlines exactly how, and when our Field Installers can move to the next rung of the ladder (get a promotion and pay raise), allowing for a realistic path towards advancement.

Each franchisee adapts the franchisor systems for recruiting, training, and appreciation allowing for an overall consistent company culture and low turnover rate. Our goal is to create a place where our employees want to work, through this company culture that has been created. But, you don’t have to take our word for it, hear it from our employees who helped the Brothers that just do Gutters receive the Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce award for Best Place To Work!

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