Whether they’re employing students working one summer at a time, or 9-to-5-ers who pick up bartending shifts for an extra paycheck, many restaurants are at a risk for high turnover rates. In fact, last year, the turnover rate in the hospitality sector exceeded 70 percent for the second consecutive year.

Not only does turnover cost money in hiring and training costs, but it puts a restaurant at risk of providing subpar service when staffers are at different levels of proficiency.

That’s why Upserve, a provider of restaurant POS, payments and analytics software, decided to dig into turnover stats as part of its inaugural restaurant industry report, analyzing millions of transactions from thousands of customers across the U.S. in Q3 of 2017.

Restaurant Industry Report: Staff Turnover Statistics

Stop feeling like your restaurant has a revolving door by digging into data-backed insights:

restaurant staff employee turnover

Seasonality is the biggest culprit.

Weekly turnover rates increased from July to September on a weekly basis, likely signaling that students – who occupy an estimated 30% percent of seasonal restaurant jobs – are heading back to school.

“Stop feeling like your restaurant has a revolving door by digging into data-backed insights.”


Restaurant location can impact your staff.

For example – pay rates are highest in the West and lowest in the South – a gap that is likely to increase in 2018. And turnover is highest in the Northeast and Midwest.

Restaurant Pay rate by role grouped by region staff

Finding and keeping kitchen staff is a priority for restaurants in every region

The gap in base pay rates between positions revealed just how prized kitchen staff are in a tight labor market: Everyone is paying a competitive rate.

Hourly rate for active vs churned employees restaurant staff

Base pay rate has little impact on turnover.

Surprisingly, in all seven categories of staff measured, there are little signs of correlation between a higher base pay and employee turnover.

Interested in the data behind these turnover statistics, plus even more? Or what menu trends are old news and which ones are poised to shine in 2018? Download the free industry report here.


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You're just as likely to find Meghan ordering a rye Old Fashioned at a new bar as you are to find her sipping chamomile tea while she gets too much take-out delivered. She believes in trying new foods, indulging in tasting menus, and always ordering dessert.