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Challenges in the Foodservice Labor Market: Turnover

Challenges in the Foodservice Labor Market: Turnover


Last Published: 06/13/2017

Challenges in the Foodservice Labor Market: Turnover

The foodservice industry is a large and fast-growing sector of the economy and it currently employs nearly five million women and four million men in food preparation and serving occupations. 


However, the foodservice industry is struggling to come to terms with the realities of the current labor market, due to the upswing in the global economy and the perceived disadvantages of the industry to prospective employees.

Finding, hiring, training and retaining employees is nearly as big of challenge as paying the increased minimum wages that are being mandated across the U.S. and Canada. These challenges span all segments of the industry and require new methods to solve them.

Turnover across the hourly workforce is on the rise, and the restaurant sector is no exception to this trend. Turnover is a significant issue in the restaurants and accommodations industry, where the overall rate surpassed 72% in 2015.

For restaurants, having to deal with that rate of turnover is a multi-faceted problem. The first and most obvious issue is cost. As the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment has found, it costs businesses an average of $4,000 to replace a worker – a number that reflects the costs of advertising, hiring, hours of training and time required to ramp a new staffer up to full productivity. Beyond cost, however, employee attrition can have a negative impact on restaurant morale. If a restaurant gains a reputation for high turnover, this can perpetuate a climate of transience in which workers view their job as a pit stop until something better rolls around. Thus, worker productivity can suffer.


Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.

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