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4 Ways To Reduce Employee Turnover in the Fast Food Industry


Did you know that the employee turnover rate for fast-food franchises can exceed 100 percent? When you lose employees left and right, you are forced to interview, hire, and train new workers continuously, at a significant cost. Worse, you are left with an unstable workplace culture that fosters less engagement and increases employee turnover even further.

employee turnover in the fast food industry

Here’s an overview of the fast-food industry in America 

  • In 2021, the fast-food industry in America employed more than 3.8 million people.
  • Approximately 80% of fast-food employees work part-time.
  • About 52% of fast-food workers rely on one or more public assistance programs.
  • Only 2.5% of fast-food employees are enrolled in postsecondary education or above.
  • 36.4% of the total restaurant workforce consists of individuals born outside the USA.
  • 59.5% of fast-food employees work in chained establishments, while 40.5% work in independently owned-restaurants.
  • Fast food employees make up 29.9% of the entire restaurant workforce.
  • 15.5% of all restaurant employees fall within the 16 to 19 age group.
  • A significant 41% of teenagers in the workforce hold hourly-paid jobs in restaurants.
  • The average wage for a fast-food worker exceeds $10 per hour.
  • In 2021, hourly earnings for nonsupervisory fast-food workers averaged around $13, while non-managers in full-service restaurants earned over $17 per hour.
  • The typical annual income for a fast-food worker amounts to $18,230.
    Source: Gitnux Market Data Report 2023

Challenges of Employee Turnover in the Fast-Food Industry

The fast-food industry grapples with significant challenges related to employee turnover. Notable statistics shed light on the extent of this issue:

  • A staggering 144% employee turnover rate plagues fast-food restaurants, illustrating the rapid pace at which employees come and go.
  • A substantial 69% of the workforce in this sector is under the age of 25, which presents unique challenges in terms of retaining young employees.
  • Approximately 18% of hourly workers choose to leave their jobs to care for their children, highlighting the delicate balance between work and family life.
  • An alarming 62% of employees report enduring emotional abuse and disrespect from customers, shedding light on the often difficult working conditions.

Moreover, data from the U.S. Labor Department reveal that restaurant workers are resigning from their positions at a rate not witnessed in two decades. Specifically, in the accommodation and food services sector, the quit rate reached 5.7% in June 2021, more than double the overall quit rate of 2.7%. These statistics underscore the pressing need to address and rectify the challenges associated with employee turnover in the fast-food industry.
Source: Business Insider Study 2021


In 2016, the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University conducted an assessment of turnover costs within the restaurant industry, particularly in Quick Service Restaurants (QSR). The study revealed that, on average, the turnover of a single employee incurred an approximate expense of $5,864.

A more detailed breakdown of these costs is as follows:

  1. Pre-departure disengagement: $176 – The cost associated with an employee’s disengagement and reduced productivity before their departure.
  2. Recruiting to fill the vacant position: $1,173 – The expenses related to the recruitment process, including advertising and interview procedures.
  3. Selection for the new hire: $645 – Costs associated with selecting and onboarding the replacement employee.
  4. Orientation and training: $821 – Expenditures for training the new hire and getting them acclimated to the role.
  5. Productivity loss for all staff: $3,049 – The most substantial portion of turnover expenses, reflecting the loss in productivity and efficiency for the entire team due to the departing employee.

The same study further indicated that, on average, a full-service restaurant operator faced an annual cost of approximately $146,600 due to employee turnover. These substantial costs can significantly impact the profitability of restaurants, particularly those operating on thin profit margins.
Source: Daily Pay dot Com


So, what is the solution? One answer is to introduce a great employee app as a tool to engage, motivate, reward, and retain employees.

Unlocking Employee Engagement and Retention with an Employee App

1. Personalized Communication:

The hubEngage employee app enables personalized communication with employees, allowing organizations to tailor messages, announcements, and updates to individual preferences. This fosters a sense of connection and inclusivity, making employees feel valued and engaged.

2. Gamification and Rewards:

The employee app offers gamification features that turn tasks and achievements into a fun and competitive experience. By offering rewards, badges, and recognition for accomplishments, employees are motivated to excel in their roles and become more invested in their work.

3. Training and Development:

The HubEngage employee app serves as an efficient tool for providing continuous training and development opportunities. Employees can access training materials, courses, and resources at their convenience, facilitating skill enhancement and career growth.

4. Feedback and Surveys:

The app facilitates real-time feedback collection and surveys, ensuring that employees’ voices are heard. This open line of communication helps in addressing concerns, improving workplace satisfaction, and making data-driven decisions for enhancements.

5. Employee Recognition:

Recognizing and celebrating employee achievements is a powerful motivator. HubEngage allows peer-to-peer recognition, as well as recognition from management, creating a culture of appreciation and encouragement.

6. Social Collaboration:

The app fosters social collaboration by providing forums, chat rooms, and spaces for sharing knowledge and experiences. This encourages a sense of community and collaboration among employees, regardless of their physical location.

7. Wellness Programs:

Promoting employee well-being is essential for retention. HubEngage can be used to introduce and manage wellness programs, health challenges, and mental health resources, demonstrating a company’s commitment to its employees’ holistic health.

8. Surveys and Analytics:

By using surveys and analytics tools, companies can gauge employee satisfaction and engagement levels. These insights help in making informed decisions to improve the work environment and address specific concerns.

9. Easy Access to Company Information:

HubEngage provides a centralized platform for employees to access company policies, benefits, and important information. This streamlines the onboarding process and keeps everyone informed about company updates.

10. Creating an Inclusive Work Environment:

Employee engagement apps, when implemented from onboarding to promotion, play a pivotal role in creating an inclusive work environment. They facilitate communication, encouraging employees to connect with their colleagues and management, fostering a sense of loyalty, and pride in the brand. This inclusivity can significantly contribute to longer employee tenures, enhancing overall job satisfaction.

11. Ensuring Employee Safety through Advanced Training:

Workplace safety is a paramount concern, and an employee mobile app assists in this regard by providing a platform for uploading training materials. This empowers workers to understand the reasons behind safety protocols and dress codes, making them more likely to comply. Moreover, mobile training modules expedite onboarding and promotion processes, allowing employees to complete training at their own pace, and increasing efficiency.

12. Encouraging Healthy Competition:

Employee engagement apps introduce a fun dimension to training by incorporating friendly competition. Leaderboards, quizzes, and gamification encourage employees to test their knowledge and compete for rewards such as gift cards or free meals. This innovative approach not only boosts engagement but also fosters a sense of camaraderie among employees.

13. Building Trust through Social Interactions:

An employee engagement app creates a space for employees to share stories, anecdotes, and updates. Surveys and polls solicit feedback from employees, demonstrating that their input is valued and considered. This builds trust among employees and with their managers, ultimately reducing turnover, enhancing workplace safety, and improving the overall customer experience.

HubEngage is a versatile and invaluable tool for companies aiming to engage, motivate, reward, and retain their employees. By facilitating personalized communication, gamification, training, feedback, recognition, social collaboration, wellness programs, and data-driven decision-making, it empowers organizations to create a workplace culture that attracts and retains top talent, ultimately driving long-term success.

HubEngage’s multifaceted approach transcends the conventional boundaries of an employee app. It revolutionizes the fast-food industry by creating an inclusive environment, promoting safety, encouraging competition, and nurturing trust among employees. This seemingly simple tool can quickly unite fast-food workers, help them learn their jobs more effectively, and increase brand loyalty. If you do not want to face hiring a brand new staff every month, you must use technology to your advantage and eliminate obstacles that cause a high turnover and low satisfaction.

These elements, combined with the previously discussed features, ensure that HubEngage is an essential tool for driving success in the fast-food sector, mitigating the challenges of high turnover, and improving the overall work experience.

If this sounds good to you and if you are interested in helping your fast food business reduce turnover and boost engagement rates, try the HubEngage app today.

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