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Joe Welsh - CORE Coach

Joe Welsh is a Partner with CORE Restaurant Marketing Solutions which is a national restaurant marketing agency focusing on helping restaurants improve their sales and profitability. Joe has worked with restaurants on a local and national basis. He has developed and implemented programs for US Foodservice, Gordon Foods and Performance Food Group. Joe has his Master’s Degree in Food Marketing from St. Joseph’s University and over 30 years’ experience in the Food Industry covering both the retail and foodservice sectors.

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Home » Restaurant Marketing Strategies and Tactics Restaurant Marketing Strategies and Tactics » Can’t Find Labor For Your Restaurant

Can’t Find Labor For Your Restaurant

Every week I hear this complaint from restaurant owners regarding labor and hospitality management. It’s just impossible to find labor in this market!  Is that how most feel? Surprisingly it is not the complaint of many owners

Yes, it is difficult to find good employees. A strong economy makes for a smaller labor pool to pull from. Rising wages have employees looking elsewhere. So many restaurants in a competitive area are all stealing workers from each other. Nobody wants to work had anymore. These are just some of the complaints I hear every week. Some owners have a different story to tell. Busy-Restaurant-150x150

Employee retention is critical in today’s job market for many reasons. Let’s look at some of the top questions that goes through the mind of many restaurant owners.

  • It takes a lot of the restaurant owners time to find a good employee. Time they don’t have.
  • Training new employees is a pain. You have to teach them your way of doing things and change their mindset if they came from another restaurant.
  • Will they work the hours and shifts I need them to work.
  • Will they show up after two days
  • Are they a good fit for my customers.

The surprising  thing I rarely hear is that many owners never thing about what it truly cost to replace an employee. A recent study by the National Restaurant Association reported by Modern Restaurant Management put the cost of replacing a restaurant employees at an average restaurant  around $150,000 per year. This number comes from looking at the cost of recruiting, hiring, training and lost sales that come as a result of on-boarding a new employee. Take that number and multiply it by the amount of employee turnover you have each year. Employee retention is an expensive hit to the bottom line of each restaurant.

So how does the leader of the restaurant fix the problem. Basically it comes down to a formula that addresses the following issues.

  • Employee hiring profile for each position. Something more than a warm body.
  • A compensation plan that is competitive within your market. Will the employee be hitting their compensation expectations.
  • A well defined training program. Current and ongoing training.
  • A workplace culture that stimulates personal and business growth.
  • Open communications

The restaurants that are not complaining about a tight labor have many of the pieces in place that create a culture of success and fun for the employee and the business. Employee retention is not the major issue. Turnover is low, customers are happy and the business is thriving.

Take a good hard look at your restaurant. Where are you today, and where do you want to be one year from now.

Core Restaurant Marketing has been working with restaurant owners deal with problems such as this for many years. Our process of learning a restaurants specific issues and coaching strategies help us to create action plans that are proven to generate results. To learn how we can help your restaurant, call us 888-890-94492 x 1 or email us at info@

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