High Turnover Rates In Fast Food Industries Essays Example
The Fast food industry
The fast food industry is among the industries that record the highest turnover rates. Most of the employees in the fast food industry are either unskilled or students. These employees mostly work on either part-time or seasonal contracts. Approximately half of these workers quit within a year of employment resulting in an 85% annual turnover rate in the industry (Fullen, 2008). Very few employees opt for long term contracts or full-time jobs in fast food industry. The workers remain as long as they do not have a better job offer. They, for this reason, keep applying and searching for better job offers leaving as soon as they get one.
The high turnover rates affect not only the labor force but also the quality of food production in the restaurants. A drop in the quality is mainly caused by new, inexperienced workers who need time to learn and acquire the skills necessary to provide the desired quality of fast foods.
Organizations that succeed in maintaining employees on a full-time basis or long-term contracts compete fairly in the market since they provide quality, fast foods to their customers. By retaining employees and maintaining a low turnover rate, this business retains customers consequently attracting others to increase their demand and ultimately their production.
Main categories in the industry.
Managers are at the highest level of the chain of employees. They are answerable for ensuring the comprehensive implementation of company policies. They make crucial decisions such as hiring and firing of junior employees. In addition, they monitor and facilitate issues such as the company budget and daily schedules. Some businesses employ assistant managers depending on the size of the business.
The next level of managers focuses on facilitation of policies by providing guidance and support of junior employees to ensure success in daily duties and endeavors. To ensure smooth running of the businesses, the managers such as shift managers develop schedules such as roll calls and registers to direct the junior employees.
Individuals at the managerial level of the employee community barely contribute to the high turnover rate mainly because of a hefty and moderate wage rate that is comfortable and acceptable.
Front-line employees are common in busy and competitive fast food businesses. Their main task is to invite the customer and assist them, if necessary, to make them feel as comfortable and welcome as possible. To increase their efficiency, it is vital that these members of the front-line crew acquire skills in handling credit cards and checks as well as operate the Point of Sales (POS) system. Apart from their duties, the Frontline crew assists the rest of the employees when they need help. For instance, a front-line employee may help to fill drinks especially when the food-preparation associate is too busy to handle the increasing number of customers (Baraban and Durocher, 2010). An increasing number of customers may cause jam in the queue making the customers impatient.
This group of employees ensures the premises are clean and hygienic. Major tasks include wiping tables and the entire dining area, emptying the trash cans, as well as the washrooms. The staff crew report to the respective supervisor. These employees mainly consist non-skilled and semi-illiterate individuals desperate to make a living and survive in an urban environment or to support their families. The hiring team barely insists on experience or qualifications before employing people as the cleanup crew (Fullen, 2008). It is the most tiring of the tasks available in a fast food business. The clean-up crew barely gets the time to rest especially during lunch or evening hours depending on the location of the business premise.
The Cashier is responsible for recording and conducting transactions directly with the customers. It is the most hectic of the jobs owing to its sensitivity as directly involves cash. Minor errors in this job amount to strict consequences. For instance, in many fast food businesses, an error leading to the loss is blamed on the cashier, and they are forced to settle the loss by cutting their wage to compensate the amount lost.
Cooks and food preparation associates
Employees responsible for cooking are among the most skilled of the employees in the business. They are also very experienced so as to ensure they provide quality food within the given time to meet the stringent demands of the customers. Burgers are one of the most served of fast foods in these businesses. Cooks' experience in preparing these burgers as well as other common fast foods is essential in retaining and attracting customers.
The food-preparation associates are mainly responsible for heating and putting the already prepared food together in readiness for service. They, for example, re-heat the patties, split the buns (depending on customer specifications), add condiments, some tomato and lettuce, wrap it up all as quickly as possible and hand it to the waiting customer.
Reasons for high turnover
Lack of employee benefits
Most businesses in the fast food industry do not offer benefits such as health insurance and educational incentives. It is because they do not afford to offer these benefits. However, it is disappointing to employees to persevere and risk their lives and health without any benefits. The lack of benefits makes these employees keep searching for better job offers.
The stabilization of the economy encourages employees to quit working in the fast food industries and search for better opportunities. For instance, the 2008 recession led to a sharp decline in turnover rates. In 2007, the turnover rates in United States of American cities were 107 percent (Kusluvan, 2008). Although an economic downturn leads to a low turnover, the small number of people visiting the restaurants harms the businesses. The result is a high population of staff available to work with the available wage rates but few customers. It is not good for the food industries.
Most of the managers govern the businesses with strict rules and little consideration of employee problems or complaints. Although some employees may begin their job excited and active, they soon realize they do not meet the expectations of their bosses. This situation mostly results in employee loss of moral and the psyche to work. Instead, they become disgruntled and replace their morale with a negative attitude.
Like dictators, the leaders whose sole intention is to improve the efficiency to please the customers and maximize the profits end up developing a rebellious and defiant group of employees who quit as soon as they are able. It accounts for the high turnover rates in the industry (Fullen, 2008).
The lack of employee benefits
Since most of the fast food businesses are small-scale businesses and may not afford benefits such as health insurance, they should consider cheaper and manageable benefits. These benefits are extremely important in promoting employee morale and motivate them to work with passion and vigor. Such minor benefits include flexible working hours (negotiable by the employee), overtime pay as well as employee discounts. Soft loans are also appropriate especially considering the low wage rate that is barely manageable.
Although the trends in the economy are not within the control of the fast food businesses, taking advantage of the situation is vital. For instance, during the recession, the business management should take time to build good employee relation such that the employees will retain their contracts during economic stability. During the stabilization of the economy, some employees who are pleased to work in a place that accommodated them may linger in the job rather than rush for other job offers.
In order to achieve a friendly, cooperative and supportive character in the management team, the leaders should focus their efforts to cultivate better relationships with the junior employees. A friendly environment is extremely important in motivating and boosting employee morale. To ensure that the employees treat customers politely, warmly and with a positive attitude, the managers should begin by treating these employees considerably. By developing a culture of freedom and ownership where every employee feels proud of their position and the company, in general. The managers should focus their efforts on creating an environment that is fun to work and space to interact, share and communicate with the departments of the business.
How to improve Job satisfaction
Increase wage rate
A low wage rate is the main reason for high turnover rates in fast food industry. The industry has a reputation of low wage rates over the years. It is, for this reason, vital that managers consider increasing the wage rates while balancing the staff quality and population. It is vital to consider other aspects of the business before increasing the wages.
Increasing the wages of the employees by a small margin and not by their demands and consequently at the expense of the company profits, the fast-food business will achieve in maintaining experienced workers and provide quality foods efficiently according to customer desires.
Although most of the companies’ operating fast food businesses are small-scale and, for this reason, make meager margins in profits, they suffer the consequences of losing customers due to compromised quality of their products. This low quality is directly attributed to a high turnover rate.
Baraban, R. S., & Durocher, J. F. (2010). Successful restaurant design. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.
Fullen, S. L. (2008). Controlling restaurant & food service labor costs. Ocala, Fla: Atlantic Pub. Group.
Kusluvan, S. (2008). Managing employee attitudes and behaviors in the tourism and hospitality industry. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
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