God Is in The Details

“It means that attention paid to small things have big reward”

Nowhere can this be found then in managing a restaurant.  One small inconspicuous little spark can turn into a raging forest fire. Attention paid to small things does have big rewards.

Details are important. One thing that comes to my mind from many years in the foodservice industry, and probably is still overlooked is the importance of how you treat your employees.  Over the years cost, quality food and good service have been drilled into us.  Only results mattered without recognizing the human cost or burden put on our employees.  It is only now that we are finally finding out that how we get there is more important than getting there.

It may be a small detail at first but hiring a new employee is a big thing and is sometimes taken for granted.  There used to be a saying “Hire them now, train them later”, “right now we need a warm body to fill a position”.

This little detail of not taking the time to train a new employee properly can cost you a lot of money and customers as well as  corrupting some of the other employees,

According to The National Restaurant Association, employee turnover across the entire restaurant industry was 61percentin 2016 and that percentage is almost twice as high for front-line workers. The shocking truth is that restaurants on average are losing somewhere around $150,000 a year due to employee turnover alone!

The Real Cost of Losing a Single Employee

Maybe you know your restaurant is hemorrhaging money by losing employees, but how do you find out just how much you’re losing on a per employee level? The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell estimates that the cost of employee turnover averages around $5,864 per person for a typical front-line employee.

Lucky for us, the CHR broke that number down even further. Here’s how they got to $5,864:

Three percent Pre-departure: $176

20 Percent Recruiting: $1,173

11 Percent Selection: $645

14 Percent Orientation & Training: $821

52 Percent Productivity Loss: $3,049

The idea that restaurant employees are expendable has become somewhat of a prevalent one. Now there are not that many people to choose from when looking to replace an employee, the cost of losing one employee alone makes it worth it to take measures to try to keep your people around longer.


We have read about the cost of employee turnover.  Let’s address what we can do before the employee quits.  First,  let’s face it you are going to have turn over.  It is expected in any industry.  (Graduates from school, husband get a job in another state, Pregnancy, etc.)

Lets’ concentrate on the employees that leave because of problems in your restaurant. They say “people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers, or they cannot get along with other employees and all of this leads to “DRAMA IN THE WORKPLACE”

We cannot control the expected, however, we can control the rest of the reason why employees quit.

Another saying is “The job is only as good as the person you work for” and I would like to add “The job is only as good as the people you work with”

Management problems are caused by one person and that is the Owner and Manager.

It is their responsibility of management to create a good working environment:

  • Effective “Communications” upward and downward.
  • Positive reinforcement to all employees.
  • Show gratitude, encourage positive thinking, etc.

All of these reasons and plenty more come together to create a good working environment nowadays it is called “Culture”


Building a strong Culture is one of the hardest things that you can do as a leader of a Restaurant, but it is also one of the most important things that you will do as a Leader in your Restaurant.  Building a great Restaurant Culture can have a significant impact on employee turnover and most importantly, on the bottom line.  Your competitors can copy your menus, your recipes, your process and your ingredients, but the one thing that they can’t copy is your Culture and that is why Culture is a critical component in the strategy for your Restaurant.


This is not “Rocket Science”. You do it and reduce cost along with gaining loyal employees.

Kenny Arone is a restaurant consultant and partner in Cost Genie Menu Costing Software. www.costgenie.com



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