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Employee Turnover in Fast-Food Restaurants Essay

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Updated: Jun 20th, 2020


This report is aimed at examining such a problem as very high rates of employee turnover in hospitality organizations since this issue can undermine the sustainability of many businesses representing this economic sector. In particular, it is important to consider the problems encountered by fast-food restaurants. One of the main tasks is to examine the factors that contribute to this problem. Furthermore, this report will include recommendations that can benefit such companies. These recommendations should help these organizations retain workers and increase their satisfaction with their job. Overall, the management of these enterprises should focus on their recruitment strategies and work on the transformation of the organizational culture in order to address the problem of increasing employee turnover. Furthermore, in this way, they can strengthen the commitment of workers and increase the perceived value of working in fast-food industry. By achieving this goal, managers will improve the sustainability of fast-food restaurants in the long term.

Overview of the fast-food industry and the main categories of employees

It should be mentioned that fast-food industry is represented by businesses that differ in terms of profitability, size, and structure. In this case, one can speak about such corporations as McDonald’s or Burger King, but at the same time, one should consider smaller businesses that are not very familiar to many people. This industry is very competitive, and businesses administrators are driven by the need to reduce operational expenses. Additionally, these businesses may need to comply with the regulatory norms established n various countries. This argument is particularly relevant if one speaks about companies operating at the international level (Royle & Towers, 2004). For example, one can speak about McDonald’s.

The employees of such businesses can be divided into two large groups. In particular, one should speak about white-collar workers who occupy administrative positions. For example, they can act as supply chain managers or shift supervisors. In turn, one can speak about blue-collar workers who can be engaged in physical labor. For instance, one can mention cooks or waiting staff. It is important to mention that some executives, who occupy higher positions in the organizational hierarchy, could start their career as blue-collar workers. Business administrators are required to understand the functioning of the company at different levels (Royle & Towers, 2004). These are some of the main details that one should take into account. On the whole, these businesses continuously struggle with increasing employee turnover (Royle & Towers, 2004, p. 22). This phenomenon has long been observed at the international level (Royle & Towers, 2004, p. 22). Nevertheless, this problem has become even more acute nowadays, because the rates of employee turnover have excessively high. Furthermore, it can significantly undermine the organizational performance of these businesses (Plunkett, Attner, & Alllen, 2007). These are some of the difficulties that one should consider.

Causes of turnover

It is possible to identify several important causes of extremely high employee turnover in fast-food restaurants. At first, one should mention that many people perceive employment in this industry only as a casual or part-time job. Many of them do not consider pursuing a long-term career in this industry. Many employees can be students whose major is not related to the hospitality or service industries. Such an attitude can be explained by several factors such as perceived lack of prestige. This is one of the details that managers should not overlook since the attitudes of workers and their perceptions of employers can profoundly shape the rate of turnover in organizations and people’s performance (Plunkett et al., 2007).

Furthermore, one can regard poor organizational culture as one of the underlying causes that leads to increasing turnover. In this case, one can speak about several important elements such as the lack of empowerment to workers or absence of mechanisms that can help people cope with stress. In many cases, these people believe that they are not valued by the company. This is one of the issues that should not be overlooked. Organizational culture is one of the main internal factors that influence the commitment of workers and their attitude towards employers. This is one of the arguments that can be put forward.

Apart from that, many employees believe that they are not adequately compensated for their efforts. Therefore, they lack commitment to organizational goals. Moreover, they often see that their improved performance is not rewarded or even recognized by the management. As a result, they see no incentive for retaining their job or improving their performance. In turn, the loss of employment is not perceived as some catastrophe. These factors do not result only in increasing employee turnover. One should also speak about such pitfalls as poor performance, absenteeism, or negative attitudes towards clients. These are some of the pitfalls that should be avoided. Overall, the three causes that have been described can be observed in various developed countries. They can influence the decisions of people who may represent different ethnic and cultural groups. This is why one should not overlook them.

Admittedly, there are many companies that want to improve their internal policies and strengthen the commitment of workers. The management of these enterprises perceive turnover a serious challenge and strive to find a solution to this problem (Plunkett et al., 2007). In some cases, their initiatives have been quite successful. Nevertheless, the causes that have been described in this section continue to play an important role in various organizations and their effects should be minimized. These are the key aspects that one should consider.


The method of addressing the primary reasons

If it is necessary to provide a single method for addressing the issues discussed in the previous factors, the management of fast-food companies should change their recruitment policies. In particular, they should hire people who want to pursue career in the hospitality industry. For example, one can speak about candidates who study the management of service organizations such as restaurants, hotels, and so forth. These individuals are willing to learn more about the work of such organizations. Furthermore, they are more likely to value the opportunity to work in such businesses. This experience can be important for their professional development (Royle & Towers, 2004). This is one of the core benefits that should be taken into account. Admittedly, this method can result in additional costs related to expenses; nevertheless, fast-food restaurants already have to incur significant costs caused by employee turnover, and it is necessary to find ways of reducing this trend. Moreover, new candidates can attach more value to this employment. Certainly, this intervention should not be the only one, but it is vital for addressing the main challenges.

The strategy for increasing job satisfaction

In order to increase the job satisfaction of people, who work in this industry, one should focus on the culture of fast-food industries. The key task is to demonstrate that the management values workers and wants them to remain committed to organizational goals. In turn, business administrators should consider the use of non-monetary rewards. For example, one can speak about the increased opportunities for promotion or improved work-life benefits. Some of the employees should be allowed to choose such an option as compressed workweeks. This is one of the interventions that should be considered by managers. Yet, these professionals should not forget about such interventions as empowerment of workers, impartial performance appraisal methods, and other tools that change people’s attitude toward employers. These are the main details can be singled out.


On the whole, this discussion indicates that the high turnover rate of workers in fast-food restaurants can be explained by various internal and external factors. Much attention should be paid the following challenges: 1) negative attitudes towards the employment in this industry; 2) perceived lack of awards; 3) poor organizational culture. It is important to change the recruitment policies of these businesses and focus on the candidates whose educational background is related to hospitality or service industries. Moreover, they need to highlight the rewards that the employees can receive. These are the main suggestions that can be offered. Nevertheless, in order to address this problem effectively, business administrators should focus on a wide range of interventions that can influence the motivation of workers and their perception of fast-food restaurants. These are the key issues that can be distinguished.

Reference List

Plunkett, W., Attner, R., & Alllen, G. (2007). Management: Meeting and Exceeding Customer Expectations. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.

Royle, T., & Towers, B. (2004). Labour Relations in the Global Fast-Food Industry. New York, NY: Routledge.

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