7shifts Data Shows That Employee Turnover in Restaurants is High Across The United States

According to data from the 7shifts, the average turnover rate for restaurants in the United States is 45%. This number has been relatively stable over the last few years, but it remains high when compared to other industries.

There are a variety of factors that contribute to this high turnover rate. One of the most common is the nature of the work itself. Many restaurant jobs are low-paying and physically demanding, making them unattractive to workers.

Additionally, the hours can be long and erratic, which can also deter many people. Despite these challenges, there are ways to reduce turnover and keep employees happy. One of the best ways is to offer competitive wages and benefits.

Another is to create a positive and safe work environment that is supportive and respectful. If you can do these things, you can help create an environment where your employees want to stay.

7shifts, the leading team management platform for restaurants, analyzed over 635,000 restaurant employees across North America from August 2021 to August 2022 to investigate staff retention and turnover trends.

Key Takeaways from 7shifts staff turnover data:

  • Average employee tenure is just 110 days—a little over three months.,
  • Front-of-house positions have a 41% turnover average,
  • Back-of-house positions have a 43% turnover average,
  • Managers only have a 28% turnover rate,
  • New Mexico is the state with the highest restaurant staff turnover,
  • Atlanta, GA, has the highest turnover rates among cities, averaging 49.82%.

…And many more specific retention statistics, including breakdowns by state and city for 2022.

Data Methodology

The 7shifts Restaurant Turnover and Retention Playbook uncover key trends across the restaurant industry through aggregated and anonymized 7shifts platform and engagement data. This data study analyzes trends and data from August 2021 to August 2022, with over 635,000 restaurant employees in the United States.

Turnover in the restaurant industry remains high

High turnover has long been a core tenet of the hospitality industry. 

For restaurant employees added in the past year (August 2021-August 2022), the average employee tenure is just 110 days—a little over three months. 

When looking at the data overall, restaurants have an average turnover rate of 45% across the United States. Let’s break this down further.

Back-of-House and Front-of-House are an even split

7shifts data shows no large discrepancy between front- and back-of-house turnover rates. 

Front-of-house positions (including servers, hosts, and bartenders, fare slightly worse than back-of-house positions (including cooks, porters, and dishwashers).

Front of House Positions: 41% turnover rate

Back of House Positions 43% turnover rate

What about managers?

Restaurant Managers fared a bit better than hourly employees—with a turnover rate of 28%

StateTurnover Rate
Alaska (AK)46.61%
Alabama (AL)50.38%
Arkansas (AR)47.35%
Arizona (AZ)46.60%
California (CA)45.30%
Colorado (CO)43.40%
Connecticut (CT)41.60%
Washington, DC (DC)41.32%
Delaware (DE)42.41%
Florida (FL)48.19%
Georgia (GA)49.70%
Hawai’i (HI)38.59%
Iowa (IA)40.68%
Idaho (ID)52.50%
Illinois (IL)41.24%
Indiana (IN)47.73%
Kansas (KS)48.78%
Kentucky (KY)46.67%
Louisiana (LA)50.18%
Massachusetts (MA)39.99%
Maryland (MD)43.64%
Maine (ME)38.84%
Michigan (MI)44.27%
Minnesota (MN)38.34%
Missouri (MO)42.66%
Mississippi (MS)50.95%
Montana (MT)44.12%
North Carolina (NC)47.76%
North Dakota (ND)53.27%
Nebraska (NE)43.91%
New Hampshire (NH)38.21%
New Jersey (NJ)45.24%
New Mexico (NM)57.83%
Nevada (NV)48.71%
New York (NY)42.73%
Ohio (OH)43.89%
Oklahoma (OK)50.01%
Oregon (OR)43.75%
Pennsylvania (PA)45.68%
Rhode Island (RI)44.03%
South Carolina (SC)40.66%
South Dakota (SD)46.38%
Tennessee (TN)42.02%
Texas (TX)48.35%
Utah (UT)48.24%
Vermont (VA)46.30%
Virginia (VT)46.78%
Washington (WA)42.95%
Wisconsin (WI)40.14%
West Virginia (WV)42.51%
Wyoming (WY)50.65%
Alaska (AK)50.79%


On the bottom of the list were New Mexico, North Dakota, and Idaho.

City by City Breakdown

The Twin Cities and Boston came out on top for the restaurant-dense metropolitan areas.

CityTurnover Rate
New York43.83%
Chicago40.36%
Richmond48.53%
Los Angeles42.25%
Denver40.41%
Washington41.12%
Atlanta49.82%
Boston36.54%
Las Vegas49.14%
Phoenix47.07%
Austin42.66%
Portland42.28%

And Atlanta, Vegas, and Richmond, VA fared towards the bottom.

Link to the complete article and research data with ideas to help with retention: https://www.7shifts.com/blog/restaurant-staff-turnover-and-retention-playbook/

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