High Tech, High Turnover: 3 Ways Your QSR Can Avoid This Disturbing Trend

Even with more technologies to expedite orders, quick service restaurant employees are getting frustrated. In 2018, QSRs experienced a 150% turnover rate, which MIT’s Technology Review reports as being the worst since record keeping began over two decades ago. This seemingly impossible statistic means that even the people hired to replace those who left their jobs quit within the same year.

According to a survey this year by TalentLMS, an e-learning software company, 62% of employees in the food and beverage industry would quit their job if they felt they did not have enough training. When asked what would make them stay longer, “more and better training for my role” ranked third below salary and advancement opportunities. This presents a great opportunity for QSRs, as it shows they can increase employee retention if they invest in training programs when they deploy new technology.

Here are 3 ways to avoid tech-based turnover:

1 – Take a Lifelong Learning Approach to Technology Training

Remember that training doesn’t begin and end with onboarding. Just as QSR managers need to constantly review their culture and harassment training programs as society changes, they also need to consider the changing role of technology and how this affects both new and experienced employees. Each time you update your POS software or add new hardware, ask yourself: “Do I need to change anything in the e-learning courses I am offering?” Regardless of their rarity, crew members who have been around a relatively long time need the same updated training as your new employees. Creating a content hub on your website can be the first step to ensuring your staff stays up to date on editing new menu items and other often-overlooked aspects that may have changed from previous generations of POS software.

Even if the updates are not complex, some peoples’ natural tendency is to be skeptical of new technology, and continuous training will get every crew member on board with the reason behind the changes. For instance, front of house employees may not understand why their restaurant needs kiosks after seeing several customers ignore them. They may conclude that customers prefer a traditional point of sale system while failing to realize their role in helping to facilitate and encourage self-service.

2 – Put People First

E-learning courses are helpful and efficient, but you should still have someone well versed in training methodologies and even psychology on your staff. This can be a manager who completes more specialized training programs who can then relay this information to different employees on a need-to-know basis, empowering everyone to be experts of their own domain.

Recognizing and tapping the talents of tech-savvy front of house, back of house and drive-thru crew members, managers and trainers is essential, as they can be more approachable resources for employees who may work the same parts of the restaurant.  The operations-based approach McDonald’s takes is one example, with the company inviting 200 top performers from over 22 different regions to join its Hamburger University team in Illinois – helping to ensure consistent training across all of its stores.

3 – Avoid Information Overload

No matter how excited you may be to tell employees about the features of a POS software update or new kiosk, realize that too much information can be detrimental to performance. One research firm calculated that information overload costs the US economy $900 billion annually.

According to Acadia, a technology consulting firm, you should expect your employees to remember only 20% of what they learn from a video training course. Since working memory is most acute during the start and end of a session, make sure to include details during these times that are relevant to an employee’s specific role, rather than the usual overview of nice-to-know facts and figures that some training programs include.

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