Restaurant struggles continued in March as sales and traffic again declined year-over-year. Same-store sales were down -1.1 percent while traffic dropped -3.4 percent. March’s results were disappointing for an industry desperately trying to reverse performance trends; sales have been negative in 11 out of the last 12 months.
Not only was the sales data poor, but Black Box reports on concerning hiring data. The industry continues to struggle with higher wages and a smaller talent pool of eager candidates desiring to work in the industry. This translates to high turnover, weaker service and frustrated management. All of this turns out to be costly. How many customers were lost due to poor service? How much money did you spend in wasted hiring fees? How stressed are you that your restaurant is operating inefficiently? All of that is wasted money.
Finding enough qualified employees to keep restaurants fully staffed persists as a primary concern for restaurant operators. This is mainly due to restaurant turnover rates continuing to skyrocket while the labor market is at or near full employment. Turnover for restaurant hourly employees as well as managers increased again during February according to TDn2K’s People Report™. These rates are currently higher than they have been in over ten years and rising.