- A majority of restaurant employees say they’ve endured emotional abuse and disrespect from customers, with nearly half saying they’ve experienced the same from their managers
- The restaurant industry has seen an elevated quits rate, partly due to dissatisfaction with wages and working conditions
- Two-thirds of respondents said they’d be willing to return to a restaurant job if it offered such amenities as more consistent scheduling and income
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
A majority of restaurant employees say they’ve endured disrespect and emotional abuse from customers, according to a recent survey, while nearly half said they had been subject to the same treatment from their managers.
In a survey of 4,700 restaurant workers, including current, former, and prospective employees, the restaurant data analytics company Black Box Intelligence found that 62 percent had been emotionally abused or disrespected by customers. Forty-nine percent said their managers had treated them in this way.
This treatment is likely a major factor in the significant outflow of employees from the restaurant industry. Black Box Intelligence said they while the turnover rate in the industry was already above 100 percent before the COVID-19 pandemic, it has risen to 144 percent for quick service restaurants and 135 percent for full service restaurants.
- 15 percent said they’ve left the restaurant industry in the past year, and one-third said they hope to do so
- While food and beverage businesses have contributed strongly to new job creation this year, they are also experiencing an elevated quits rate
- Labor shortages have been a pressing challenge for restaurant owners, who have taken actions such as reducing their hours or closing dining rooms due to understaffing
- Restaurant workers have been more likely to seek an improved workplace culture, including more stability in scheduling as well as higher and more consistent income, and two-thirds of the survey respondents said they’d be willing to return to a restaurant job if it offered these conditions to employees