Cafe and bar staff turnover hits 40%, costing the industry €1.4bn a year

Catering sector wages have increased. Photo: Jan Kranendok via
Photo: Jan Kranendok via

Dutch bars, restaurants and cafes are losing up to 40% of their staff a year, costing the industry €1.4bn in lost productivity, recruitment costs and training, according to a new report by ABN Amro economists.

The high turnover rate is partly due to the fact that most people working in the hospitality industry are young – some 52% are under the age of 25 – and people leave as soon as they start having families, ABN Amro said.  ‘In other countries it is quite normal to be served by someone in their 40s, 50s and 60s,’ researcher Stef Driessen told broadcaster NOS.

The industry should take steps to improve its recruitment processes and cut down the pressure of work in order to keep personnel for longer, the report suggested. ‘A long a-la-carte menu is a lot of work,’ Driessen said. ‘Reducing the amount of dishes and ingredients makes the job easier and calmer, particularly for cooks.’

Low wages are also an issue, although the economists do not think cafes and bars have enough money to boost salaries. Investing in better kitchen equipment, specialised apps and training would enable staff to serve customers more effectively and efficiently, the report concluded.

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