Cutting turnover in a high turnover business

CorkRecently I spoke to a legendary sandwich chain on the west coast – Togo’s. I had a chance to visit for lunch and they do make a terrific sandwich. They like many in QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) industry would love a strategy for cutting turnover of their teammates in the restaurants. Recently I spoke to their franchisees in Phoenix at their annual convention. I gave them a simple ideas based on the Law of Appreciation.

The law states that who ever you consistently show sincere appreciation, will appreciate in value

I made a simple suggestion that is inexpensive and easy to implement. I asked them what would happen if every associate at the end of their first day received a special card that said:


Great effort on your first day. I know it was not easy and I also know that everyday you will get better. Continue to engage each guest and remember will build our business by making one amazing sandwich at a time. I am glad I hired you. You have what it takes!”

Your Manager

What if you also wrote a special note at the end of the first week? At and the end of two weeks?


You did it! You have now made over 250 amazing sandwiches and I want you to know I appreciate it. You are getting better every day and the skills and work habits you learn here will serve you well the rest of your life. Here are two movie passes to enjoy this weekend. I look forward to seeing you Monday.”

Your Manager

Of course the message needs to be customized for each person. If that is a good idea, wouldn’t it make sense to continue at 30 days, 60 days, 90 days? What kind of raise for performance would you have at different intervals?

How special would you make the appreciation at 6 months, 9 months or a year of valuable service? How about something really special for them?

It could be tickets to an amazing concert, sporting event or activity like dinner and a limo. Everyone is different and it is best if you personalize it. The only way to test this strategy is to commit to implementation over time. You may see an impact at the end of a month, but the true impact will be over time as it becomes part of your culture.

Make sure to make the cards unique and high quality. The cooler the card the better. Remember that it is very possible, this is the first notes of this type they have EVER received. I am excited to watch as Togo’s implements this strategy. How can you implement a similar strategy in your business. What about in your personal relationship? If we were to poll all of the wives of the husbands out there very few would say that the problem in their relationship is, “I just get too much appreciation from my husband.”

If you consider the cost to attract, hire and train one employee (spouse?) this is a very inexpensive strategy.

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