Skip navigation
restaurant employee-burnout.jpeg FG Trade/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Employees in foodservice scored 98/100 on the burnout scale.

The restaurant industry has the highest degree of employee burnout, study shows

A study from and Glassdoor found that Chipotle, Starbucks and more restaurant companies had high degrees of burnout

While restaurant operators continue to struggle with both labor costs and employee retention, the foodservice industry may very well have deeper employee-side problems. According to a study of Glassdoor reviews just released from (an organization that provides resources for prospective business professionals seeking higher education), workers in the restaurant and foodservice industry complain about burnout the most, as compared with other industries.

Chipotle Mexican Grill scored a 97.72 out of 100 on the organization’s burnout rating score, second only to Progressive Insurance as the workplace with the most complaints of burnout, with “stressful” being the most common word used to describe the workplace environment. According to the Glassdoor reviews that mentioned burnout, Starbucks was also in the top 10 companies out of the 550+ companies surveyed. As non-franchised organizations, the reviews of both Starbucks and Chipotle are overwhelmingly from corporate employees.  

In the top 10% of companies reviewed, Darden Restaurants was also mentioned, at number 36. Aramark and McDonald’s also ranked poorly. Overall, the restaurant industry scored a 98 out of 100 on the burnout scale, with stress and long hours being mentioned most often in reviews.

“Bad management and overworked for the amount of work there is,” one Chipotle review mentions while another mentions that the job is “overwhelming” with high amounts of stress, especially when the stores get busy.  Negative Starbucks reviews on Glassdoor, meanwhile, mention low pay with poor management.  

The clashes between Starbucks and its employees have been well-documented through the rise of unionization at the company. In recent months, there has been progress made between the Workers United union and Starbucks corporate, as the collective bargaining process began in February after more than one year of contract-related challenges. In 2022, Starbucks also announced that the company is investing $1 billion in employees and stores, which includes the rollout of new equipment to simplify the beverage-making process.

At Chipotle, traffic momentum continues, as the company far outpaces the rest of the restaurant industry in transaction growth. This growth of demand has led to new recruiting tactics for the company, including targeting Gen Z via TikTok, and offering a student loan retirement match program. Some of these initiatives could be meant to help the “overwhelming” work environment mentioned by Glassdoor reviewers.    

Additionally, in 2023, Chipotle launched Project Square One, which was meant to bring employee productivity up to speed for the post-pandemic workforce, and focus on maximizing staffing during peak work hours. The hope is that this project will reduce store-level turnover rates.

Foodservice-related companies that conversely scored at the bottom of the list — that is, companies whose employees experience the least amount of burnout — included DoorDash, Mondelez, and Yum Brands, the latter of which had the best burnout score of any of the restaurants surveyed, with a score of just under 18 out of 100.

Contact Joanna at [email protected]m

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.