How keep restaurant staff motivated is critical to your restaurant’s success. They are are the face of your establishment, the key to great customer service and they can increase the average ticket which has a direct effect on your restaurant’s bottom line. But for most restaurant owners and managers they find it a challenge to keep their restaurant staff happy, much less productive and selling. In our Win Win Restaurant Marketing System we work a lot with restaurant managers on putting processes in place, creating staff programs and helping our restaurant marketing community get more out of both their relationship and the productivity of their waiters, chefs and other staff. It is essential to put these types of programs in place, however there are some rather quick, common sense things you can do immediately that will make an immediate difference to your restaurant’s profits. Keep your eye on our website for more of these restaurant staffing tips. But in the meantime, try the following easy to implement activity.
11 ideas to keep your restaurant staff motivated and productive
- Invite your staff to a meal! That’s right. If you want them to sell more, well then get them excited about what they are selling. Make sure that they have tasted everything on the menu by organizing a group meal that the chefs prepare for the rest of the staff.
- Go one step further – have the restaurant staff accompany the chefs in the kitchen, watching how the dishes are made and understanding how the ingredients are prepared. Turn it into a restaurant team building activity, where the wait staff cooks with the chef and the best team is rewarded. The sky is the limit to how you can run the event, but the most important thing being to get your staff excited about what your restaurant serves. Once they are enthused about the food, then you’ll be enthused about the increases to your bottom line!
- It’s a classic, but Employee of the Month is always a winner. Use different non-objective criteria to determine the winner (most positive comment cards, highest checks, something above and beyond the call of duty), and make the pot sweet enough that it’s worth striving for.
- Set clear goals so your restaurant staff know what is expected of them and what they are aiming for.
- Listen to your staff. Have a suggestion box and reward good suggestions. Ask your restaurant staff questions for everything from ways to manage your restaurant more efficiently to some creative restaurant marketing ideas.
- Give your restaurant staff responsibility. Allow them to put together the processes needed to open the restaurant and give them a budget that they can use to deal with a dissatisfied customer. Giving your restaurant staff some responsibility will send the message that you trust them and that they are valuable to you.
- Allow your restaurant staff to grow professionally. Observe their strengths and what they like and help orient them in those directions, giving them opportunities as they mature in your business.
- Have a good training program and a detailed handbook. Spending quality time on-boarding your restaurant staff will allow you to set expectations as well as communicate your business philosophy and what you expect. Starting off on the right foot pay for itself twofold in the future.
- Pay slightly above your nearby competition. The extra expense will be worth it in lower restaurant staff turnover.
- Put positive, high energy individuals in management positions and don’t be afraid to admit a recruiting mistake and terminate a contract of someone who is not working out. One bad apple can spoil the bunch.
- Make sure that you are providing a safe environment for your restaurant employees.
Remember it’s a perfect example of the Win Win philosophy – if you treat your restaurant employees well they will treat you and your customers well.