Just like any other business, a large part of the success of any restaurant lies in its biggest asset – its people. Behind every successfully-run restaurant is a team of hardworking individuals. Each of them undertake arduous tasks and responsibilities that fall under the gamut of restaurant management. As such, it is essential for the management to ensure that their employees are working in an environment where they feel appreciated, empowered and inspired to continue doing what they do, in the best possible way.
We have listed a few simple steps that can be taken by any restaurant manager to achieve employee satisfaction and boost employee morale, which will directly reflect in the quality of services offered at the restaurant.
Acknowledge Their Hard Work: One of the most basic and key aspects of boosting staff morale is recognizing their hard work. Your staff works round the clock, whether they’re serving diners or working in the back of house. Find ways to appreciate what they do, especially if they do it well. A few words of encouragement will go a long way. You can even run an ‘Employee of the Month program’, noting the highest achieving member of your restaurant staff for everyone to see, along with an appreciation letter or certificate as an award. Monetary incentives or additional paid leaves are another method to acknowledge and reward hard work.
Invest in Them: Your staff is passionate about the work they do. And you can supplement their passion by further enhancing their skills. Be it culinary classes, online hospitality courses or enhancing their hygiene skills, learning something new will help improve their performance at work and benefit your in-house operations. Furthermore, having the opportunity of personal enhancement by availing of such trainings will increase the sense of loyalty amongst your employees, thereby reducing staff turnover.
Reward Loyalty: Staff retention is a major challenge for restauranteurs, as employees are constantly looking for better opportunities elsewhere. However, if they are rewarded for their loyalty in their current workplace, there is an added incentive for them to stay. This can be done by incorporating rewards for longevity, via employee recognition, promotions, monetary incentives, or other benefits. For retaining newer employees, you can create an incentive-based chart containing monetary rewards or bonuses, awarded either monthly or quarterly, which will encourage your staff to work more efficiently and stay longer with you, for the possibility of earning incentives in the long-run.
Let Them Voice Their Opinions: Wherever possible, empower your employees and allow them to be involved in the larger decision-making processes of operating the restaurant. Creating such an environment will encourage them to take on more responsibilities which will improve the day-to-day functioning of the restaurant. One example is to allow them flexibility in managing their schedules by coordinating with their superiors and peers, to ensure that operations remain smooth and no one employee is over-burdened or under-worked.
Give Them a Chance to Unwind: There is no doubt that working in a restaurant can get extremely stressful for the staff. It is important to have a work environment and culture that allows them necessary breaks, with time to unwind and regain their strength to continue to work at their highest productivity. It is also advisable to give your staff a chance to bond outside of the official working environment, by arranging off-site events that could include entertainment, group games, team building activities and food.
Offer Them a Meal: If your staff understands the taste and quality of your food, they will be better suited to prepare and serve it. While your staff may be accustomed to bringing their own food along, encourage them to eat the items on the menu every once in a while, by implementing certain staff meal policies. If possible, a meal per day at a discounted rate for your staff will go a long way in educating your staff about your food, which in turn will translate into improved service and a better operating environment.
To summarize, boosting your employee morale will directly impact their productivity at work. While there may be times when your staff’s morale is impacted by external factors, ones that are beyond your control, creating an open and friendly work environment, might allow them to overcome these challenges more easily.
For more suggestions on boosting your staff’s morale and improving staff retention, you can reach out to Ribbon Consulting. Our restaurant consulting solutions can be tailored as per your requirements, including human resources management, daily operations management and business development.