Worried about How To Boost Employee Morale and Retain Restaurant Staff ? Try these 5 Strategies!

Illustration of Restaurant Staff Retention

Along with exceptional food and unique concept, the key to a successful restaurant is its staff. Happy employees promote a healthy environment and are often responsible for increasingly satisfied customers. With rising attrition caused by an abundance of opportunities, keeping up the employee morale, reducing turnover rate, and fostering teamwork have become more critical than ever before. When restaurant staff feels valued, they reciprocate that value in their work. This article offers five effective ways of how restaurateurs can raise the spirits of their staff, boost employee morale, and keep up profits.

How to Boost Restaurant Employee Morale To Improve Staff Retention

According to experts, workplace happiness boosts your business’ bottom line. Research says that businesses with engaged employees tend to outperform others by more than 200%. Satisfied employees are more likely to stay loyal to your business, produce more sales, and find solutions to problems as they arise.

Boosting your restaurant employees’ morale not only improves retention but also helps restaurants in saving huge money on hiring and training. While improving employee morale takes a lot of patience and perseverance, it’s well worth it. Mentioned below are five useful measures you must implement to boost your employee’s morale.

1. Train Your Restaurant Staff

Providing proper training to restaurant staff is exceptionally crucial for improving the retention rate. Most mishaps or instances of poor customer experience are often a result of a lack of training. Even if you hire an experienced staff member, remember to train them according to your restaurant’s culture and policies.

Implement a practical Staff Orientation and Training Program for all your restaurant employees. Consider teaching your new kitchen staff how to prepare signature recipes, handle special equipment, take orders via KDS, etc. 

Regular employee training sessions or open house sessions also play a massive role in keeping restaurant staff motivated. These programs boost their confidence and give them a broader view of what is expected out of them. When employees witness the broader effect of their roles, they feel significant and put in their best efforts.

2. Promote A Healthy & Friendly Atmosphere

Overlooking employees’ point of view is one of the primary reasons for the high attrition rate in the industry. Rigorous working hours and the exhaustive nature of the job is both physically and mentally challenging for employees. Promoting a healthy work culture requires mindful action plans that will provide emotional and psychological support to employees. 

Create a healthy work environment and a happy and welcoming team culture will naturally follow. Promote transparent communication with staff by holding review meetings regarding the managers. Provide designated spaces for them to relax between shifts. Conduct quarterly or annual informal sessions and encourage transparency among managers and staff. 

3. Clarify The Specific Employee Roles Clearly

It is essential for workers to understand the exact responsibilities of each employee in the organization, in addition to the duties of their immediate teammates. If there is any ambiguity regarding the roles and responsibilities in your restaurant, your staff will not be able to work together effectively. In the worst-case scenario, you may end up witnessing situations where workers unfairly delegate their work to others and evoke resentment. 

To combat conflict in your restaurant, clearly document the roles and responsibilities. Include this information in an employee handbook or post it in the back-of-house, where employees can refer to it, in case of misunderstandings regarding obligations. Recommend that this document be read by all the new employees as part of their onboarding process. 

4. Structure The Employee Shifts And Overtime Policy

In the F&B business, the productivity of your staff has a direct impact on the bottom line of your restaurant. Therefore, it is vital to plan employee shifts and have a clear overtime policy for your team. Create fixed shifts for your restaurant employees and remember to provide resting times between them. 

Another excellent way to boost your employee’s morale while ensuring adequate staffing is to let them decide their own availability and collaborate on scheduling. Collaborative scheduling is often considered a win-win for the staff and management. It not only reduces stress and boosts morale, but also cuts back the time spent on managing the team.

Invest in proper restaurant scheduling software to allow employees to submit their own schedules, facilitate shift trades, and coordinate the working hours. While hiring a new team member into the system, ensure that they understand the number of hours and frequency of shifts. Clearly communicate the scheduling policies to them, and send frequent reminders to your existing staff as well. 

restaurant employee satisfaction

5. Reward Excellent Teamwork with Formal Recognition

According to research, one of the best ways to build mutual trust in the restaurant workplace is to provide formal recognition to employee achievementsIf a staff member has been loyal to your business for a long time or he/she goes beyond their role to help the business as a whole, make sure that their efforts are appreciated. It is also advisable to acknowledge employees who go out of their way to help other employees in need. 

Showing gratitude for your employees’ efforts is an excellent way to create a friendly culture also. Incentives and recognition tend to encourage employees to perform better in the workplace. Create incentive programs within individual teams and overall to motivate your restaurant employees. Provide a monetary reward to increase motivation among your restaurant staff.

Offer bonuses, salary hikes, and other financial rewards such as health and medical benefits to the best employees. You can also create monthly recognition programs such as “Employee of the Month,” “Star Server,” etc. to boost morale and promote healthy competition among the other staff members. 

Typically, a highly effective restaurant prioritizes improving employee morale on a consistent basis. If you want to establish a dedicated team of employees loyal to your restaurant, make a strategic plan to boost employee morale, and create a culture of satisfied employees. Promote transparent communication, encourage an atmosphere of teamwork, and utilize these useful measures to retain your employees!

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Daniel McCarthy is a seasoned restaurant consultant and serves as the Communication Manager at Restroworks, a prominent F&B SaaS company. Drawing from his vast knowledge of leveraging innovative technological solutions, Daniel excels at enhancing restaurant operations and revenue, thereby contributing to the ongoing transformation of the industry.


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