Restaurant Staff Management Tips For Keeping Your Employees Happy And Motivated


In the USA, when dining at a restaurant the customers look for something more than just good food, they are looking for a wholesome experience. According to a study conducted by Deloitte, sixty percent of restaurant guests think a positive experience will result in them returning more frequently. No matter how excellent the food at your restaurant is if your guests’ experience is hampered they simply won’t return to your restaurant, and this is where your restaurant staff comes into play. They are the face of your restaurant and the biggest influencers on the quality of the experience.

In order for your staff to perform their best, they need to be both happy and motivated. If your restaurant staff isn’t satisfied with the management it would reflect in their work and your customers are more likely to notice that.

It is important to keep your restaurant staff content and this article will help you do that efficiently!

Effective Restaurant Staff Management Tips

Excellent staff is hard to find, and it is even harder to retain them in today’s competitive restaurant labor market of the US.

It is crucial to keep your restaurant staff euphoric and motivated to make them stay longer and deliver the best experience to your customers.

Here are six quick tips that can help you to boost employee morale and get the most out of satisfied and happy restaurant staff.

1. Acknowledge Them

Not acknowledging your staff’s hard work leaves them demotivated. This would affect their work and make them dull.

Let your staff know that you appreciate them and the hard work they put in. Reward positive behavior and great customer service with an “Employee of the Month” recognition and incentives such as a small bonus, gift cards, paid time off or a prime parking space.

Surveys conducted by Sirota Consulting have revealed that in the US, fifty-one percent of employees were satisfied with the recognition they received after a job well done. This was a great motivator and helped increase their efficiency.

Make sure to discuss what led to this achievement as a team so that they can model this behavior and improve the level of service across the staff.

2. Invest In Your Staff

Investing in your restaurant staff makes them feel valued. Every employee wants to learn and grow; therefore provide them with proper training. When you pay for your servers, bartenders, hosts, and chefs to improve their skills, this is benefiting both sides, it makes your staff more efficient by providing them with adequate knowledge which prevents the need of hiring new people.

Training your staff gives them a sense of purpose and shows them that you want them there for long and you don’t see them as easily replaceable, which employees appreciate.

Invest in good quality equipment that will help facilitate the everyday restaurant operations for your staff.

3. Reward Longevity

If there is something that the restaurant owners lose their sleep on is the high employee attrition rate. According to a report released by the National Restaurant Association, the employee turnover surpassed a whopping seventy percent in the USA!

With stats like these, it is imperative for the restaurant owners to reward the staff for their continued service as this is a great way to avoid constantly losing employees.

You can offer a cash price or a day or two paid offs to your staff as an appreciation for their continued services. Encourage your staff to stay with you by giving them either raises or one-time bonuses.

Rewarding your employees might sound like a hefty plan, but it surely isn’t. Hiring new employees requires more investment of both your time and resources; therefore spend more on retaining your loyal employees than investing in the new ones!

4. Encourage Employees To Have Fun At Work

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, this idiom rightly stands for the restaurant industry. Taking the work seriously is crucial but you should give your restaurant staff an opportunity to let loose and have fun.

You can have a separate break room with video games; this would let them unwind in between their shifts and also let them interact with their peers. This is also an excellent way to show your employees that you care for their happiness.

You can also organize monthly team outings, take your employees for a paintball tournament or for bowling, this is a great team building exercise and will help strengthen the bond between your restaurant staff.

5. Take Employee Feedback

Sometimes it is difficult for the staff to open up to the higher management and discuss their matters; therefore it is crucial to take their feedback and encourage them to talk. Employees love when they are heard, they want someone to listen to their dilemma.

You can set up a feedback box at your restaurant where people can drop in suggestions or feedbacks anonymously.

Also, give them a say when taking employee specific decisions like when scheduling the staff. You can allow them to request shift trades on their own and coordinate their working hours among themselves as well.

Taking feedback from your employees and including them while taking crucial decisions makes them feel valued and much appreciated.

6. Offer Meals

You should offer free meals to your restaurant staff, after all, they are the ones working hard to cook and deliver the best food to your customers. You can offer a free meal once a week or every day if that fits in your budget.

No one likes working empty stomach especially the ones who look at food all day long. A little thing like offering a one-time meal to your employees can make a difference in their attitude towards you and the restaurant. Always remember, a hungry employee is not a happy employee!

Keeping the restaurant staff happy and content is more important than ever in the USA’s tough restaurant industry. With employees leaving now and then, the employer needs to determine ways to retain them.

Demotivated employees are less engaged and less productive which directly hampers your customer’s dining experience. It’s essential to make the workplace less stressful and more supportive. Promoting positivity will not only help motivate your employees but also is great for the restaurant’s reputation and prolonged success.

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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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