Do These 5 Things to Keep Your Restaurant Staff Motivated

Aug 29, 2021 7:17 PM

Keeping your restaurant staff motivated is essential to providing great customer service.

We previously discussed that it is important to hire great staff to protect the investment you have made in your restaurant. Today, we are going to discuss ways to keep those staff members motivated.

Do these 5 things to keep your restaurant staff motivated:

  1. Make sure they have the tools they need.
  2. Encourage feedback.
  3. Celebrate your team.
  4. Invest in them.
  5. Pay well, and try to incentivize with bonuses.

Why do you need to keep your restaurant staff motivated?

Look: we understand that the last 2 years have been hard, and you may have had to make many tough decisions regarding your stuff. But as much of the F&B industry begins recovering from lockdowns and customers begin returning to socially-distanced contactless dining, the future is bright, and it’s time to again consider how you can keep your staff motivated.

What keeps customers coming back to your restaurant? Great food and great customer service. When your employees like their jobs, it shows.

On the other hand, when a restaurant’s staff aren’t motivated, customer service declines, and customers don’t want to come back.

And don’t forget all of the valuable time and profits that are wasted every time you have to hire and train a new employee. It would be easier to just retain great staff.

And let’s be honest. You can’t be at your restaurant every moment of every day, so you need to have staff that have bought into your vision.

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1. Make sure they have the tools they need

Nothing is more frustrating than not having the proper tools to do your job, or having to use decades old tools when more modern versions are available. Technology is changing all the time, and upgrades are constantly being made to restaurant equipment. That’s not to suggest that you should run out and purchase every new thing, but ensuring that your staff has the tools they need, and modern equipment, is a simple way to keep them happy and motivated.

Plus, as we mentioned in our previous article, try to simplify your operations by choosing a tech partner that simplifies your operations — and that integrates with tools you’re already using.

2. Encourage feedback.

As a restaurant owner intent on serving your customers, think about how valuable your customer feedback is to you. Collecting feedback in a closed manner allows you to really see where your staff are performing, and where they might need more help. Plus, if your customer’s information is readily accessible, you’re able to reach them and respond to their concerns, or thank them for their kind words. At this stage, you’re even able to request them to leave a review on Google My Business, or your Facebook page.

Employees like to know that their opinion has value. Restaurant owners should have an open door policy and listen intently whether it is a concern or an idea. Not feeling like you are allowed to express yourself can be incredibly demotivating.

And don’t just wait for feedback to come to you. Ask for it. What do they think of the new menu item? Do they think the new sales goals are reasonable? Do they think this new tool would be beneficial to operations? (See #1 above.) By reaching out first, you lead by example and demonstrate that their opinions and concerns are valuable to you.

3. Celebrate your team.

Make sure you know you appreciate them by celebrating their accomplishments.

Whether it is an individual who did something that was above and beyond what is expected or the entire staff pitching in to make something happen, let them know that you are proud of them. And do this publicly, in front of your whole staff.

Make your wins their wins. Let’s be honest. You can’t run a successful restaurant without a staff. You need them. When your restaurant meets goals or gets recognition for something, make sure to include your staff in the celebration because they helped you get where you are.

You should also encourage them to celebrate each other by providing an opportunity to recognize other staff members for their accomplishments. Incentivize them to do this by giving out rewards for the person who gives the most compliments as well as the person who gets the most compliments.

Celebrate personal accomplishments too. If your staff member graduates from college, is getting married, or having a baby, let them know that you see that they have a personal life outside of work.

4. Invest in them.

A great way to motivate your staff is to invest in them. When you invest in your employees, you invest in your restaurant. People like to learn new skills and be able to use those skills to benefit something larger than themselves. This can be something as simple as in-house training for a promotion.

According to Arabian Business, workers, especially younger workers, are looking for employment that will mentor them and grow them as professionals for the long term. For the right employees, investing in them can be something larger and more long-term like an official industry training or even college scholarships in exchange for them using the new knowledge or skills to benefit your restaurant.

As a side note, you can save money on training by outsourcing things like delivery. With less employees to train, you can focus more on growing the employees you have.

5. Pay well and give out bonuses and raises.

Before you jump to conclusions — we know that resources are scarce, especially after the pandemic. But let’s assume that you’re already making the most of your commission-free online ordering and marketing solution, and saving thousands of dollars every month. What you think you are saving by paying low wages will actually end up costing you in the long-run when you have to hire and train new employees. Know what your competitors are paying and be competitive with their rates.

And don’t forget to give raises. Nothing says, “I value your contribution,” like a raise in pay. Annual raises encourage longevity. Knowing that their loyalty and dedication will be rewarded monetarily is a great incentive to keep your staff engaged.

Bonuses are also great because they make your staff feel like they are getting a share in the profits. Your employees will know that they are more than just workers to you. These can be holiday bonuses or even performance-based when sales goals are met – just a little something to say thank you.

What’s Next?

Restaurant owners who use ChatFood have access to a closed Facebook Group, The Restaurant Revolution. It is a network of restaurantures just like you who share their experiences and help each other. You can even find suggestions for motivating your restaurant staff there.

We also partner with third-party delivery companies that you can access right front the app, making it easier than ever to be able to focus on your employees.

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