How To Motivate Restaurant Employees

Chef in the kitchen

Working in a restaurant can be a drag. Although there are too many things to do, the idea of having a dead-end job can make many employees feel miserable. This can be made worse if the work environment is as depressing as the job itself. However, managers and owners need to come up with ideas to motivate their restaurant staff. Some of these ideas have been tested by restaurants, and they have worked.

  1. Giving simple but random compliments and acts of courtesy. As a manager, most of your staff will look up to you. They will look at as “the Boss.”  With this status, there is a certain level of respect that is given you. People make gestures of courtesy towards you day in and day out. However, some managers regret to return the respect. This becomes an assumed block in the manager – employee relationship. This hinders communication and open-mindedness. By replying to a simple “Good morning, sir” with a “Thank you and good morning to you too”, most of your employees will not hesitate providing you with reports and problems. Not to mention, this routine will enhance camaraderie between different levels of staff members.
  2. Scheduling open forums within work hours. Open forums are sometimes very hard to establish because employees are afraid to lose their jobs if they say something wrong. The key to making a good open forum is to make yourself neutral. This is easier said than done since there is always an implied assumption that you are on a different side with your employees. To get the forum established, start with simpler problems then let the topics gradually move towards the more sensitive ones. You must make this first impression as good as it gets so that people will feel that their voice are being valued. By the time the next forum is scheduled, people will be eager to voice out their concerns and possible solutions to them. This, in turn, will promote a healthy working environment.
  3. Giving tidbits of authority. A small amount of responsibility will tell your staff that you have given them your trust. Make sure that the responsibility is not too overwhelming that it becomes a burden to that staff. The idea is to make them feel trusted. This will make them eager to do good to return the trust that you have given them.
  4. Providing professional advancement incentives. This might look expensive at first but it will return the investment in the long-run. If one of your employees has the potential to do well as a chef, provide culinary education for him while he works in the kitchen. Let him work with your top chef as an apprentice or enroll him to a good culinary school. This will increase the quality of your kitchen and other employees will want to do their best in the hope of getting your assistance.
  5. Allowing more freedom. Any day in the life of a restaurant worker is almost as similar to that of any other day. It is boring and tiring. So, provide as much freedom as you can as long as they are within rules. If your employees like to wear different colors of undershirt, let them be. If they feel the need to use gloves even though you do not require it, so be it. The key is to listen to your staff then refer to the rules.

To motivate restaurant employees to work well, you do not have to resort to extravagant ideas. Simple yet effective means can do it.


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