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The Right Ways to Motivate Staff in the Restaurant Industry

When I read articles like the one quoted from below, I usually think that the person writing them has never actually done the job they are giving advice on.

I could be wrong, of course, but this just doesn’t seem to me to be real world experience talking here. And reading the bio of the writer- it mentions he sells POS systems and doesn’t run a restaurant so I may be right.

I’ve written before about what I think are the keys to providing a well motivated staff but I’ll cover them here again as a refresher:

  • provide real, adequate and thorough training
  • set clear expectations and apply them consistently
  • treat employees as professional and in a business-like fashion- don’t be a tyrant and don’t be best friends
  • say thank you frequently and publicly and correct behavior privately

It really is just that simple. You can’t afford to lavish more money on the good ones and that isn’t the reward that works best anyway.Appreciating their effort and hard work does work miracles, however.

Now let me give some feedback on the methods mentioned below.

1) Employee of the Month/Quarter/Year:

Having an employee of the month/quarter/year program is a great way to show your staff AND your customers just what a great staff you have. Fair warning, however, words are not enough. Put their picture on the wall with a short bio that explains why they were chosen, but to double the impact, make it worth the employee’s time. Perhaps a cash gift or a gift card can help with motivation.

If everyone gets this, then the reward is meaningless. If you give to your truly best person each month, it tends to be the same two or three people, and they get embarrassed to keep being rewarded and the other employees get resentful.

2) Have an “Employees in the News” wall:

Every community has its share of events; things like sports competitions, high school and college graduations and other events that make it into the newspaper. Display your employee’s achievements outside of work in a prominent place; let it be known that you care about their life outside of work and want them to do well.

Not all the employees are in the news, and some won’t want the attention. Not a way that is going to reward most of your people.

3) Reward for Work Well Done:

It seems as if every industry focuses on the negative, taking away tips or bonuses for poor quality work, or docking hours for mistakes. This, however, tends to rebound negatively in the end, so why not start off on the right foot and reward for work well done? If one of the wait staff agrees to come in on their day off, match their tips for the day as a gesture of good will, or hold a contest for bus boys for the most tables cleared each day.

Contests and games can work well- as long as you aren’t motivating people to do things to win that actually hurt your business. Are busboys racing to clear tables so hard they ignore customer requests for water or won’t stop to help in the kitchen? It works better as a team vs. team effort and in something you really want to reward- such as customer satisfaction survey results.

4) Work Sponsored Events:

There is nothing like camaraderie to instill a sense of loyalty in one’s staff, which is why it is always a good idea to get involved in community events. Put together a softball team, or a bowling team made up of staff members and then use their activities as a focal point for getting the rest of the staff together regularly (the focus being on fun, not work!). You’ll be surprised at how quickly they become motivated.

Many employees don’t want or have the time to attend these events or may not particularly be friends with the people they work with. It is also hard to find something all employees will enjoy.

5) Walk the Talk:

If you want to be an inspiration to your staff you must walk the talk. Be an example of what you want from others. Don’t blow your top if you have a bad day. If things go wrong, deal with it calmly; and always be energetic even if you don’t feel like it. Consistency is key.

This is good. I would restate it as lead by example and create the culture you want by being an example of it yourself.


Quoted Article Source Link: FobBoh

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