It’s no secret that running a restaurant is hard work. There are a lot of moving parts as with any business, plus you are dealing directly with people - both the ones that work for you and your guests. One of the key components to owning and running a successful restaurant is keeping your employees happy and working their best. This is no easy task; it takes effort but when the effort is put in, the reward can be huge.
When your employees feel like a valued part of a strong team then they perform their best and keep wanting to get better. Fostering a healthy working environment in an industry that is known for unhealthy habits is extremely important. These five best practices will help make sure you are motivating your employees and keeping them around for the long haul, which is really the goal.
- Hold regular check-ins
Be diligent about holding regular check-ins with your employees to see how they are doing and if they have any feedback for how they think things could run smoother. In addition to the face-to-face meetings, it’s important to offer the opportunity once in a while for anonymous feedback for the managers. This is the only honest way to keep employees happy and give them a voice that will be heard and valued, often.
- Keep scheduling consistent
As a manager or owner, it’s important to help maintain regularity in people’s lives and schedules as much as you can. The industry already goes against what are known as normal working hours, as often people are working late into the night or early in the morning, so to help you can keep scheduling as consistent as possible. This goes for both keeping people’s shifts consistent so they can get into a bit of a routine and for posting the schedule too. Post the schedule at the same time each week so people can expect it.
- Provide information and education
Part of keeping employees motivated and feeling like a valuable part of your team is when you invest in them. Spark the urge to learn by providing continuing education and information for your employees. Some examples might be having your wine rep come in and do a mini class about wine or printing out and distributing detailed information about the dishes and drinks for your employees to study.
- Create incentives to keep things interesting
Doing the same thing all the time can get dull even in an industry where things are constantly moving so create fun incentives for your employees from time to time to keep them interested and on their toes. Maybe there’s a little service bingo game or a prize for selling a special dish. Use these incentives to your advantage to keep things light and fun and also help the sales / service of the restaurant.
- Let them eat!
Restaurant employees work LONG hours on their feet and are around food constantly. It’s absolutely imperative to allow your staff to take a snack break and eat regularly. Going over eight hours without food is a recipe for disaster. Create a system where people feel like they can take a short break to eat a snack without being afraid that they might get scolded for not being on the floor. Happy employees = happy business!