Now that summer is officially winding down and cooler weather is beginning to set in it’s the perfect time to get your staff together and do a little team bonding to boost morale. As a transition happens in the weather, perhaps it’s also shifting in staffing and business flow. This is the ideal time to gather everyone together and do something fun whether it’s to celebrate the end of a hard summer or to welcome in new staff! Hosting staff appreciation events a few times per year is a great way to show that you care as management. It helps to foster a stronger, more positive work environment, and reinforces your gratitude towards your staff’s dedication. And, it’s FUN! On the other hand it can also boost motivation of staff if it’s lacking, which is always a good thing. It’s a great overall refresher for the entire staff as fall approaches.
Here are 9 fun team bonding activities that you can arrange for your staff:
- Take them bowling - a little friendly competition can do wonders for team morale. It also provides an activity in which to base social interactions around, is widely available, and relatively inexpensive.
- Take them to play laser tag - this team game allows your team to run around and get some exercise in while bonding. You can play teams that mirror your restaurant (cooks vs servers) and mix everyone together for extra fun.
- Take them to a group exercise class - restaurants are stressful, physical places. Keeping your team in shape is important to their well being and your success. Channel this into a group exercise class for a fun team activity where you can all boost your endorphins.
- Take them to an escape room - this is a quintessential team building activity where teamwork is key to success. Not working together spells failure (just like in a restaurant) so let your team exercise their teamwork and brains to escape the room.
- Take them to a sporting event like a baseball game - baseball season is about to end but any sporting event where your staff can hangout in a low-pressure situation is a win. Somewhere a little quieter than say a basketball game is probably ideal so they can also socialize and get to know one another better.
- Take them to a winery or brewery - in many situations this can be done to a winery or brewery that you serve in-house so this doubles as an educational event (but your staff won't care.) It is fun to see how your products are grown/made and tastings can be helpful for staff.
- Take them on a local food tour - this can be done through a tour company or planned by your team to highlight other restaurants in the city you admire. It can be useful for your staff to taste other foods and observe other service styles. It is also a fun way to hangout and socialize!
- Take them to a fair or amusement park - which of your staff will win the pie eating contest? Taking them to the fair or an amusement park is just a fun way to get everyone into a new environment to enjoy each others company.
- Plan a picnic in the park - this can be a low pressure and inexpensive outing that everyone gets excited for. Don't forget to bring the games and nostalgic activities.
Making time to do team events can seem difficult and expensive, and frankly it is. Especially if you're open 7 days per week it can be hard to commit to closing for a day to accommodate a team activity. With labor as tight as it currently is you might find the rewards of keeping your team happy and engaged outweigh these short-term challenges.