Worker Motivation: Data-Backed, Effective Tips For Restaurant Owners

Worker Motivation, How do you Motivat Your Team in the Workplace

When a restaurant has happy and motivated employees – customers are impressed with the service and food, great reviews are left. The good word is spread. Seats are filled night after night. New and creative menu ideas are born. The restaurant becomes and stays profitable. Growth and expansion talks begin. You as a restaurant owner become happy. Happy story? I bet you have tried enough and out because you know worker motivation is critical for your restaurant to thrive. But what if data can tell you that there are easier ways to motivate employees at your workplace. Here are a few suggestions to motivate your restaurant staff, and prepare yourself for a fired-up team that’s ready to get to work.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Here is how you can motivate your team in the workplace

    Ways To Effectively Motivate Your Team For Best Results | Worker Motivation Hacks

    Acknowledge, Appreciate And Reward With Tangible Incentives

    Workers LOVE acknowledgment for good work, and tangible and non-tangible R&R. Profit-sharing can be a powerful tangible reward system that can boost employees’ morale and inspire productivity. It motivates the staff to participate in the business with a sense of purpose as they understand that the more the store earns, the higher they get paid. It also subconsciously makes the employees responsible for each others’ productivity and facilitates team bonding- as the success of the team means the success of the restaurant.

    A few other ways to help with worker motivation include:

    • Prizes for staff with best customer service reviews
    • Prizes for the fastest waiter
    • Awards for chefs that create the best selling items on the menu
    • Bonuses for chefs who cut food costs and reduce wastage

    Set Up Daily/Weekly Competitions

    Nothing motivates a team better than getting them involved in light-spirited contests for prizes. These low-cost perks don’t entail major investment but are highly effective with the results.

    Restaurant Weekly/Monthly Contests

    Here are some low-cost contest ideas that you can implement in your business to achieve workplace motivation:

    1. Simple, yet good-old – Sales Contest. Individual sales contests and team based sales contests that are measured by the week/month. These will keep the team engaged and your revenues up!
    2. Menu Bingo Contest – A neat technique to get servers sell the items on the menu quickly to win a prize.
    3. The Perfect Check Contest – A perfect check is the one having a drink, an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Have your servers compete to get maximum number of perfect checks in a week – make them keep a copy of their chits where they had successful upsells to perfect checks.
    4. Customer Satisfaction Contest: A customer leaving a note to the manager about a staff member going above and beyond gets his name in the monthly draws for a prize or a gift certificate
    5. Grow Social Contest – Put your team up to the task of growing your restaurant’s followers. Have the staff compete to get more email sign-ups from the customers visiting the restaurant. If you own a Ghost Kitchen for example, a contest involving online marketing will add enormous value to the bottom line.

    …. and some more creative contest ideas to achieve motivation in the workplace.

    Invest In Ongoing Development & Advancement

    Restaurant employees want to be trained beyond their onboarding stage and training is considered as one of the key drivers of motivation in the workplace. Nearly 9 out of 10 restaurant managers start as entry-level workers. If you wish to retain a team of loyal key players and transition them to leadership roles within your business, investing in their training will be a place to start.

    Pay Well, And Provide Bonus/Pay Raise For Work Anniversaries

    Paying above minimum wage, DOES make a difference to business performance, customer ratings, and worker motivation. Back in 2015, McDonald’s offered $1 above minimum wage and saw lower employee turnover and better customer ratings. In-N-Out Burger is well known for paying well above the basic wage to its employees, and they’re also one of the most popular places to eat in the United States. Apart from being loved by their customers, they’re regarded as one of the top places to work. Not-so-surprisingly, businesses that serve the worst customer experiences are considered bad places to work. They are all connected.

    Paying well and providing one-time annual bonuses every year or raising hourly wage during work anniversaries motivates employees to stay loyal to their work even if there aren’t many opportunities for growth.

    Allow Pre-Tasting New Menu Items

    Your restaurant workers are the ones who hit the floor and sell the items on your menu. Allowing them to pre-taste new menu offerings will help you get genuine feedback from them before launch so you can tweak and make adjustments to the dish as needed. Additionally, pre-tasting will help them understand how to describe the dishes on the menu and sell them better.

    Set a Clear Hierarchy

    As at any workplace, worker motivation and passion are often low among entry-level restaurant workers. Having a clear hierarchy would help your staff understand their future at the restaurant. It is important for them to know that with the good performance they can get promoted to senior positions at the restaurant.

    Close Early/Allow Time Off For Major Life Events

    In the current world, work-life balance is key to motivate employees. Employees feel motivated when you show that you care about them beyond work. Closing early during major holidays and a team member’s major life event (like weddings), allows the staff to come together to celebrate and enjoy. When your employees enjoy at work, they stick around longer.

    Allow Transparent Two-Way Communication

    Most restaurants are staffed through referrals or word-of-mouth, so the majority of your restaurant staff are likely family, friends, or next of kin. In this case, as an implicit motivator, have regular meetings with your staff and make them feel heard. As much as you give them regular feedback on their performance and other metrics, listen to their troubles, complaints, and suggestions and try to resolve them.

    Feed Them Well

    No one likes working on an empty stomach, especially not someone working with food all day and living on $2.13 an hour and tips. Offering them meal coupons, or free meals at least once a week will show them that you care. If you can’t afford either, a free meal for those working on very long shifts should do the bare minimum. A hungry employee (in the workplace) is never a happy employee – so add this to your worker motivation must-dos.

    Provide All The Tools & Equipments They Need To Succeed

    Last but definitely not least, a successful employee is one who has all the tools and equipment needed to do the work right. At the bare minimum, your employees behind the desk should be equipped with modern newer machines and systems. If you’re looking to make the most of your sales game, tools like Fish can help you level up your game.

    This all-in-one tool can help you directly interact with your customer, have orders processed seamlessly, get marketing done for you, help you achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction, help employees close deals without hours of training needed, ALL without paying crazy fees/commissions to use it.

    The platform’s channels (or groups) can also be used as an internal communication medium to exchange notes, recipes, motivation quotes, etc. Through Fish, the customer survey data are privately shared with the chefs to give them a fair chance to improve on their menu items. Tools like Fish can make your life easier while enabling business growth.

    How do YOU motivate your team?


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