10 Things You Can Do to Show Appreciation
For busy restaurant owners and managers, it can be easy to underestimate and even neglect your employees’ well-being.
Some might even think it’s a waste of time or not worth the money.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
In an industry with a naturally high employee churn rate, employee recognition can benefit your restaurant in many ways, one of which is increasing your retention rate. You will find your employees are happier, have improved morale, are more productive and engaged, and more loyal.
The best part is that employees who feel valued provide better customer service to your restaurant’s patrons.
In this article, we look at 10 things you can do to show appreciation. The repercussions are far-reaching and cascade right into your profit margin.
Have a Party
Whether it’s a Fourth of July Party, holiday party or a just-because party, have at least one for your employees each year. Consider more than one to show them you really appreciate them.
Restaurants may find having a party a bit more challenging than the typical office, but it can be done. Think about closing your restaurant for a few hours during a normally slow time.
Do consider this an investment in your employees.
When it comes to giving your employees rewards, be creative. You can bet that a coffee mug isn’t going to impress them.
Consider rewards that are personal, usable and important. They don’t even have to cost you a lot of money. For example, you might recognize your waiter’s hard work by offering him first choice of shifts for a week. Or, you might give him a free meal.
Offer Tangible Benefits
Restaurants over the years haven’t typically offered benefits to their employees. Perhaps this is just one of the reasons that employee turnover is so high in the restaurant industry.
While some of you may be thinking, “I give them a free meal each time they work,” this isn’t a perk that wows your staff or makes them feel appreciated.
If you really want to let your staff know you care, and you want to increase employee retention, make a plan for offering some types of benefits to your employees. (tweet this)
This shows them that you are invested in their future. Check out some of the benefits you might offer:
- Health Insurance – This is a huge benefit for anyone in today’s healthcare market.
- Profit sharing – Create a strategy for offering bonuses to your staff directly related to your profits. This encourages them to work harder, smarter and better for you as well.
- Paid time off/Vacation pay – Generally speaking, most restaurants don’t offer paid vacation to their team members. Take a stand and offer paid time off to your employees. This just might increase your retention rate.
- Flexibility – In the 21st century, your employees want flexibility. While this certainly is more complicated to do in the restaurant industry, it can be done. Help your staff cover shifts so they can make kid’s soccer games, dentist appointments and other things that come up.
Design a Meal in Their Name
Once a month, create a “Bob” or “Becky” meal. Let your employees come up with new menu ideas and name it after them.
For example, if you serve pizza, let them put together their favorite pizza combination and name it after them. Share this on social media and make a big deal out of it.
This is another win-win for your restaurant. You end up with a flattered employee who feels special, and you might just end up with the next best five-star item on your menu.
Restaurants often feel like mini-families when it comes to their staff.
Yet, you want to be careful of acting to much like a family. If you have an issue with one of your team members, don’t criticize them in public. Take it into the office and close the door.
It’s always a good idea to maintain calm even when you’re angry so you don’t demean your employees in front of their peers.
Leave a Note
Whether you leave a note or send a text, make an effort to let your staff know you’re thankful for their effort.
For example, if you’re short-staffed on Friday evening, and one of your employees goes above and beyond to help you, send her a thank you note letting her know how thankful you are that she rose to the occasion without having to be asked.
Train Them Well
Invest in your employees by providing ongoing training opportunities beyond their initial onboarding.
This might include safe-serving for your bartenders, customer service training for your wait staff and food-handling classes for the kitchen.
Offering ongoing training to your team lets them know you want them to stick around. It helps create a culture of team work and loyalty.
Don’t forget that happy employees equal happy customers. When your staff is not only happy, but well and consistently trained, your restaurant reaps the benefits.
Create a Peer Recognition Program
The recognition process doesn’t have to come entirely from the restaurant owner or manager.
You can involve all of your staff in the employee recognition process. Peer-to-peer acknowledgement is a great motivator.
Consider giving your employees the ability to talk about their teammates strengths and even something great they did that week. Make it fun and organize it like a round-table where everyone is given the opportunity to give a shout out for something well done.
This serves to create a cohesive team that appreciates one another.
Showing you appreciate your employees on a consistent basis builds a positive culture at your restaurant that trickles down into how your team treats your customers.
This also translates into better employee retention and ultimately better profits.
Finally, you want to create a culture of appreciation. Make it this year’s goal to show your staff you genuinely appreciate and value their hard work.
Make a plan for offering rewards, perks, fair pay and benefits as well as an appropriate and manageable work-life balance.
Your praise and appreciation may be shown publicly or privately. It usually only matters that you show the appreciation, not where you show it.
Dedicate yourself to employee retention through appreciation, and your restaurant will soon be beating out the competition. (tweet this)
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