Employee morale is one of the keys to a successful restaurant, and happy employees are often responsible for happy, satisfied customers.
As a restaurant owner or manager, spending some time, money and a bit of effort on increasing employee morale is a good use of your marketing dollars.
In this article, we look at five ways to raise the spirits of your restaurant staff, but first let’s look at why employee morale is important for your restaurant profits.
Workplace happiness, according to one source, boosts your bottom line. In fact, disengaged employees can destroy your profit margins, so it pays to increase the happiness of your staff.
Why? Businesses with engaged employees outperform others by more than 200%.
What’s more, you’ll find that happy employees are at least 30% more productive and have nearly a 40% increase in sales over unhappy employees.
Engaged, satisfied employees are also three times more creative than unhappy employees. This means they are more willing to find solutions to problems as they arise.
When you raise the spirits of your staff, they’ll work harder for you and produce more sales. Plus, engaged employees are more likely to stick around. Because of this, your employee retention will be high, and you save money on hiring and training.
Improving employee morale takes a lot of work and perseverance, but it’s well worth it. Let’s look at the five ways to raise the spirits of your staff.
You want to model positivity in your restaurant. If you are a positive and encouraging person, that will trickle down to your staff. (tweet this)
Negativity never helps anyone. Your goal is to pump up your staff, not bring them down. You don’t want to highlight all of their shortcomings or be negative during their shift.
Positivity brings people up, while negativity destroys them and makes them unhappy. Staff who’ve been treated negatively won’t provide a great meal or great service to your customers.
If you have to comment poorly on something, reserve your constructive criticism for after your employees’ shifts or schedule a meeting outside of work hours.
Don’t pounce right before a shift or during a pre-shift meeting. And, never criticize in front of others.
When it is time to offer your suggestions, be sure to point out what they are doing correctly before you point out something for them to work on. Then, end your meeting on a positive note so your team member knows you appreciate them and are trying to help.
In addition to being positive, you want to reward, recognize and praise your team on a regular basis. This is one of the easiest ways to raise the spirits of your restaurant staff.
When you praise your team, it shows you are appreciative of their hard work and that you noticed it.
Praise doesn’t have to come at set times or just at meetings. It also doesn’t have to come in front of others. Private praise is just as beneficial.
Some of the best occasions to praise your restaurant staff are when you notice the little things. For example, you notice your waiter helping an elderly person to the table. You might later tell your team member how nice that was, and that you appreciate they went the extra mile.
Try to praise your staff on a regular basis. You can offer praise with words or even with a handwritten note stuck in their paycheck envelope.
You can also recognize milestones and offer rewards. This is when public recognition is a good idea. For the “big” praise, doing it publicly can help spur others on to the same good work.
Short-staffed? Extra busy? Don’t get caught sitting in your office playing a game on your phone.
When your restaurant is at its busiest, or in the case of several sick employees, jump in and help.
Show your staff that you aren’t above helping with their tasks. As you see that your team needs help, it makes your staff happy to know you’re ready, able and willing to help.
This might take some creativity to schedule outside of your working hours, but you’ll raise the spirits of your staff by getting together socially outside of the restaurant or even volunteering together.
Improve morale by working on your team building and volunteering for a cause everyone can work towards. (tweet this)
Employees who volunteer together are happier employees because of the bonding experience.
Consider volunteering at a homeless shelter and serving a meal. Collect school supplies and deliver them. Adopt families during the holidays. Get creative and ask your staff what they’d like to support.
You can also schedule monthly or quarterly social activities to raise their spirits and foster morale. Go old school and meet to play board games and share a meal. Or, check out the local theater together. The possibilities are endless.
Meeting the needs of your team by providing food is another way to raise their spirits.
The restaurant industry can be stressful, and it can be hard to sneak in a break. And, when it’s time for a break, they are usually so short that your staff can’t leave to pick up lunch or dinner.
Make sure your staff is fed and happy. Don’t make them go an entire eight-hour shift without eating. Provide them with a break, and then provide the food.
This may mean planning ahead and stocking your refrigerator with sandwiches or your pantry with protein bars. Other times, you might have your kitchen staff prepare a special pot of soup or some chili to feed your staff.
Go the extra mile and show your staff you care about their physical needs, and you’ll find they work harder for you.
Team bonding activities and daily work on the morale of your employees is vital to the success of your restaurant.
When you praise your staff and offer them a bit of fun outside of work hours, you’ll find they are more effective and more productive.
Work on raising the spirits of your restaurant staff every day. Great work environments don’t happen overnight.
If you want the best employees who are loyal to your restaurant, make a plan for creating high morale and a culture of satisfied employees.
Promote open communication and an atmosphere of teamwork, and you’ll find your staff is energized to provide their best to your customers.
Highly effective restaurants work on employee morale on a consistent basis. We’d love to hear what you’re doing to improve your employee satisfaction. Please share your comments below.