How to Motivate Restaurant Employees: Back to the Basics

17th November 2014
High Performance Hockey Team

As a former varsity hockey player – I was never a stranger to the value and importance of motivation, reinforcement, and teamwork when it comes to success on the ice. Playing at an elite level, it didn’t take long to recognize if your coach had the ability to motivate players and communicate effectively. A good coach fosters an environment where players want to succeed. They create an atmosphere where showing up at the rink becomes fun, not a chore, and players demand more from themselves and others around them. The team works together towards a common goal because each player has bought into the system they’ve created. They feel part of the overall goals of the organization and want to see the team succeed.

I preface with these words to reinforce the fact that whether you are a restaurant owner, manager, CEO or varsity hockey coach, you simply cannot ignore or devalue the relationship with those who do the day-to-day work. It may seem over-stated, but players or employees must understand what is expected of them and clearly reflect the vision you are trying to portray to your customer’s, and the absolute worst thing you could ever do is lose sight of this.

This morning, I walked into a local coffee shop and couldn’t help but notice that every staff member seemed genuinely happy and enthusiastic to greet and assist an endless line of phone-focused business folk, with no concern for anything but their morning caffeine fix. I was so impressed with such a refreshing customer experience, that YES! I did buy a cranberry muffin, when it was suggested. I was a happy customer and, I’m sure, the owner was happy too because I bought a high-margin add-on.

How to Improve Things:

I’d like you to consider: Why do some restaurant owners and operators fail to provide their employees the respect and attention they deserve? Is it ego or simply a lack of understanding of what’s at stake? I will leave you with a couple of helpful tips we’ve learned over the years and have seen implemented in some of the most successful restaurants all over the world.

  • Incent and Reward: Recognizing an employee for a job well done goes a long way with their confidence and sense of purpose. Create a training and rewards program for staff where they see their productivity grow as they complete tasks and hit milestones. These programs can be based on positive customer feedback, individual or team sales achievements. Establish the metrics for success and then find a way to measure them.
  • Listen to your employees: It is important to institute an open dialogue between management and employees. Encourage employees to share positive and negative feedback, as well as different goals and ideas for the restaurant. If an owner or manager listens to an employees’ ideas, and provides feedback in the process, that employee will feel valued and important. Employees who feel valued will often translate these feelings into commitment and quality towards their work.

To learn how tools, like LiveScore, can help your restaurant bring employees together, foster friendly competition during a shift, and incent up selling from a goal/reward dashboard, click here.

Image Source: A Flickr Creative Commons photo by Mikael Tigerstrom

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Google+