You spend time, effort, and money to hire the right staff for your restaurant. Everyone starts out excited, passionate, and full of enthusiasm for the work you do. But somewhere along the line, things turn a bit pear-shaped. Perhaps people are showing up late to work, or not shouldering their fair share of the workload. Maybe there is tension among the staff or a lack-luster service for the customers. Your reviews might be plummeting, and your employees might start to look elsewhere. Where did it all go wrong – and how can you turn it around?
In the day-to-day chaos of keeping a busy restaurant afloat, sometimes things get pushed to one side. But the one thing that you can’t afford to neglect? Building a strong and positive team culture for your staff.
Work hard, play hard
Celebrating company milestones, cultural events, and even birthdays can be vital to creating a vibrant and cohesive company culture. This is especially true in the service industry, where your team’s high spirit is part of what makes customers return. Be sure to put some dates in the diary for team get-togethers, even if that’s just a few drinks after work. Your staff will feel valued as people and will get the chance to see each other in a whole new light. After all, a busy restaurant environment doesn’t allow for the sort of water-cooler chat you might naturally get in other work settings. Check out these fun team-building ideas for restaurant employees.
Have you recently launched a new item on the menu that’s going down a storm? Were last month’s takings bigger than ever? Did someone new just start? In a busy restaurant, there’s always going to be something to celebrate – even if it’s just ‘server of the week’. Find ways to recognize and reward the hard work of your staff. One really great way to do this is by having them nominate one another for awards. This can boost a sense of team spirit, appreciation, and positivity – exactly what a team needs to get them through the tougher shifts. If you’re not sure how to go about this, Surprise HR offers a unique and engaging platform to celebrate your employees.
Model team spirit
As an owner or manager, your staff looks to you for how to respond to situations. In the food industry, there are a lot of moving parts and situations can quickly get stressful and out of hand. If you manage to stay calm, optimistic and friendly, even when the going gets tough, it’ll really brighten your team’s spirit and help them to stay positive too. This is obviously easier said than done, but it won’t go unnoticed. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever be negative, but constructive feedback will be a lot more valuable when the general tone of the workplace is supportive.
You can also show team members that you care by making sure they get enough breaks. You might want to think about offering them food and drinks, too. All these things show you that you care about them as people, which creates a broader team culture of care and support.