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With a happy and well-motivated restaurant staff, you can propel your restaurant to the pinnacle of success. A happy restaurant staff will provide excellent restaurant customer service, which will aid in customer retention. You must recognise, however, that you cannot foster loyalty in your team unless you make them feel valued. Giving a restaurant staff recognition for their hard work is thus an excellent way to show your employees how much you value them.
Why should you reward restaurant employees?
Positive Reinforcement: While constructive criticism has its place, positive reinforcement can be just as effective in increasing productivity. When restaurant employees are rewarded for going above and beyond, it boosts their confidence and desire to take on more responsibility (in order to earn those sweet rewards!).
Employee Retention: Deciding to reward restaurant employees may assist you in reducing employee turnover, which costs the average restaurant 10s of lakhs per year.
Team Building: When you reward restaurant employees for a job well done, everyone benefits (including you). Employees will work more closely together on future projects after receiving recognition individually and collectively.
Let’s look at a few ways you can reward your hard working employees without splashing that extra cash:
A simple way to reward restaurant staff is to name a dish or drink after them. Not only does this increase curiosity amongst your customers as they think it's a special item, but chances are that the employee the dish is named after will brag about it on social media and more importantly be your free word of mouth marketer bringing in their friends and family. If you’re in a menu rut, challenge your menu, ask bartenders and chefs to come up with their specials. Another good idea to engineer your menu regularly is to add unique twists on the existing classics. Then reward the best-tasting dishes or drinks by putting their namesake creation on the menu. This way, you're giving your staff an opportunity to experiment and express themselves and are also understanding the customer's response to these items. This freedom of expression goes a long way in making your hardworking staff feel valued without splashing that extra bit of cash.
First things first, ensure that you have a solid training programme when your employees join. There is nothing more horrific than being thrown into a task without clarity of what is expected of you, the uncertainty and lack of knowledge inhibits one from performing their best and is quick to lead to loss of interest. The training itself serves like an upskilling opportunity and the right candidate will be quick to catch on it. Next, you can take this to the next level by recognizing your gems and investing in them. Motivate your waitstaff to learn hotel management principles and help them out by sponsoring a course, ask your bartenders to learn more about cocktails and their menu engineering by enrolling them in a bartending course. Give them the resources to upskill and develop themselves to become more valuable and ready for the next step. Show your potential candidates a clear path to advancement and highlight what they need to achieve in order to move up the ladder or the next pay scale. Give them the resources to upskill and develop themselves to become more valuable and ready for the next step.
As is already established a restaurant staff incentive doesn’t always have to be monetary. It can be very well, providing them with something that is coveted by them. Mostly all restaurants have certain sections, tables, events, or a busy shift for which the staff competes. If you happen to see some of your staff is performing exceptionally well, you can offer them their desired section or assign them to big parties who are likely to tip well. Since having a preferred location would help a server deliver his work better, similarly, giving the occasional shift choice, as long as it makes sense for your business, will be a coveted prize that your employees will strive for. For a particularly responsible member, let them decide their next shift or week schedule. It gives you one less staff member’s schedule to worry about, and they’ll be excited about picking the nights or days they work for the next week. A little power goes a long way when you reward restaurant staff.
Want to see your staff light up? Put their name in lights – and sing their praises on social media. This can be a more subtle way to reward restaurant staff. For example, if your team rocked a special event, post a genuine, heartfelt message on your socials about how lucky you are to work with them. Not only does this motivate and make your staff feel valued, it also works as good publicity for your restaurant as t. People care about people who care about other people, and this can go a long way in building a community of loyal customers who genuinely care about your restaurant.
This is a fantastic idea for onboarding new team members. Give them a basket or bag full of customized branded items like T-shirts, hats, jackets, masks, and aprons. This not only makes them feel welcomed, but it is also excellent marketing. You can provide smaller swag bags for your team members on occasion throughout the year and during the holidays. Hand out swag bags, for example, if several members of your staff had to deal with a particularly difficult customer, or if there were several extremely busy shifts in a row. This could be a small candy bag, a movie gift certificate, or a small gift card. Keep in mind that happy employees equal happy customers. A restaurant with high employee morale provides excellent customer service.
Although this is not free, consider including this expense in your marketing budget since your team will be repping your restaurant when wearing their swag.
Organize a dinner night for your entire restaurant staff where you personally with the rest of your administrative staff switch roles with your waitstaff to serve them dinner. Not only does this make them and their work feel extremely valued, casual gatherings also allow your employees to interact with one another, learn from one another, and form friendships within the restaurant. Being surrounded by positive and like-minded people can mean the difference between employees who dislike their jobs and employees who adore their jobs. This relaxing evening can prove to be an excellent way for your team to get out of their usual roles and enjoy the day together.
To sum this entire piece up in one sentence:
Train people well enough that they can leave, and treat them well enough so they don’t want to.
Never underestimate the power of gratitude. While this is a minor gesture, it is straightforward and communicates to your reps that you have taken notice. Show your gratitude by participating in team-building activities and providing positive reinforcement. You will notice an immediate increase in employee loyalty as a result of this. Positive reinforcement boosts not only productivity but also morale.