updated - August 18, 2019 Sunday EDT
For your restaurant to succeed, your staff must be happy. There's a palpable difference between being served by a waiter who is and isn't enjoying themselves at work-you can feel it. With so many restaurants to choose from, savvy managers need to do everything in their power to retain customers, and they know that retaining staff is a big part of this.
It can be challenging, but remember these tips and both you and the staff at your restaurant will find work more enjoyable.
Take Advantage of the Latest Inventions
Whether staff morale is currently high or low, any restaurant can use an employee scheduling app to make it higher. They shave off up to 80% of the time it takes to make a schedule, which eases a very frustrating part of your staff's routine.
It also helps let your staff know sooner when they'll be working, which gives them greater control over their lives-it becomes easier to schedule appointments and make plans with family and friends. Especially given the nature of the industry, when shifts can be at irregular dates and times, this is an important way to show them you respect and value their time.
Tips for Dividing Tips
This can be a sensitive topic for restaurant employees. There are cultures where tipping is forbidden, either because the waiter's basic wage is proportionately higher or a service charge is automatically applied to the bill. In North American culture, it's usually up to the patrons to decide how much money to leave as a tip, or whether to tip at all.
Managers should be aware of how their staff feels about how tips are divided. Are there resentments breeding over how tips are split between waiters, cooks and "bussers"? Does your staff suffer from wage uncertainty because they can't expect to make a consistent amount of money day to day? Serving people who you must be pleasant to no matter what can be exhausting-the waiter is in effect subservient to the patron, who has the power to reward with a generous tip or punish by not giving one at all. Talk to your staff about this, as it matters a lot to them.
Train Them Well
A confident waiter is a happier employee. Even experienced wait staff need to have your restaurant's culture and menu fully assimilated before they can relax on the job. Make sure all your employees are fully and properly trained before hitting the floor, the kitchen or wherever they work. This will help reduce complaints from patrons, and will increase the satisfaction any employee feels when they do their job well.
Feed Them Well
The path to happiness is often through the stomach. How can free tasty and healthy food not improve staff morale? It likely won't be the same dishes your patrons eat, and definitely won't be plated as elaborately! But it's both a meaningful gesture they'll appreciate and a practical way for them to save money and feel good.
"Food is love," so they say-in this sense, give your employees some love. This is an important way to grease the wheel that turns every aspect of your restaurant.
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