10 Effective Ways to Improve Restaurant Staff Performance

There are three major aspects when it comes to having a good restaurant: Service, Ambience, and Quality. Having a good staff not only improves service, since having a good staff can improve the ambiance and sometimes even the food quality in your business.

Think of it this way: “If the food quality is great, the ambient is pleasant and the service is fast, but employees are in a bad mood, would you still enjoy your experience in that restaurant?”

Humans tend to share their emotions actively or passively, and whether we like it or not, we are susceptible to these emotions, so are employees, customers, owners, and every human along the line.

Applying these 8 ideas, you CAN and WILL improve your staff’s performance, your restaurant’s service, quality, and ambiance, which will open a lot of doors for you and your business through your restaurants google rankings and restaurant SEO. Let’s get to it, shall we?

10. Turn your business in a place you’d like to be

This doesn’t need you to spend loads of money. Try to focus on making your spaces clean, functional, empathic, warm and aesthetically pleasing.

Your staff is going to be at your business for hours and hours. If they are in a place where they feel comfortable, their mood will improve, and therefore, their attitude, efficiency, and work quality will also improve.

Here are some examples of little things you can do to greatly improve your business:

  • Keep your equipment updated. Throw those broken pans that everyone hates to use!
  • Make sure your spaces, uniforms, and equipment are clean and well-kept.
  • Get rid of useless, broken, stained and/or aesthetically unpleasant objects.
  • Present local art in your business. It improves it’s aesthetic, it isn’t expensive and may get you some extra customers.

9. Give them room to grow

Money is always a motivator that’s for sure, but it isn’t everything for employees. Making them feel like they’re appreciated, trusted and respected acts as a psychological reinforcement to keep up their good work.

If an employee is doing a good job-solving staff and customer problems, consider putting him in charge of human-relations. Giving them room to grow along with your business you can greatly improve their performance by switching their thought from “Let’s just survive this shift” to “I love working here”

8. Involve your staff in your decisions

When you ask and/or inform your staff about future changes, they feel included and valued, besides, by working there, they know some aspects of your business that you may be ignoring.

By doing this not only staff performance improves by making them feel like they’re an important part of your team, but it also strengthens the personal relations creating an efficient and pleasant work environment.

Here are some examples:

Instead of telling them how to do things, ask them if the way they’re doing things is the best way.

“Hey Johnny, what do you think about adding more tables near the bar?”

Ask them if they have new projects or ideas for improving some aspect of your business. (Like getting rid of something or implementing new tactics or systems)

7. Turn learning into a priority

You can’t assume your employees know everything, some people need guidance and experience in some specific tasks.

By answering their questions, pairing them with more experienced employees, or supervising them while they get a hang of the said task will make them feel reassured which will lead to a better performance in said tasks.

Nobody likes being told they’re doing things wrong. When you need to point something out, do it in a way that your staff can learn from their mistakes without criticizing them destructively.

Keep a nice attitude towards your staff and you’ll get it back to you and to your customers!

6. Maintain a positive attitude

Humans are influenced by the attitude of the people that surround them. If you keep a positive, reassuring and empathic attitude, your staff is likely to adopt this attitude with everyone at their workspace, meaning that you’ll have a better working environment as well as enhancing your customer’s experience.

Your staff is a reflexion of yourself. Be the way you want your staff to be!

5. Pins or medals

Part of the success of great franchises like Friday’s is to make their staff feel purpose and progression within their business. By offering pins or medals for certain accomplishments will instinctively make your staff thrive for those goals, and once they get them, they will wear them with pride, giving a healthy competition aspect to your work environment.

You can offer a pin for:

  • Solving a customer situation in a good, peaceful and smart manner
  • Having a good performance under stressful situations such as limited resources or having too many customers at a time with less staff than needed
  • Working a given time in every area of your business, reward them for being versatile!

If your staff doesn’t have reasons to work efficiently, give them some!

4. Give your employees intrinsic rewards

Giving an employee extra money is a good reward, but sometimes it’s expensive and not as reinforcing as some other more empathic rewards. Doing something very little can turn in a great reward for an employee, here are some examples:

  • Awarding the best employee each week
  • with a preferred parking slot
  • Granting them credit to eat and/or drink in your business for doing a good job
  • Offering away training courses such as cooking, fly bartending, music lessons, etc
  • Giving an extra day off for that week
  • Not all rewards are material, make your staff feel appreciated!

3. Acknowledge a job well done

Giving a reward is a good way to let an employee know you’re happy with their work, but it isn’t everything.

By approaching your staff and telling them how much you appreciate their work and effort and giving them a warm handshake or recognizing them in front of other employees will make them feel like their effort is taken in account by someone else and will make him focus in making your business succeed and grow.

“Jess, I just wanted to tell you I really appreciate your efficient and proactive attitude. I’m glad to have you on my team!”

2. Implement flexible policies

It’s been proven that flexible work contributes to a greater productivity and lesser costs from absence, rotation or neglection. This also generates happy and committed collaborators.

Knowing your staff personally and their individual situations help a great deal, this approach will give you access to valuable information to motivate your staff, giving them flexibility where they need it the most and adapt it to their personal needs.

Some examples are:

  • Let employees switch working schedules or days off
  • Grant them the freedom to choose some specific job or task
  • If you trust their organizational capabilities, give them the chance to adapt their schedule to their specific needs
  • Be open and prepared to change for the better, for you, your business and your staff

Be creative and find the policies that better fit your business!

1. Don’t make everything work-related

Productivity is important, but to think only about work and to think that everything else are “distractions” generates a tense and non-enjoyable work environment.

From time to time, try to host recreative group activities that help your staff strengthen their bonds, improve their personal, social and working relations with each other, and that give them a nice relaxation time to blow off some steam.

Group activities are very useful to remind you and all of your staff that you are all part of the same team and have the same goals.

Here we collected some group activities you can try:

  • Good and Bad: Make your employees write on a piece of paper the good and bad aspects of your business as a whole. Policies, relations, people, systems, attitudes, etc. In the end, someone draws the papers, reads them and discuss them.
  • The Thread: Here, participants will stand up making a circle. The first person holding the first end presents him/herself with name, job, and hobbies. This person passes the thread along and everyone proceeds to do the same until everyone has done it, then, the thread goes all the way back and each participant will say the name, job, and hobbies of the person next to them until the thread comes back to the first participant.
  • Weaknesses: In this activity, each participant will anonymously write on a piece of paper their own flaws or weaknesses. All papers will be stored in a box and someone reads them out loud. Since they’re anonymous, no one will know which person wrote what, and the group will give ideas on how to overcome these flaws or reassure the person by letting him/her know that it’s not that big of a flaw.

These 10 ideas are general for most businesses but don’t take this article as written on stone. Every business is different and has their own dynamic, please feel free to bend this advice to your realities and needs. Don’t be afraid to experiment!