Best Practices for Restaurants to Increase Staff Productivity

Motivating and retaining staff is the lifeline of successful businesses

Motivating and retaining staff is the lifeline of successful businesses, especially in labor-intensive industries like the food service industry. There are many cost-effective methods that restaurants can utilize to quickly align their employees’ goals with their own organizational goals. To help you maximize the productivity of your workforce, here are the best strategies for restaurant owners to increase staff productivity (outside of compensation):

Arrange Team Building Events 

Teams that enjoy their time together will be more motivated to show up on time and deliver their best work each day. A couple of ways to encourage stronger teamwork and critical thinking are to plan periodic team outings to fun places like sports events, or to create your own activities like hosting a cook-off to bring out employees’ creativity and leadership skills. Finally, an effective form of team-building is uniting your workers behind a charitable cause. According to Galaxy Digital, employees are five times more engaged in companies with employee volunteer programs. With our cause-marketing program, GiftAMeal, we provide brands with a monthly leaderboard so that staff at different locations can compete to see which store can provide the most meals to families in need, just through customers taking photos of their food (see how here). Additionally, staff at these restaurants have built on that engagement, volunteering at local food banks to provide a sense of purpose beyond their traditional roles, and an opportunity to interact with their coworkers.

Recognize and Reward High-Performing Employees

Higher employee satisfaction is known to increase loyalty and lower turnover rate, leading to increased productivity. According to an article by the Harvard Business Review, 40% of employed Americans say they’d put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often. An easy way to show meaningful appreciation is tracking milestones like employees’ work anniversaries or birthdays. Simple actions like sending out a thoughtful email message or a gift card can go a long way.. A heartfelt social media post on your restaurant’s accounts also showcases to your customers that you value your employees. 

Invest in Your Workforce 

Take empowering your employees to the next level by investing in their future careers. Monetary and verbal rewards are not the only way to show your appreciation. Consider adopting an ongoing training program that underscores opportunities for workers to move-up within your business. Aside from preparing them for promotion opportunities, teaching employees management skills will also help them understand and value your business model. Furthermore, many restaurants also partner with local colleges to provide free or discounted career development courses since an investment by their workplace boosts employees’ company loyalty. 

Cross-Train Employees 

Teams in which employees can help one another with tasks beyond their own roles will benefit from higher morale and higher individual productivity. This is because cross-training employees helps them recognize what challenges their peers face and also makes their daily routines less mundane. Another advantage of training employees to handle other tasks is the possibility of learning who is best fit for certain tasks, which can increase the efficiency of your operations overall. The important thing to remember if you want to implement cross-training is that you’ll have to recruit employees who have the initiative to learn new tasks.

Ask For Feedback 

The easiest way to target the right areas for improvement is to ask employees directly how you can play a role in increasing their productivity. While implementing anonymous suggestion boxes or online forms is key to encouraging honesty, it’s also important to ask open-ended questions in order to not limit the areas of improvement that might be brought to your attention. For example, you might not have thought that the kitchen layout was a safety hazard, or that lunch breaks were too short for employees to feel recharged throughout the day. Creating a culture of feedback not only creates a growth mindset that empowers your employees to work at their best, but it also provides you with valuable insights about how best to retain your employees.

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