Food is only one element of your restaurant. There are many elements that need to come together to make it work. If the fanciest dishes are served by grumpy server, the way your food comes across to your guests will differ than it being served by smiley, happy faces. Staff motivated or unmotivated in-front and in the kitchen matter greatly. It is your leadership that will ensure if your staff stays motivated from the start of service right until the end.
Be an example
Every now and then, wear and apron and pitch in. If the boss chops onion, your staff will feel it is in no way a menial task. This is a silent message that gets across purely by example. Clear tables; ask your staff if they need a pair of extra hands. Be an example of the employee you want to see in your restaurant. And your employees will follow suit.
Be consistent in your treatment of others whether it’s staff or guests. Do not lash out at your staff and show civility to your guests. This is a double game you are playing and your staff will see right through it. Treat everyone with fairness and this will help build trusts amongst your employees knowing you will give each one a fair hearing. If you want your staff to handle pressure and stress with grace, be the first to show it.
Communicate your Vision
Every person in your restaurant must be on the same page. And only you can make this happen. Communicate your vision to your staff. Each employee should have a job description. Define your restaurant in simple language and share your mission. Tweak rather than overhaul, and motivation will happen.
Most people in the workforce believe they do a pretty good job. Therefore, it is your job to listen when employees express frustration or disappointment. Most employees do not whine unnecessarily, so let them vent. They do not want answers; they just want to share their feelings. Be someone they can count on.
Out of Work
Many employees are students, housewives, retirees that have a life outside of the restaurant. Show your staff you understand this life exists and it is just as important as their job. They will appreciate you taking the time to ask them about an exam or kid’s ballgame.
Praise lavishly when need be. Reinforcing positive feedback will give your staff a boost. If your guests have made positive comments, pass it along to your staff. If service runs smoothly, do not be afraid to tell it. The more you praise the more likely you will have an excitable and motivated bunch on your hands, waiting for the next round to start.
When mistakes happen, deal with it immediately and put it to rest. Do not ever bring up past mistakes or previous errors making your staff wary of your every move. Soften the blow, but make it a teaching opportunity to address the mistake. Finish it off with a positive comment.
As much as praise is essential, so are rewards. Your employees will feel touched each time you reward them. It doesn’t have to be a big shindig. You can take them out for a drink; offer some vouchers or a free meal at the restaurant for their friends and family.