We all know that for any machine to work, all of its parts have to do their jobs. Have you ever seen a car run with a flat tire? Similarly, a restaurant is one of the most complex “machines” in existence. Restaurants rely on every person to do their part to the best of their abilities to keep the system from collapsing. But with so many restaurants facing challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, can restaurants even expect to thrive? How can restaurants owners manage and motivate their teams despite pandemic-era setbacks? Keep on reading for our best tips for restaurant management and team building.
Establish Healthy Relationships In The Workplace
As the restaurant manager, it’s your right to have the upper hand in your business. Machiavelli may have believed that it’s better for a leader to be feared than to be loved, you may find that the opposite approach is more effective. Yes, your employees should respect your authority and be aware of their appropriate roles in the restaurant. But it’s also important to ensure your employees know their workplace is a safe and friendly environment where they don’t need to feel threatened or insecure. If they feel uncomfortable, assure your employees that they can talk to you about the issue in confidence. Then reiterate how you as a leader won’t tolerate inappropriate behavior. Creating a balance of structure and camaraderie in your restaurant will help keep your team motivated. This applies to all employees, whether they’re in the kitchen, busing outdoor tables, or delivering meals to customers.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
Lack of communication causes countless problems in daily life. With the help of group messaging, emails, and even apps like Makeshift, you as a restaurant manager have every opportunity to communicate with your employees. Be clear on your expectations, your business goals, and your restaurant’s mission. You can also address issues with clarity and ease. In all honesty, most employees don’t look at the handbook nearly as much as they should. Try sending a quick group text to keep your team vigilant about the rules. After all, repetition is the mother of learning, and people shouldn’t be held responsible for things they weren’t aware were wrong. In a bustling restaurant, poor communication is most evident when orders are conveyed incorrectly or plates delivered to the wrong table. Giving your team a solid foundation in communication will prevent unprofessional mix-ups.
Make Employees Feel Valued
You should reward your employees for their good work as much as (or ideally, less than) you reprimand them for their mistakes. If you establish a sense of community and trust among your team, they will likely take your sincere compliments to heart and stay motivated to do their best work. Not sure where to start? Try noticing something specific your employee does, perhaps something that they may have struggled with in the past.
For example, you could say, “Brandon, I really appreciate how well you polish those glasses, especially when many would consider this task unnecessary. The way you pay attention to those little details means a lot!”
A great team starts with a wonderful boss, and a wonderful boss genuinely cares about their employees. With so many things already uncertain in the restaurant industry, you team need to feel fulfilled and appreciated in their work more than ever. If you make your business one where employees feel welcome, motivated, and understood, you’re all but guaranteed to have a team that will stick together no matter the circumstances.