Article by Brinklee Bailey

In your restaurant, you only want the best of the best providing quality service to your guests. It is also a known fact that when employees feel they can thrive and become a key part of your management staff they not only enjoy their jobs more but also provide more value to the company as a whole. So how do you accomplish both? We’ve got a few great ways to start to have the best of both worlds.

1. Develop The Skills Your Employees May Already Have

  • Asses the skills of your top employees
  • Discover ways to further develop those skills in a way that will benefit your restaurant
  • Constantly put those skills to the test within your restaurant so they can become more comfortable with doing things on their own.

Many employees have untapped potential. By paying more attention, you can notice those skills and give your employees tips on how to further fine tune themselves to potentially become the perfect management material.

2. Providing Meaningful Challenges

  • Ask employees to perform tasks that they aren’t used to; get them out of their comfort zones
  • Get employees opinions of how they can improve their jobs
  • Set goals for employees to meet in a timely manner

Challenging your employees is the best way to see how they handle pressure and responsibility. This is a key part of identifying the leaders you may already have.

3. Implement A Reward System

  • Reward good work ethic.
  • Recognize strong workers.
  • Start friendly competition amongst servers. Reward winner with gift card/ entertainment tickets, customized schedule (movies, sports events, etc.)
  • Create server teams and see which teams perform the best.

4. Track Job Satisfaction

  • Provide a quarterly survey will properly asses what’s working and not working in your restaurant (Provide an additional comment section)
  • Make sure to pay close attention to the input your top performers give
  • Ask how managers and owners can improve the work environment
  • When evaluating surveys, recognize which weakness’ could be used for training

Making sure your top performing employees are satisfied with their jobs and the treatment they receive from management will encourage company loyalty.

5. Be Generous With Praise

  • Tell employees when they are doing a good job/ highlight what they are doing well, post customer feedback.
  • Show praise for above and beyond behavior.
  • Start an “Employee of the Month” program for exceptional employees.

Letting an employee know that they are doing a good job is a major key to keeping your best employees. Everyone wants their hard work to be recognized especially by management and owners/operating partners.

6. Mentoring

  • Establish a mentoring program where managers should be teaching employees new, useful skills.
  • Partner up employees with managers that will assist them in moving up further within the company.

Showing them that you are invested in them and their future with your company will make them feel more secure about their job and in turn will raise morale and cause them to excel even more.

7. Preparing Your Top Staff for Promotional Opportunities

  • Provide leadership/management training.
  • Inform employees of promotions available.
  • Give employees feedback not only for needed improvements but also feedback on where they have grown.

Many times you will discover that members of your staff have leadership qualities that you may be looking for. Before ever outsourcing management, you should always asses the staff you already have.

8. Develop The Skills Your Employees May Already Have

  • Asses the skills of your top employees
  • Discover ways to further develop those skills in a way that will benefit your restaurant
  • Constantly put those skills to the test within your restaurant so they can become more comfortable with doing things on their own.

Many employees have untapped potential because they are never observed closely enough for that potential to be realized. By paying more attention, you will be able to pick out those skills and give your employees tips on how to further develop and fine tune themselves to become the perfect management material.