To Motivate Your Restaurant Employees for Little or No Cost

July 13, 2018


In 1882, when our forefather’s created Labor Day, the first Monday in September, it was intended to be a tribute to the yearly contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.  Today I give a shout out to all the food service heroes out in Restaurant land who fill our tummies with mouthwatering meals or sinful treats, wash plates and handle the nasty trash, and cheerfully provide service with a smile even when guests are not so pleasant or respectful.  We know who they are and they don’t always get the credit they deserve for making our restaurants flourish 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.  So to all the bakers, bartenders, bus persons, chefs, cooks, dishwashers, expediters, hosts and hostesses, maître d, managers, owners, servers, and sommeliers who make our restaurants flourish! I say HOORAH!  

Great leaders know that they have to show their team appreciation every day of the year to get rock star performance and doing so will make them the employer of choice. That is a grand accomplishment when there is competition around every corner to seduce away not only your customers, but your employees as well. Unfortunately, we often, don’t appreciate what we had until they are working down the street. Studies show that 75% of employees who leave an employer do so not because of the job requirements, but because of the boss. Employers must realize that an employee who feels appreciated will always produce more than is expected day in and day out. Check out these simple actionable ways that you can show appreciation to your team and create a culture of appreciation.



Greetings at Meetings
Checking in with each employee at the beginning of their shift with a sincere, cheerful greeting and taking the time to ask how they are doing will go a long way.  Tell them you’re glad they are part of your team and don’t forget to say goodbye when they leave.  

Atta Girls or Atta Boys
In Maslow’s Theory of Needs, it is not surprising that right after the basic safety and survival needs, we all strive for the psychological needs of self-esteem such as feelings of belongingness, love, accomplishment and prestige.  It is a human nature to want to be part of a winning team and to receive recognition for their contributions.  A little praise goes a long way in building trust and commitment in a work relationship.  I find that people are very willing do what you praise them for and if you want to quickly and painlessly change a bad behavior or habit in in less than 21 days, there is nothing better than catching even the worst performer in the act of doing something right and praising them on the spot.  I have seen more than one perfectly timed acknowledgement create an instant transformation.  So praise publicly, praise frequen