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How to Make Your Restaurant Staff Feel Like a Team

The servers, cooks, hosts, and bussers you hire are more than just employees…they’re the heart of your restaurant. Your staff can make or break your restaurant. If they’re happy and good at their jobs, they can attract customers and make your restaurant a place that diners want to come back to again and again. But if your employees are disgruntled and surly, your restaurant doesn’t have much of a chance to survive.

So how do you make sure your staff attracts customers instead of repels them? It all starts with making sure your staff members realize that they’re an important part of a successful team. When everyone on your staff works together, you have a much better shot at running a winning restaurant. Read on for some ideas on how you can make your staff members feel like they’re part of the team.

Make sure new employees feel at home.

Starting a new job can be rough…you don’t know anyone and you have a whole new workplace culture to fit into. You can help new employees feel much more comfortable by pairing them with senior employees. Be sure to introduce new employees to everyone who works at your restaurant and have an experienced employee take a new employee out to lunch so s/he can ask questions about your restaurant.

Write it down.

Do you have a comprehensive list of your policies and procedures, or are they just common knowledge among your current employees? It’s important to keep a written record, or else new employees will be completely lost. It’s hard to feel like part of the team when you don’t even know the rules!

Plan activities.

Let your staff get to know each other while they’re not working by planning an employee picnic, happy hour, or marathon. When employees get to know each other as people, they’re more likely to feel a connection.

Be open with your goals.

Let your employees know your plans for your restaurant and make sure they know how they can help. Emphasize how important it is that everyone works together to reach the restaurant’s goals.

Discourage competition.

Sure, a little friendly competition can be fun. But that doesn’t mean you want to start a culture of blaming and backstabbing. Encourage your employees to work together instead of fighting against each other.

Get feedback.

As often as you can, ask your employees how they think things are going. Whether you do this in group meetings or one-on-one chats, it will let your employees know that you value their input.

Share positive news with your employees.

Did your restaurant just get a great review in the local newspaper? An awesome rating on Yelp? A call from a customer who was happy with his or her meal? Share these accomplishments with your staff. If they know their contributions are valued, they’ll feel more like they’re part of the team.

It’s important to realize that your employees aren’t just easily replaceable resources—they’re an essential part of your restaurant’s success. By making your staff feel like part of a team, you can create happier employees and a stronger business.

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