How restaurants can improve morale and motivate staff

Rauf Fadzillah
Jun 22



Days go on ahead without you and every day at work you grow even more tired than the last. Life in the rat race can be one marked by boredom, frustration, and anxiety.

Sadly, many people in the modern workforce may lack proper motivation as well as leaders that are capable of boosting morale.

For them, getting up every morning can be a mind-numbing chore. The kind that forces you to fall into a fitful sleep the night before, dreading the next day...

Your workplace environment as well as situations that your staff encounter may be rendering them incapable of unleashing their full potential.

What about restaurant staff?

You could classify the food and beverage industry as a part of (or at least closely related to) the hospitality industry. The keyword here is 'hospitality'. An inhospitable vibe can be created when staff does not express courtesy when dealing with patrons.

A negative impact on the business’s reputation can result and it can also lead to staff getting physically wounded. Think about how your kitchen employees are surrounded by potentially dangerous tools and hazardous conditions at times. Now throw unnecessary tussles into the mix and you could have a recipe for disaster!

Worst case scenario?

Urban legends might find their way into reality if your dissatisfied staff take their frustrations out by committing immoral acts (that jeopardise the health and safety of your customers) such as introducing bodily fluids into a patron’s order (hey, it could happen)...

This is why effective human resource management can be so crucial. Motivating and improving the morale of restaurant staff (or any other staff) should not solely be the task of the HR department, however.

It can really be something that requires a joint/concerted effort on the part of every member of your organisation, with an example being set by those right at the top.

Here are some tips to help everyone in your organisation get juiced up each and every work day.

Stay fun (within bounds)

Monotony can stunt productivity. So, every once in a while, do something to break that monotony. Give staff a fun challenge (like who can sell the most promoted menu item today) and throw in a reward. Think of a creative way to encourage staff to strive to become the best version of themselves.

Fairness and clarity

Employees can feel demoralized when a manager or employer seems to favour one or two other employees and treat everyone else inconsistently. Give special treatment to everyone. All workers should be treated equally and in fairness and also, don’t make arbitrary decisions and have arbitrary rules. Treat all employees as this can help them know what’s expected of them and also help you avoid running afoul of the law.

Positive reinforcement

Another common thing that can be found in the workforce is that employees receive bad feedback more than good feedback and when this happens, constructive criticism can be sorely lacking. Instead of simply being discouraging, show staff that their work matters with bits of positive reinforcement. Even saying a small ‘thank you’ can go a long way. Encourage staff to give out praise amongst their peers as well.

Work as a team

Seek contributions from different members of your team. In your internal brainstorming sessions, you could take note of any (and all) ideas shared by different staff and this can make them feel valuable, help them stay engaged and focused/educated on the objectives/goals of the business. Don't forget that your restaurant staff may have had more experience than board members or CEOs with regard to running the business on the ground.

A smarter HR system for a smarter business: Carbonate helps you keep track of attendance and leaves in your company, and keeps you connected to your staff with its built-in broadcasting and promotion messaging tool. Its employee profiles and HR leave management system meet MOM 2016 Employment Act Amendment requirements.
Click here to find out more.

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