10 Tricks to Solve Workplace Disagreements in Restaurants

A restaurant environment is very dynamic, which is always a fruitful ground for disputes and conflicts among employees. In other words, it’s a living hell for managers who constantly have to play the watchdog role in order to keep the workflow smooth and uninterrupted.

According to the report, US employees spend almost three hours a week dealing with conflicts. It makes a huge impact on productivity, while some workers even have to leave their positions due to improperly managed discords. The consequences can be severe since the cost of hiring and training a new restaurant staff member can reach as much as $3.5 thousand.

In such circumstances, you should learn how to balance between the two conflicting sides. This article will show you 10 tricks to effectively solve workplace disagreements in a restaurant.

Don’t Let the Guests Notice Anything

The basic rule of restaurant dispute management is to keep it all in the kitchen. It’s completely natural to see an occasional workplace quarrel, but restaurant customers are there to relax and have fun – not to watch a couple of staff members arguing and yelling at each other. As soon as you notice something strange is going on, you need to react immediately and solve things internally.

Keep Calm

The next step to take in case of a restaurant disagreement is to tell everyone to calm down. The most important thing is to ensure the normal functioning of your organization, so you can’t afford bigger conflicts. Don’t let the dispute turn into an outburst because your clients could hear it. Besides that, it’s much easier to solve the problem calmly than to scream your way to the solution.

Talk It Over

Sometimes you just have to act promptly, but most of the time you can wait until the end of the shift to discuss the problem. Before you start judging, you should ask both sides a few questions:

What seems to be the cause of this problem?

How did you react to the dispute?

Once you learn what your employees think about this issue, you can take a stand and act accordingly.

Treat Each Side Fairly

Let’s say that one waitress is jeopardizing her colleague’s territory, serving more tables than agreed. The solution is clear in this case – you just need to remind them to stick to the table plan. However, keep in mind to treat both sides fairly, letting them speak their minds freely. After all, you don’t want to lose a good employee because of the minor incident.

Find a Common Ground

As much as it is important to treat each side fairly, it is just as important to find a common ground when solving a disagreement. If a winner takes it all, then a loser ends up devastated. Nothing is ever 100% black or white, so you should each employee satisfied at least to some extent.


If a waiter is serving someone else’s tables, perhaps it’s because he doesn’t like the existing plan and feels underprivileged. In such circumstances, you are the one who should reconsider their positions and perhaps even make necessary corrections.

Keep an Eye on Employees

The first five items on our list were dedicated to conflict-solving, but now we want to focus a little more on prevention. Keep an eye on your employees because it will help you to notice potential problems before the actual outbreak. For instance, people can be angry because of their personal problems. You should get to know your workers and give them a little break if they don’t feel comfortable.

Delegate Tasks Clearly

Another way to prevent trouble in a restaurant is to delegate all tasks clearly and precisely. If everyone knows exactly what to do at any given moment, it minimizes the odds of interpersonal disputes.

Organize Team Building Events

Team building can help you to strengthen relationships within the group, thus improving the overall productivity of your employees. Besides that, team building events often increase people’s motivation to work and inspire collaboration.

At the same time, they serve as creativity and confidence boosters. Using this tactic, you can improve organizational communication, build team culture, and reinforce responsibility as the key factor to restaurant performance.

Don’t Always Interfere

As a manager, you should learn that the workplace disagreement is not a catastrophe. As a matter of fact, sometimes it’s even better not to interfere and let your employees resolve disputes on their own. That way, they will feel more independent, while you can always jump in if you realize that the situation demands your mediation.

Conflicts Are Not Bad

A conflict is a natural consequence of the hectic restaurant environment. Therefore, you should not treat it as a disaster, but rather see it as the opportunity to improve the work process in your team. The sooner you realize it, the easier it will be to handle workplace disagreements in a restaurant.

Solving internal conflicts is crucial for the successful functioning of every organization, particularly restaurants. Restaurant employees keep the direct contact with guests, so it’s critical to keep them polite and motivated.

Make sure to remember our tips – they could help you grow your business, building a better team and raising the level of customer satisfaction.