Improving Employee Efficiency in Your Restaurant

It’s important to ensure your restaurant is as efficient as possible.  Things like a smooth ordering process, fast checkout, and high-tempo background music can keep things running smoothly overall. However, when it comes to employees, it’s important that management is able to keep them happy and engaged so they maintain peak performance and efficiency. 

Ask Their Opinion

Nothing makes people feel more valued than an interest in their thoughts and ideas. Asking for an opinion from your employees, even for something simple, makes them feel like a valued part of your team. Genuinely listening to and considering an employee’s opinion or idea, and perhaps even acting upon them, helps employees to feel more significant and useful in their position, and thus gives them a more positive outlook on their job. It will also help improve your employees’ work ethic — because they see you working with them, they will want to start working for you. Too many employees feel useless or unnecessary at their jobs, leaving them with no motivation to work at their best; but asking for their opinions and ideas can create a sense of value among your employees, and strengthen the relationship between associates and upper management.

Make Them Feel Secure

Many employees are worried that speaking out or offering a critique to improve an aspect of the business will too easily lead to their termination.  This causes employees with probably brilliant ideas to hold back any suggestions and stops them from bringing to light things that just aren’t working.  If you want your restaurant to run as efficiently as possible, you want to know what’s wrong so you can fix it. If you let your employees know that constructive criticism won’t get them fired, they’re much more likely to bring problems or improvements to your attention.  Don’t use fear as a strategy to make employees work harder.  This will only result in negative consequences.

Keep Tasks Clear and Focused

Many times, employees don’t get clear enough instructions. Management will give vague directions, employees will complete the task incorrectly, and the task will have to be repeated. It’s important to give clear, specific instructions and/or goals from the very beginning. Before assigning a task to an employee, ask yourself if said task meets these requirements.

Don’t Hold Back Excitement

If an employee does something awesome, make sure they know how happy you are about it.  This way, they’re bound to repeat it. Don’t hold back excitement for the sake of appearing powerful – your employees already know what kind of power you have. Let them know when you’re happy with them, reward good behavior, and you’ll see their performance improve.

Respect Work-Life Balance

Your restaurant is extremely important to you. You’re passionate about giving customers the perfect experience every time, and you spend day and night making sure everything is perfect.  However, for many of  your employees, this is a job, not a passion.  They may enjoy their job, like the company, and be great employees, but you need to respect that they want to spend time on their own passions, and with their friends and family.  A failure to respect the work-life balance of your employees will result in an unhappy workforce.

Don’t Micromanage

The number one complaint employees have about management is micromanagement. Micromanagement creates a “wait to be told” culture, and discourages employees from taking initiative. It forces employees to constantly check in with managers after small amounts of progress on a task to make sure they’re doing things correctly or according to management’s standards. This leads to slower progress and decreased efficiency.  Instead of micromanaging, implement effective training programs in your restaurant so employees know exactly what to do in different situations.