Happy Restaurant Staff: 20 Tips On How To Make Your Employees Happy

How to Make Employees Enjoy Working At Your Restaurant

First Published on: Jun 27, 2022 at 16:30


Restaurant managers are often overwhelmed by the number of responsibilities they must perform. The day-to-day operations of the restaurant may be extremely stressful, especially in larger restaurants. Having a happy restaurant staff will help you reduce the stress of daily restaurant management activities.


Happy Restaurant Staff: 20 Tips On How To Make Your Employees Happy


How can a restaurant manager keep employees happy and motivated?


Keeping a happy restaurant staff engaged is critical for restaurant efficiency; let’s look at how you can do it as a successful restaurant manager.


Use these 20 Tips to Create Happy Restaurant Staff:


  1. Keeping Staff Happy


Not just as a restaurant manager, but also as an employer, keeping restaurant staff happy should be one of your top priorities. If your staff is dissatisfied with the way things are done at your restaurant, it will show in their service.


Restaurant employees who are happy and motivated go out of their way to provide excellent service to guests. They recognise that they are an extension of the restaurant’s brand, and they care about its image, so they go above and above.


However, if your restaurant team is demotivated and unhappy, dislikes the work environment, or does not want to work at your restaurant, it will show up in the form of slow customer service, which will bring the entire establishment down.


  1. Ensure that the working environment is safe


Often, restaurateurs are so focused on providing the world’s best amenities for their patrons that they overlook their employees’ comfort. One of the key causes for the industry’s high turnover rate is this.


Your restaurant staff’s employment needs them to be on their toes all of the time. The long hours and monotonous nature of the job are physically and mentally taxing. If you’re looking for a way to keep your restaurant crew engaged and pleased in this situation, having adequately defined locations for them to unwind between shifts is a fantastic place to start.


To avoid any health hazards and to allow the kitchen workers to cook comfortably, the kitchens must be well-ventilated, with a linear flow effect to minimise unnecessary movements.


Creating a healthy work atmosphere and a kind and inviting staff will provide emotional and psychological support to your employees. It only takes a little more effort to keep your employees pleased and keep them engaged and happy


  1. Have a policy for fixed shifts and overtime


Make sure that your restaurant personnel has set shifts and that there is enough time between them. Employees who are overworked and exhausted will not be able to properly serve your consumers.


In the restaurant industry, each hour spent by your staff represents the restaurant’s direct business.


To avoid dissatisfaction among your staff, it is critical to compensate them for the extra hours they put in. As a result, having a clear overtime policy for your employees is critical.


  1. Serve Nutritious Meals to your staff


Unfortunately, the quality of the meals served to restaurant personnel in some locations is awful. While it may not be possible to provide employees with the same high-grade food that is served to consumers, you must ensure that the meals are of good and healthful quality for your staff too.


Also, no one can function properly if they are hungry. If your staff are living on the bare minimum, their productivity will suffer, and they will lose motivation to work. When your personnel are well-fed, the risks of theft and pilferage from the inventory are greatly decreased.


How can a restaurant manager keep employees happy and motivated


  1. Incentive Program


Create an incentive scheme to motivate your restaurant staff and keep them happy and productive.


Incentives and recognition drive employees to improve their performance at work. If the restaurant employees are given a monetary incentive, they will be more motivated.


Programs like “Employee of the Month,” “Star Server,” and others not only boost the performer’s morale but also encourage other employees to do their best.


Create team-based reward schemes as well.


  1. Have A Bonus For Longevity


One of the most important concerns in the restaurant sector is frequent employee turnover.


The restaurant sector has a very high turnover rate, especially at the lower levels. As a result, offering your employees a longevity incentive is a terrific idea and will keep your restaurant staff happy.


If your staff stay for longer than a defined period of time, give them a monetary reward.


  1. Make A List Of Goals That Are Specific And Measurable


It would be foolish to expect a lot from your employees without first informing them of your expectations. As a result, setting goals for your team is crucial.


If your restaurant staff has clear goals, they will be more focused and productive.


When employees know exactly what is expected of them and there is no ambiguity about their job, they perform much better.


Every great leader has always set a good example for others to follow.


In the same way, a restaurant operates. The restaurant’s performance, as well as the morale and energy levels of the personnel, are all dependent on the restaurant manager’s presence.


Happy Restaurant Staff


  1. Encourage Open Dialogue


Restaurants are often close-knit environments, with the majority of employees hailing from the same neighbourhood or background.


Because most restaurant employees are employed based on referrals and word of mouth, it’s extremely probable that the majority, if not all, of your business’s employees, are our family, relatives, or friends.


In these instances, effective communication with the personnel is vital.


Meetings with the Team Leaders should be held on a regular basis, and daily briefings should be undertaken before the start of each shift to motivate the team.


Pay attention to the problems your employees are having and try to solve them. Create a welcoming environment to ensure that your staff are free to provide feedback without fear of retaliation. Employees who have time to dwell on their difficulties and feel compelled to remain silent are more likely to cause a ruckus.


Prevent this issue from arising in the first place. When problems emerge, pay attention to your staff, listen to them, and try to reach a compromise. Always keep in mind that happy employees are the best employees that stay.


When management is friendly and attentive, employee happiness skyrockets.


Encourage your staff to speak up because they spend so much of their week at your restaurant. Solicit feedback from them so they don’t feel powerless.


Happy Staff


  1. You Must Be Capable Of Handling Both Compliments And Criticism


While it is critical to provide feedback and criticism, you must do so correctly. You don’t have to be polite, but keep your patience under control, and adopt the “pull and pull technique”


Regularly provide feedback on your employees’ work so that any criticism from you is not unexpected. If one of your employees makes a mistake, call their attention to it and explain how to fix it.


While constructive criticism is crucial, it’s equally critical to recognise your colleagues’ accomplishments.


  1. Keep Your Best Staff Happy


What is the key to understanding how to keep your finest employees?


Increase productivity and work happiness by investing in your employees today. You’ll see increased production if your best employees are happy and your restaurant will not sacrifice quality in the process and will perform more successfully.


Now is the time to take action and prioritise your people.


The Hidden Truth Behind Restaurant Staff Management – What You Need To Know!


  1. Create An Inviting Work Environment


Make sure your employees may give feedback without fear of retaliation. Employees who have time to ruminate on their problems and feel obligated to remain silent are more likely to generate a commotion.


Prevent the occurrence of this problem in the first place. When issues arise, pay attention to your employees, listen to them, and try to reach an agreement.


Always remember that the best employees are the ones that stick around. Employee satisfaction skyrockets when management is nice and responsive.


Encourage your employees to speak up because they spend so much time at your restaurant during the week.


  1. Employees Should Be Fairly Paid


After all, is said and done, what matters at the end of the week is the money.


You can follow all the advice in this post, and your staff may be content in their jobs, but the ultimate thing is that they are working for you to make a livelihood.


Smart restaurant managers are willing to pay a higher price for their services. Almost a third of those who quit a restaurant job do so in search of a higher salary. Provide them with a competitive salary so they aren’t enticed.


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  1. Regular Reviews


Sit down with your staff one by one and ask them how they feel about your restaurant and working for you. Schedule these one-to-one sessions every quarter to review overall performance and set goals for the next quarter.


Take their ideas and transform them into specific assignments. You not only allow for more collaboration, but you also demonstrate to your employees that you value their input. Continue to do what they enjoy while focusing on the negative elements.


  1. Communicate Well


Many restaurant workers lament the fact that they have no idea what’s going on in the day-to-day running of the restaurant. Your staff will feel more connected to your business if you include them in your long-term plans, in addition to the day-to-day information.


You may even have a brainstorming session with them. They may offer useful suggestions because they are on the front lines. Hold regular meetings with your team.


Every day, greet each of your employees and have a brief conversation with them. Make sure your employees are invested in the success of your restaurant.


A productive workplace requires open communication and a sense of fun.


  1. Quickly Resolve Disagreements


The performance of a happy restaurant staff has a direct impact on your bottom line.


You’ll have a higher chance of keeping your finest staff if you resolve issues promptly and efficiently. Don’t let problems fester. When discussing a compromise or a solution to the situation, maintain your neutrality.


As soon as you recruit someone, make sure they know how you’ll deal with disagreements, by making them read and sign your employment terms and conditions manual.


  1. Make Your Workplace More Enjoyable


Allowing employees to be themselves at work is part of this. Remember the term, “the happiest employees are the most productive”. Allow for moments of laughter and games to spice up. This revitalises your employees while also lowering stress levels.


Your finest employees will leave soon if your restaurant’s culture is frosty, mechanical, and intimidating. Your top employees will stay with you for a long if you bring some fun and freshness into your management style.


  1. Create Bonus Schemes and Benefits


Is there anything else you can do to entice your top staff to stay besides the pay?


Yes, conventional benefits like health insurance and daycare are all very good, but they’re usually out of reach for small restaurant businesses. So, think outside the box for a while.


How about a membership to a fitness centre?


Negotiate lower fees with your local centre or devise a bartering strategy. Fridays with a free lunch sound like a good deal. On Fridays, give your employees a free lunch. Gather them around your largest table and allow them to have a good time (during your off-hours).


Offering a few incentives boosts employee loyalty and encourages them to go above and beyond during business hours.


  1. Offer Ongoing Training


Whether part-time or full-time, continuous training is vital for keeping your best employees.


Your employees should be provided with an orientation and all of the knowledge they need to complete their duties successfully on the first day.


Offer all your employees, ongoing training in areas specific to their jobs, such as health and safety, customer service, and food preparation.


Additionally, provide your best employees training that expands their duties to allow them to progress up the ladder into supervisory roles.


Your best employees will stay longer if they are well-informed and confident in their responsibilities.


How to make employees happy


  1. Make Advancement Opportunities Available


Have A Clearly Defined Hierarchy and structure aids your restaurant personnel in understanding their roles and responsibilities.


In low-level restaurant occupations, there is frequently a lack of desire and passion. It’s critical to communicate to your employees that they can advance to senior positions in the restaurant if they do well.


From the first interview, your employees should be informed of their chances for advancement at your restaurant. Take notice of their passions and hobbies.




A successful restaurant manager has to deal with a number of challenges, such as those related to restaurant operations, public relations, inventory, and customer service.


So, you have to learn how to make employees enjoy working at your restaurant. All the above 20 tips are ways to encourage and build a great team, keep your best staff, reduce employee turnover, and make your restaurant a fantastic place to work and eat.


How To Make Sure Your Restaurant Staff Are Happy and Productive


Frequently Asked Questions and Answers


How do I make my restaurant staff happy?

Foster a positive work environment by acknowledging their efforts, providing regular training and advancement opportunities, implementing a fair and transparent reward system, and promoting open communication. Encourage team-building activities to strengthen camaraderie and show appreciation for their hard work.


How can I ensure my restaurant staff stays happy?

Ensuring the happiness of your restaurant staff is vital for a thriving restaurant. Start with effective communication. Listen to your team’s ideas and concerns, making them feel valued and heard. Another important aspect is providing training and opportunities for development, showing your commitment to their growth.


Moreover, creating a positive work environment is crucial. Promote collaboration among team members and commemorate accomplishments, whether significant milestones or tiny victories. Fair wages and benefits are essential, too; everyone deserves to be paid fairly for their hard work.


Regularly show appreciation. Minor acts of kindness, such as expressing a heartfelt “thank you,” can have a significant and lasting impact. Consider staff appreciation days or recognition rewards for excellent work. Remember, when your staff is happy, your customers are happier, too!


How can I motivate my restaurant team effectively?

Motivating your restaurant team is essential for success. Start by setting clear goals and expectations. When your team knows what is expected, they are more likely to work towards achieving those goals. Recognition is another powerful motivator; acknowledge their hard work and offer constructive feedback.


Strengthen your team by engaging them in decision-making, giving them a sense of empowerment and ownership.. Allow them to contribute their ideas and be part of the bigger picture. Lead by example, as your enthusiasm and dedication will inspire them to do their best. Remember that motivation isn’t just about rewards; it’s also about fostering a positive, inclusive, and supportive work environment.


What are effective ways to motivate waitresses in a restaurant?

Motivating waitresses in a restaurant is crucial for exceptional service. Start by providing clear guidelines and expectations. When waitresses understand what is required, they can focus on delivering excellent service. Regularly recognize their efforts, praise them when they excel, and offer constructive feedback when necessary.


Consider implementing a tip-sharing system to promote teamwork and fairness. Offer opportunities for growth and development, whether learning new skills or advancing in their roles. Create a positive workplace culture where waitresses feel like valued team members. Encourage them to share their ideas and concerns, making them integral to the restaurant’s success.


How can I show appreciation to my restaurant staff?

Showing appreciation to your restaurant staff is essential for building a loyal and motivated team. Start with simple gestures like saying “thank you” sincerely and regularly. Acknowledge their hard work and dedication consistently. Consider implementing a recognition program that rewards outstanding performance, such as bonuses, certificates, or an “Employee of the Month” program.


Invest in their professional growth by offering training opportunities and supporting their career development. Organize team-building activities and events to foster a sense of belonging. When your staff feels appreciated, they become more motivated and loyal, contributing to the overall success of your restaurant.


How do you praise a restaurant staff?

Offer specific and genuine praise to restaurant staff by highlighting their particular contributions. Recognize their hard work publicly through verbal acknowledgement, an employee of the month program, or other forms of appreciation. Personalized compliments and constructive feedback also create a positive and motivating work environment.

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