Being a restaurant manager isn’t an easy profession. You spend long days on your feet directing servers and cooks, making sure that dishes are plated correctly and guests are satisfied. It can be a difficult task making sure that you are doing your job while maintaining a good relationship with your staff. Creating a happy and enjoyable work environment will reward you with loyal, hardworking employees. The following are a few of the best ways to keep your staff happy and diligent, while remaining respected.
1. Lead by example
A good manager knows how to delegate, but a great manager will pitch in with you if need be. There’s a definitive difference between being a boss and being a leader. As a manager, you should never ask an employee to do something you wouldn’t do or haven’t done. You must lead by example and show them that you had to do (insert random activity here) on the way to get where you are.
2. Rally The Troops
Saying ‘thank you’ after an employee assists you with anything, even after just answering a question, will boost their morale. You’re the general and your staff is your army. If you want your restaurant to run like a well oiled machine, then you must be that oil that keeps those gears moving. Thank and appreciate them.
As a way to keep up that morale, try to reward your crew every once in a while. Anything from a box of donuts to a company outing will make them feel appreciated. In return they will reward you with their hard work and loyalty.
4. Know Your Employees
Take time to learn something about each one of your employees. Find out about their kids, significant other, cat, dog, anything that will form a connection. They’ll feel like more than just an employee.
5. Don’t Cross That Line
There is that proverbial line that you can’t cross between employer and employee. It’s one thing to be friends with your employees, but it’s a totally different, and potentially dangerous, thing to become best friends with them. There are some exceptions to the rule, but for the most part it would be in your better interest to not form those personal bonds. Making them feel too confident in your relationship may lead them to feel like they are better than their coworkers. What if you had to terminate them somewhere down the line? You wouldn’t want your emotions to compromise your better judgment.
6. Spread The Laughter
Laughing is immensely healthy and one of the best ways to create a bond. When having a conversation with an employee try to throw a joke in the mix, preferably tailored to their personality. If they try and get a laugh out of you, give it to them. Even if their attempt at comedy wasn’t all that great, they will appreciate a chuckle.
7. Praise In Public/Reprimand In Private
There are few things more embarrassing than getting chewed out by your boss in front of other employees and guests. If a member of your staff does something correctly make sure to praise them for it publically. If you catch something that really grinds your gears, don’t lash out at them on the spot; take a second to access the situation, breathe and ask to see them in your office. In any case make sure to sandwich your criticism with a compliment.
I understand why you did that, but next time let’s do it this way, okay? I appreciate how hard you are trying.
8. Pick Up The Tab
Even when an employee is going to use their discount, pick up the check. It’s a simple way to show them that you care. Buying them dinner or offering them a discount when their family comes in to eat creates a bond, and a bond over food is an everlasting one.
9. Leave Your Troubles Behind
Everyone has personal dilemmas that they deal with every day, but you can’t let them affect your work ethic. You set the tone of your work place; if you’re happy then your employees are happy. Coming into work with a negative attitude can set off the vibe of the entire establishment, possibly leading to guest complaints and kitchen mistakes. Leave those personal problems where they belong: in your personal life.