In the service industry, the staff is the shoulders that carry the business. Your restaurant staff is responsible for all significant aspects of the restaurant – cooking, cleaning, serving, selling, buying, managing… you name it.
And so, it is clear that while we enjoy our delicious dinners at restaurants, the staff is actually under a lot of pressure to provide quality service. Restaurateurs know that are well aware of this burden. They often have to work to make sure that the team is not demotivated, unhappy, and dissatisfied at work. Happy staff=Happy customers!
And if you have noticed your restaurant staff underperforming and are wondering how to bring them back to their game with the best incentives, then you have come to the right place!
Keep reading for some fantastic incentive ideas for your restaurant staff.
Why Do Restaurants Need to Focus on Incentivizing Staff?
- The restaurant industry has high staff turnover rates. By offering some incentives, you can increase your staff retention.
- Good incentive programs will make your staff’s time in the restaurant more enjoyable, and it will directly increase their productivity. As the employees are assured their hard work is getting noticed, they will put in more effort.
- Staff incentive programs give employees appreciation, reward & recognition. It doesn’t only increase productivity but also generates a feeling of loyalty in your employees.
- By introducing performance-based and attendance-based incentives, you can significantly reduce staff absenteeism, as employees will strive harder to reach the goal.
Fail-proof Staff Incentive Ideas for Your Restaurant
As a restaurant owner, it becomes your job to ensure customer satisfaction. And it is also your job to look after your restaurant staff. Here are some employee incentives ideas that you can implement in your establishment.
1. Performance Incentives
How about rewarding your employees for performing well to boost morale and promote healthy competition?
- Hold regular performance appraisals for your staff. Set goals for your employees and monitor each staff’s performance regularly.
- It offers two-fold advantages. You incentivize those performing well to continue, recognize the lagging, and focus on their training.
2. Attendance Incentives
Attendance-based incentives can prove to be a significant driver in avoiding unnecessary time-offs.
- As a restaurant owner, you realize that frequent day-offs are a massive challenge in managing staff. Routine day offs by employees can put more stress on other employees and adversely affect your restaurant’s overall performance.
- To prevent such absenteeism, offering attendance-based incentives can work well; it will encourage your staff to be regular and punctual.
- You can offer monthly or quarterly rewards to employees who have fewer or no absences or are regularly on time.
3. Longevity Bonus
Ensure staff loyalty with a longevity bonus.
- You can fix a particular duration of time/years to award longevity bonuses to your employees. For instance, employees who complete x years of service can be rewarded with a fixed amount.
- You can offer these quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Alternatively, you can offer a bonus on employee anniversaries.
- Longevity bonuses are effective in preventing staff attrition and improving employee loyalty.
Choosing employee of the month is a great way to recognize, appreciate and reward your restaurant staff.
- Run a healthy monthly competition amongst your employees to boost performance.
- You can set some concrete criteria to avoid any confusion and biases. The requirements can include favourable reviews, higher sales of high-profit margin items, etc.
- Honour them with an award, and post on your social media page to make them happier.
5. Annual Bonuses and Raises
Annual bonuses and raises motivate the employees to work harder and ensure the restaurant’s success.
- Annual houses and raises become a primary motivator for employees to stay in the workplace.
- Presenting a yearly raise will reduce attrition and keep your staff satisfied.
- You can tie annual bonuses to the restaurant’s performance and offer rewards accordingly.
6. Referral Bonus
Your restaurant staff will know plenty of other people looking for a job in the industry. So how about giving them an extra incentive to make great suggestions?
- If you hire someone your staff had referred and stays for a certain period, offer your employee an x amount. It will give you access to an enormous pool of potential employee candidates.
- You get reliable, vouched-for candidates, your employee receives a reward, and someone lands a job; win-win for everyone.
Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) offers employees the company’s stock at a low or no additional cost. Your staff can encash this after a specified period.
- ESOPs have recently become a popular incentive method for companies. The Beer Cafe offered ESOPs to its employees, reduced its attrition rate, and expanded significantly.
- It increases a sense of belonging in your employees, and they become more invested in the restaurant’s success.
8. Paid Time-Offs and Insurances
Everyone can use paid time-offs, including your restaurant staff.
- Offering paid time-offs, and insurance tells the employees they are valued as human beings.
- Keep a generous leave policy and offer health and life insurance to your employees.
- Show them you care, and they will reciprocate with similar dedication and enthusiasm.
Incentive programs are a great way to maintain your staff’s morale. Align these programs with your long-term goals for the restaurant, keep the restaurant’s energy high, and grow higher. Remember to keep the programs simple, as a too complicated, difficult-to-understand program may need to be clarified for the employees.
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