Improve the Employee Experience

Hiring and keeping employees can be tricky for restaurant owners. Especially when navigating the demands of Gen Z workers. We're sharing 9 easy ways to motivate and retain restaurant employees. This advice will help keep your kitchen running smoothly both in front of house and behind the scenes.

9 top tips to motivate restaurant staff

A strong team of restaurant staff is essential for the success of any restaurant business. With many struggling to inspire and retain employees, we’ve put together this list of the best ways to help keep food industry workers engaged.

  1. Communicate clearly: make sure your staff know what you expect from them, what their goals are and give honest, transparent feedback often.
  2. Recognise good work: reward kitchen and wait staff for their hard work and success with bonuses, gift cards or paid time off.
  3. Offer professional development: provide training and development opportunities to advance your employees careers.
  4. Empower employees: allow staff autonomy to make decisions and have ownership over their work.
  5. Better work-life balance: consider flexible scheduling and facilitate time-off when requested.
  6. Positive work culture: try to build an inclusive and welcoming work environment where every team member feels valued.
  7. Good pay rates: offer fair compensation and benefits that reflect the value of the work your restaurant employees provide.
  8. Show strong leadership: lead by example, answer questions and be willing to help when needed. Trusting your employees will make them feel valued and will in turn earn their loyalty.
  9. Listen to feedback: encourage open communication and listen to your employees' feedback. You might identify areas where you can improve and make changes that will boost employee satisfaction and motivation.

While these tips are a good place to start, keeping employees motivated is an ongoing process that never truly ends.

employee experience

Today, many restaurants are facing challenges hiring and attracting Gen Z employees - those born between 1997 and 2012 and the newest generation to enter the workforce. 

 To maximise your applications from this pool of workers, remember to offer what Gen Z wants in a job.

  • Flexibility: Gen Z values flexibility more than their predecessors. They’re likely to prefer remote work options and flexible hours.
  • Purposeful work: Gen Z is looking for jobs that align with their values and have a positive impact on society. They want to work for companies that are transparent and have a clear mission and purpose.
  • Professional development: Gen Z is looking for opportunities to learn and grow in their careers, they want to feel challenged and be given opportunities to take on new responsibilities.
  • Technology: comfortable with technology, Gen Z expects to use tech at work. They want to work for companies that use innovative technology to be more efficient.
  • Good work-life balance: Gen Z are looking for jobs that allow them to have a fulfilling personal life outside of their work.
  • Transparency: Gen Z wants to work for companies that are open about their operations, values and future plans. They expect regular and open communication from management.
  • Competitive compensation: Gen Z wants to be fairly compensated for their work, they are looking for jobs that offer competitive salaries, benefits and bonuses.
  • Employee engagement: Gen Z wants to be heard, valued and engaged in the company, they want to be able to share their ideas and make a difference.

It's worth noting that members of Gen Z, like every other person, are different.  So it's important to not stereotype and understand that they are individuals with unique perspectives, needs and aspirations.

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