5 Ways to Motivate Restaurant Staff to Boost Sales

Push Operations
December 10, 2020

Restaurant employees who do their job well are more likely to bring in more sales, whether it's through upselling, great quality work, or fantastic customer service. If restaurant staff members are not motivated to do their job well, sales will suffer. Keep your team motivated by giving them training, a “why”, and a goal to work toward. Make those goals fun and rewarding with an employee incentive program, and make sure to recognize everyone’s hard work and effort. Motivated employees will work harder and you're guaranteed to boost sales!

1. Tell your staff why you do what you do

Unifying your team around a common goal and a reason for being will motivate them to work together. Understand the “why” of your job. Explain why you opened the restaurant, and what goals you have for it. When your staff’s values align with yours, your goals will also be theirs, and they will be much more passionate about doing better work to reach those goals.

2. Create an incentive program that will also boost restaurant sales

An employee incentive program motivates staff to sell more, provide a more positive customer experience, and increase their knowledge to promote a certain product. With an incentive program, employees will better manage themselves, going above and beyond to learn more information about what your restaurant offers, and provide better customer service.

Be sure to recognize both effort and performance, and recognize everyone participating in the incentive program, not only the winners.

3. Praise employees

The restaurant industry has an incredibly high turnover rate. In a fast-paced, stressful environment, a little praise can go a long way. Use positive reinforcement to communicate your appreciation to employees. Let them know that their hard work and efforts are being noticed. If an employee feels unappreciated, they will stop doing their best work and sales will suffer. Ensure staff continue to do their best work with positive comments throughout the day. When employees are praised for their work, they'll be more motivated to keep doing their best. You could verbally thank an employee at a staff meeting, to recognize their efforts; write a note and personally hand it to them; or even have an Employee of the Month program.

4. Be transparent with goals

Set small, achievable goals that your staff can work towards achieving together. Accomplishing a goal is empowering and motivational. Share your goals with your team and reward them when they achieve one.

Hold regular meetings once or twice a month to communicate with staff where you are at with achieving long-term goals. They may notice things that you haven’t, and may have ideas about what could be optimized. Give everyone a chance to offer feedback on how to improve.  Employees are committed to a restaurant's success when they feel like their opinion is valued.

5. Train employees well and provide them with the right tools

Companies who invest in their workers are usually companies that value their workers, too.

Well-trained employees are more likely to understand what is expected of them and be fully-equipped to manage their tasks. Training allows employees to work towards a career goal; if you offer training that helps staff members move up in the company or advance their careers, your team will be much more motivated.

A happy employee is more likely to do their job well, which will of course boost your sales. Unite your team with common goals and values, train them to help them improve and advance, and create an incentive program to recognize and praise hard working employees. In an industry with such a high turnover rate, keeping staff motivated will keep them working for you.