8 Essential Steps to Cultivating a Motivated Restaurant Workforce

Motivated workers are those who enjoy coming to work, who feel valued and respected and who – ultimately – make the business the most money. If your restaurant workforce looks forward to the working day then your restaurant will thrive, production will be at its highest and your customers will reap the positive benefits. You’re also likely to see a much lower staff turnover if people feel truly appreciated in their job roles. So how can you cultivate this motivation amongst your employees?

keeping your restaurant staff motivated


Here are 8 ways to push your team to success:

  1. Ensure mutual respect between management and employees – for a happy workplace, managers and supervisors must have full respect for their members of staff and, conversely, members of staff must revere the status of their peers as well as their managers. This mutual respect ensures the team work together harmoniously, avoid conflict and feel supported and motivated by one another.


  1. Have confidence in each person’s abilities – it’s essential to trust in each other’s capabilities and have the confidence to delegate tasks to people based on their individual skillsets. If you know that someone is better suited to a task than you are, then offer the job to them first and mention it’s because you know they’ll do great at it. This helps employees to feel valued and inspired to work hard.


  1. Train people so that they’re confident in their job role – as well as having faith in people’s skills, make sure that each employee is trained to the highest level possible and provided with enough instruction to carry out their tasks efficiently. Investing in training and providing information shows that you value your staff members and want them to succeed, thus motivating them to work hard and aim high.


  1. Appreciate efforts and recognise achievements – it’s essential to reward employees when they do something great on a regular basis. If you see a member of staff succeed at something, go above and beyond or achieve something new then congratulate them for their efforts or at least say thank-you. Being appreciative and showing recognition inspires people to work hard in order to succeed and impress you.


  1. Honour breaks, holidays and time off – for your workforce to remain refreshed, motivated and happy it’s vital that they take regular rest breaks, including lunch breaks, holidays and when they go home at the end of the working day. Encourage staff to take their well-earned breaks and, where possible, try to allocate and rotate shifts fairly between staff members so that everyone has access to free time during sociable hours.


  1. Take time to get to know your employees – treat your members of staff like friends and not just employees who are ‘beneath’ you. Even if these people are below you in the work hierarchy, these are real people with interesting tales, life stories and personal interests. If staff members feel that their manager or supervisor is taking an interest in their lives then they’ll enjoy spending time at work, their wellbeing will improve and they’ll be more than happy to get stuck in with tasks.


  1. Actively promote wellbeing – employees want to see that you take their health seriously and this includes mental and physical wellbeing as well as health and safety. Hold regular staff events, host competitions, create a staffroom chill out area and encourage an active lifestyle to show staff members that you want them to achieve a healthy work-life balance. If staff members are physically and mentally looked after then their overall mood will improve and they’ll be motivated to come to work and do their best.


  1. Have regular catch-ups to monitor progress and wellbeing – whether you have one-to-ones on a weekly or monthly basis, it’s important to set time aside to chat with each staff member individually. Yes, use these moments to discuss progress and work achievements, but also use the time to discuss wellbeing. Staff members will value the attention and are much more likely to feel comfortable and content at work.


If you follow each of these tips then your restaurant workforce will no doubt see a surge in both productivity and happiness. Wellbeing and output are intrinsically linked, so it’s essential to look after the former if you want to improve the latter. Assisting employees to feel motivated and inspired is a great first step towards this.


Louise Petty is the Content Co-Ordinator for High Speed Training, an online training provider based in Yorkshire. She produces High Speed Training’s courses, such as their health and safety for food handler’s course, and also regularly writes for the company’s blog, the Hub, on topics such as allergy awareness and food hygiene.