7 Tips On Managing Restaurant Employees

The restaurant business is often faced with many challenges. Among all the ups and downs, the biggest obstacle for most restaurant owners is employee management. Unlike most businesses, the restaurant business model is built around the employees. If the employees excel, the business thrives. On the contrary, if the employees are sluggish the business must strain.  The supervision of restaurant staff must be done by a professional human resource manager. With that said, even the most experienced HR must apply some out of the book knowledge while dealing with restaurant staff. You must be strict and gentle, friendly while maintaining your status as the boss. Look at these tips to help you manage restaurant employees.

1. Reward Good Performance

 Any successful restaurant in the world thrives on the principle of rewarding hard work. Let your employees know that their effort is appreciated. Restaurant employees are among the most overworked servants. Waiters, for instance, have to remain standing throughout the day and maintain professional conduct all trough. If any of your employees work hard to ensure that the restaurant runs well even when they are under pressure, show them appreciation. You can have a special bonus for all employees if the restaurant brings in good returns. You may also reward specific employees by creating special awards such as Employee of The Month, Most Diligent Employee, etc.

2. Maintain Fairness and Equality

 Encouraging competition by rewarding hard work is a good way to get the employees pumped up. However, if you employ such schemes without fairness, you might be digging the grave for your restaurant. If you have to reward, let it be known that all the awards are given out on merit. If possible, you should let the employees have a say on who gets the reward for a certain period.  You may also use facts such as sales numbers to award the best performers. Unfairness such as racial and gender discrimination may lead to a backlash. Employees who feel discriminated may plot against you and sabotage all your efforts.

3. Be Friendly

Your employees already know you are the boss, there is no need for acting up all the time. Be friendly and talk to them on friendly terms. Avoid using abusive language but rather remain professional. You may break a joke or two with your staff even during staff meetings.  Create special bonds with each of the employees and let all of them feel as if they are important. having your employees close will help you learn all the secrets that might otherwise ruin your reputation.

4. Draw Boundaries

 Most managers are often confused when asked to maintain boundaries and be friendly at the same time.  Being friendly does not mean you break the boundaries. Just like a father at home, you can have fun with your employees when it is time for fun.  However, there are key boundaries that should be kept if you want to remain relevant. Some of the key issues to keep in mind as you get friendly include:

* Avoid office romance with employees

* Do not indulge in entertainment activities such as drinking with employees

* Do not entertain jokes and chat that may affect productivity.

5. Provide Solutions Quickly

 If you want your employees to respect you, they should know that you have the right solutions to their problems. If a situation arises up, you should be ready to provide the right solution. Solve any disagreements among employees. If there rises an issue between a customer and the employee, have it solved immediately.

6. Ask  For Your Employees’ Opinion

 Restaurant employees hold a lot of information that the manager might never come across. The waiters, for instance, deal with customers directly. They know what the customers want and how they want it done. They also interact with other restaurant staff from competing brands. If you give them a chance to express their opinion on the menu and service delivery, you might be surprised by how much insight they have. Giving employees a chance to give out their opinion also helps build a relationship. They feel appreciated and valued if they see their suggestions being implemented.

Learn To Say Thank You

Sometimes words speak louder than actions. As much as you might pay your employees well and cater to their needs, a simple thank you might go a long way in building trust. Employees need to feel appreciated and wanted. As a manager, talk to your employees regularly and let them know that you acknowledge every hour of hard work they provide to the restaurant. You might reward them with extra commission on special days just to enforce your appreciation.


Restaurant employee management calls for professionalism and wisdom. When handling your employees, you should understand that they are your first line of defense. They are in the frontline serving customers, welcoming guests, and preparing dishes. Unless they are happy, your restaurant will not be in a good place.  To ensure that your restaurant thrives, keep your employees happy by listening to them, giving them rewards and congratulating them. However, you must also maintain boundaries where necessary.