Recognize employees when they model the culture you want to create. Tap influential and trustworthy employees to help lead your efforts


In any business, the working environment is one that can make or break an employees happiness index. And just like keeping your restaurant profitable, you want to keep your employees happiness index high.


If employees enjoy coming to work and the people they work around, they’ll stay with you longer. And considering the challenges you face when trying to find good employees, focusing on keeping the good ones you have makes even more sense. 


So how do create an atmosphere that employees enjoy and are excited to be a part of? You need to know how to build and develop restaurant culture that your staff and management want to support and customers want to be around.


Create Positive Restaurant Culture with Empowerment

It’s not only a servers job to check on customers and bring food to the table, they’re also responsible for the guest experience. 


Empower your employees! Get them to understand that they hold a very important part in your organization – that an extra effort or smile can go a long way with a customer – and that your server can be a customer experience superhero!  


Fact: 1 out of every 4 employees want to quit their job right now because they don’t like the environment they’re working in.


Hire the Right People. Fire the Ones That Don’t Fit.  

Skills and experience are important, but nothing can take the place of outgoing and helpful person. You’ve got to know how to hire, fire and keep good restaurant employees. Fill your restaurant with people who are driven to serve.


Most people who work in the restaurant industry do it because they have a passion for service and helping others. You can’t teach this. 


There are great ways to retain good restaurant employees, and when you make a bad hire and the hire starts affecting your culture, get rid of the offender ASAP. Nothing can kill culture quicker than a Negative Nelly that doesn’t want to get with the program. 


Don’t Tolerate Negative Behavior

In the ‘Turnover Tsunami’ some managers often accept certain levels of behavior that should not be allowed. Successful restaurant managers don’t let a few bad actors spoil what you are trying to build. 


Focus on Change & Improvement

It doesn’t matter if you’re starting fresh, or trying to implement change, start by having an open dialogue with your employees about what and why you’re doing it. Clearly define the problem (and culture you want to create), outline what is expected going forward. 


Be present during shifts and recognize employees when they model the culture you want to create. Tap influential and trustworthy employees to help lead your efforts.  


Support & Reinforce Your Restaurant Ethics

It’s going to take a little more than saying “we have a new culture now,” and leaving your employees to figure it out. Lead by example. Be present. Establish a core “culture team” of star employees who live and breathe your culture – and have them provide reinforcement and reminders to their peers.


Outline the WIIFM (“What’s In It For Me?”) 

To get employees onboard, it’s essential that your restaurant staff understands how the culture directly impacts them.


Spell out what’s in it for them: A better culture creates an improved work environment which will lead to smoother shifts for everyone and more satisfied customers that leave larger tips.


Be Consistent (and Fair) with Coaching

When you see employees struggle coach them up! Provide insight on how they could have handled a situation with a guest or coworker better in a private, safe environment (not in the heat of the moment or in front of others). 


When an employee has been repeatably coached and is unable to embody the level of service that you expect, acknowledge this person it not a good fit for the culture you are trying to create and it may be time for them to move on. 


If you implement these practices, you’ll find that not your staff’s morale improves but so does your business – and in many cases, both do so dramatically. 


Do you need operational support for your restaurant? EyeSpy can help by creating handbooks that guide your employees to success. We can also help you create a retention program that rewards your employees and helps build a positive work culture. 


As the old saying goes, “there is no ‘i’ in word team” – but there is and ‘i’ in “win.” Building a work environment of support and positive engagement is everyone’s job. Get to work building your culture today! 

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