Boosting Employee Satisfaction in the Restaurant Industry

BizAge Interview Team
A chef

In the bustling service industry, good employees can be hard to find and even harder to keep, which is why, if you run a restaurant, then you need to do everything you can to keep those employees onboard because, let’s face it, a grumpy chef can turn your kitchen into a nightmare faster than you can say "Gordon Ramsay"! 

That being the case, here are some top tips to help you boost employee satisfaction in the restaurant industry so you can retain more of your staff:

1. Creating a Chef’s Eden

If you want to keep your kitchen staff, then you need to ensure that the place where they work is less 'Hell’s Kitchen' and more 'Heaven’s Diner'. A comfortable and safe kitchen environment isn’t just about meeting health and safety standards; it’s about keeping staff comfortable and happy in their work. So, you are going to want to think air conditioning for those blisteringly hot days, a decent restaurant ventilation system to remove bad smells and dangerous grease build-ups, quality kitchen equipment that doesn’t feel like it belongs in a museum, and even personal lockers for personal belongings. A chef who isn’t battling the environment can focus on battling the dinner rush instead.

2. Menu Input Madness

Here’s a radical idea: let your staff have a say in the menu. Not only does this empower them and invest them in the success of the restaurant, but it also brings fresh ideas to the table—literally. A monthly 'Staff Special' could become the next big hit, and it’s a great way to show off your team's creativity to your customers.

3. The Break Room Revolution

Transform the break room into a sanctuary where your staff can actually enjoy their break. This isn't just about having a space to sit; it's about creating a haven where they can recharge. Stock the break room with snacks, comfy seating, and perhaps a quirky entertainment option or two—think vintage arcade games or a mini library of cookbooks for inspiration. A well-rested employee is a happy and productive employee.

4. Education and Escalation

Offering opportunities for growth and education within the restaurant can turn what is just a temporary job for many into a much-loved career, which is great for staff retention. Host wine tastings, cooking classes, and customer service workshops. Encourage your staff to climb the ladder within your establishment by clearly outlining paths for advancement. It’s like a role-playing game, but the rewards are real and include better pay, more responsibility, and the joy of not being stuck in the same role for eternity.

5. Flexibility is the New Black

Scheduling in the restaurant industry can be less than predictable to say the least, and this can make staff less happy and secure in their work. By offering flexibility then, and allowing them to have more control over their schedules, you can take a lot of the stress of restaurant work away from them and give them a better balance with their personal lives.

6. Let There Be Tips

If you are one of those eatery owners who makes your employees either hand over their tips to the house or share them between everyone, even if they did nothing to earn them, rethink this. Staff will be much happier when they can keep the tips they have worked hard for, and of course, this will encourage them to work even harder and treat guests even better too, right?

Happy employees mean happy eaters and fewer HR headaches for you, so what are you waiting for?

Written by
BizAge Interview Team
March 19, 2024