One of the biggest challenges in the food and beverage industry is hiring qualified and capable employees and keeping them around for the long run. The average day in the life of a food and beverage worker can be stressful, and using motivational techniques to inspire and support your staff will not only improve the quality of work but also increase the liklihood that they’ll stick with you.

Use these tips to incorporate a dose motivation into the daily management of your staff and watch them succeed!

Focus on the positive

Have you ever had a manager who put a spotlight on everything that was going wrong during the pre-shift meeting? Nothing beats people down more than only hearing about the things they have done wrong. The things that your staff needs to improve upon do need to be addressed, but addressing them in a constructive way is more likely to have a positive effect.

Try the “sandwich” technique. Begin by talking about some positive things you have seen in your employees. Maybe celebrate the successes of each individual employee. Then discuss things that need improvement. Then, conclude by thanking your staff for their hard work. By sandwiching the negative between two positives, your staff will feel encouraged, instead of discouraged.

Keep the acknowledgement coming

Have ongoing acknowledgement programs, like “Employee of the Month”. Designate an area in the back of the house where the successes of your staff members can be posted. If a customer writes a good review of your restaurant or the staff, post it there. Regularly update the postings, making sure to rotate through the whole staff.

Have daily goals

Create daily goals for your staff to work towards. Do you manage a steakhouse? Offer a reward to the server who sells the most of a certain type of steak. Does your restaurant specialize in fine wine? Set a wine sales goal for the server who has the highest wine sales.

The reward can be anything from a free meal to a gift card. Make it interesting by creating teams, and having your employees work together to achieve a goal.

Set monthly goals as well

If your daily goals are for a small reward, create a larger goal for the entire month. For example, set a goal for the staff member with the highest monthly sales, with nothing under a certain amount. The reward could be something like a $500 bonus or a paid day off.

Set up a continuing education program

If your employees feel like you care about them, it will show in the quality of their work. Investing in their future by offering further job training and education shows them you care, and it will increase the likelihood that they will stick with you long-term.

Provide opportunities to cross train within your restaurant, and if promotion is possible, try to do it from within.

Get your hands dirty

In a restaurant’s busiest moments, it’s easy for a manager to shout out for someone to cut lemons or roll silverware, but that may send the wrong message to your staff. Show them that you aren’t above tasks like these.

When it’s obvious a staff member could use an extra pair of hands, roll up your sleeves and help out. One of the characteristics of a good leader is to lead by doing not by telling.

Feed your staff

If you have ever worked as a server or cook, you know often it is that you go an entire shift without getting the opportunity to sit and eat. Provide these short breaks for employees to grab a bite if possible.

For shifts that are really busy, bring in breakfast, lunch, or dinner every now and then. This is another way to show your employees that you care, and they won’t have to try to get through a shift on empty stomachs!

The food and beverage industry is a stressful, but rewarding one. By following these tips, you’ll motivate your staff and encourage them to work towards being a valuable part of the team!