5 Tips for Improving Restaurant Teamwork

Bob Gibson Bob Gibson Jolt Chief Revenue Officer

There are many things that play into having great teamwork. In fact, there are so many that it’s hard to determine what you should focus on to improve your store. Here are the 5 areas we recommend you focus on to improve teamwork. 

1. Communication

Communicating, or staying in sync as we like to call it at Jolt, (one of our key values) and is crucial to working as a team. When expectations are clearly communicated, goals are achieved together and the team can accomplish much more as a whole than as individuals. 

More than that, good communication saves time. Time that would have been wasted by misinterpreted information and mistakes. It also ensures that best practices are openly shared among team members. Here are some tips on how to improve communication:

  • Make sure your team knows honesty is encouraged and that they won’t be punished for talking
  • Say what you mean clearly and check to make sure each team member understood by asking questions
  • Repeat back to your employees what you think they are trying to say (the military does a great job at this)
  • Slow down if you are communicating big or hard-to-understand concepts (it is better to take more time explaining upfront then loose time in with misunderstandings later.) 

2. Constant Training

On-the-spot training gives every employee clear expectations on procedures that employees can easily follow and execute. The key to better training in restaurants is to make training interactive rather than passive. Have employees physically do things, don’t just tell them what to do. This helps team members improve accuracy and recall, and when everyone is trained properly on how to execute tasks, more gets done. 

Digital solutions like Jolt help a lot with training by providing a digital library employees can access at any time. This enables employees to double check their work or learn on their own, saving time and even ensuring first-day employees can complete any task. 

3. Shared purpose and clear goals

Having something the whole team can work towards helps direct, orient, and engage team members. A Harvard business team lead a research panel that states goals should:

  • Be challenging. Easy assignments don’t motivate, but asking things that are too difficult can lead to discouragement
  • Be consequential. No matter the reward--it should be something your employees care about.

Having a shared purpose that everyone can work towards not only helps to motivate but can also help you hire like-minded employees that share your vision. 

4. Accountability

A big part of having a successful team is holding every member accountable. If one team member gets away with slacking and not pulling their weight, it negatively impacts everyone else. This is where paper hurts your restaurant. Using paper, it’s hard to tell who completed each task and paper  can be easily faked.

Digital checklists have timestamps, employee sign-ins, and photo requirements so every task is tracked by who completed it. This makes for cleaner stores, faster service, and more consistent processes, with everyone sharing the load. 

5. Recognize and reward 

Recognizing and rewarding employees creates an environment that encourages team members to work their best and to work as a team. It seems counterintuitive, but by recognizing  your high performers the whole team flourishes. Harvard business research found that employee recognition results in  

“We call these beneficial results recognition spillover effects because recognizing a single team member seems to have a positive and contagious effect on all the other members in the team.”

Whether it's a monetary reward or employee of the month, recognizing “the one” helps boost the team’s spirits and improves overall teamwork. 


To learn more about digital solutions that can help boost your restaurant’s teamwork, set up a time with a Jolt representative.


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