How to Improve Teamwork in Your Restaurant

Shannon Lippe Shannon Lippe Vice President of Marketing

My last blog discussed tips for creating efficiency in restaurants. One of those tips was about improving teamwork. The more your team works together, the more efficient they will be, and the more revenue your restaurant will generate. Since this is such an important concept, I wanted to dive into ways that restaurants can foster teamwork within the workplace.

1. Create Common Goals 

Creating goals that the whole team can work towards will help engage team members. Goals should be SMART:  Specific, Measurable, Aspirational, Relevant, and Time-bound. Having a shared purpose that everyone can work towards will not only help motivate employees, but can also help you hire like-minded employees that believe in your restaurant’s vision.


2. Increase Communication

An open line of communication is crucial to working as a team. When expectations are clearly communicated, the team will achieve goals together and less time will be spent on misinterpretations. 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 sharing constructive criticism
  • Give directions clearly, and ask questions to make sure each team member understood 
  • Take time communicating important or difficult concepts. Rushing through it will lead to misunderstandings

Software, like Jolt Communication Manager, can help with all of these points to take some of the burden off of your management staff.

 

3. Establish Recognition Programs

Recognizing and rewarding employees creates an environment that encourages your restaurant employees to do their best and to work as a team. Most people tend to think that rewarding employees publicly breeds resentment or conflict. However, Harvard Business Research has found that recognizing your high performers results in the whole team flourishing. 

Whether you give a monetary reward or simply create an “employee of the month” program, recognizing employees who go above and beyond can help boost your team’s spirits and lead to greater employee retention.

 

4. Boost Accountability

To have a successful team, every member needs to be held accountable. If one team member gets away with slacking off and not pulling their weight, the rest of the team will grow hostile and quickly lose motivation.

This is where paper hurts your restaurant. When using paper for logs and checklists, it’s hard to tell who really completed a task and if they actually did it. For example, if you task an employee with checking the temperature of your walk-in freezers and they decide that they don’t feel like getting cold, or have more important things to do, they can simply write down a random temperature on the paper temperature log and say that they checked it. What if the freezer was broken? If the employee had actually checked the temperature, they could have notified someone that the freezer was getting warm. But since they didn’t check, there’s a greater chance of all that frozen food spoiling. That’s a lot of money you’ll throw in the trash. 

The solution? Digital checklists. These have timestamps, employee sign-ins, and photo requirements so every task is tracked by who completed it and if it was done right. This makes for cleaner stores, faster service, and more consistent processes, with everyone sharing the load and being held accountable.

 

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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