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News & Press: Insider Tips & Best Practices

5 Best Practices to Improve Morale in Your Restaurant

Wednesday, August 27, 2014  
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Morale of the team in your restaurant is a critical factor for any successful business. The culture you create as an owner or manager drives morale and motivation. The more positive the morale and culture the easier it is to run your business and the more profitable you will be.  Long shifts on your feet, complaining customers, the kitchen arguing with the servers all contribute to lower morale and many times this seems like a daunting task to improve. How can you keep your team happy and engaged on a consistent basis?  It can be easier than you think! 

Human nature tells us that happiness is a state of mind, and it is up to an individual to be happy or not. Research has shown that it is up to the owner and managers to provide a positive environment that breeds success. If this is done properly anyone can feel fulfilled and be happy. Your team wants to feel relevant, they want to be involved, be part of the experience and contribute to the success of your business. If you treat your team like employees, they will act like employees. But if you create a positive culture based on honesty and involvement they will work as a high performing team. Strive to create goals and let them participate in idea sharing and decision making. You will be pleasantly surprised that your team will become your business partners who will go the extra mile to take care of you and your customers. When your customers are happy and have a great experience they will come back and also tell others. 

Invest time in your team and it will pay major dividends. Get their point of view, seek their opinions on ways to improve, ask for their feedback on customer service. Use the information you uncover with them to improve. By creating a positive culture based on involvement you will be creating a well operating team. When you have a cohesive team you have people looking out for one another and helping each other. They look out for your best interests and the happiness of your current and future customers. Improving your team’s morale improves your bottom line. 

Here are five best practices to help you improve morale starting today:

1 – Highlight people doing the right thing. Instead of focusing on employee mistakes concentrate on the positive things they do and celebrate.
2 – Have daily discussions with your team. Ask how their day is going and be interested in them. If you find out they are having a bad day use encouragement to turn things around.
3 – Be fair. Do not play favorites. Treat everyone fairly. Motivation will be destroyed if some people get away with breaking the rules.
4 – Get input. Sometimes the best ideas come from the people who are on the front lines. They are in direct contact with the customer. 
5 – Empower. Create clear goals for your team and hold them accountable to carry out your vision.  

This article was submitted as part of our Industry Insider program. Learn more >>

By Jim Stevens and Leo Giglio, Managing Partners of NP Hospitality Group

New Perspectives Group provides integrative and customized organizational development services and educational training across multiple industries. With decades of experience, our highly trained staff strives to achieve 100% customer satisfaction in all our projects. We are proud of our mission and record of past performance. Learn more at

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