Keeping your employees happy isn’t just good for their morale—it’s good for your business, too. Learn why employee satisfaction is crucial for restaurants.
Managing Employee Satisfaction in Your Restaurant
All business owners know that it’s important to keep their customers happy. After all, customers are the ultimate source of your revenue. This is especially true for restaurants, because a single review from a customer can seriously affect your online reputation.
But what about the happiness of their employees? A restaurant’s employees are the ones who are responsible for delivering great customer service—so you need to make sure they’re happy, too.
In this post, we’ll explore the reasons why employee satisfaction is so important and offer tips for keeping your employees happy.
What is Employee Satisfaction?
In order to create a satisfied and productive workforce, restaurant managers need to understand what employee satisfaction is and how to achieve it. The Cambridge Business Dictionary defines employee satisfaction as “a feeling of contentment and pleasure resulting from the accomplishment or experience of one’s work.”
But it’s more than that.
When it comes to employee satisfaction, there are two main categories: Job satisfaction and motivation. Job satisfaction is the feeling of joy an individual has while working on their assigned tasks.
They see their role as a meaningful one that aligns with company goals. On the other hand, motivation reveals whether workers specifically want more out of life than just making ends meet every day.
The bottom line is that employees are more likely to stay with your restaurant if they feel happy and fulfilled.
How to Measure Employee Satisfaction:
Any company’s success depends on how engaged its workforce feels about what they do each day. In other words, employee retention rates will vary depending on whether you have motivating factors present, which promote an atmosphere where workers want nothing less than excellence from both themselves and their employer.
These are a few ways you can measure employee satisfaction:
- Surveys – An employee satisfaction survey is a great way to get a baseline on your employees’ management expectations, coworker relationships, and stress levels. If you’re not designing your own, you can use the Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI) or NPS templates.
- 1-on-1 Meetings – This is an intimate way of learning more about your staff. In 1-on-1 meetings, you can directly check in on your employees and ask what they like or dislike about the job.
- Anonymous Suggestion Box – This type of suggestion box is a great way to get your employees involved and engaged without putting them on the spot. They’ll feel more comfortable giving you honest feedback that could help make things run smoother at the restaurant.
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The Relationship Between Employee and Customer Satisfaction
From the moment customers walk through your restaurant doors, they can tell if your staff are happy to be there. They do this by observing the waitstaff’s body language and facial expressions. If your servers are grumpy, snippy, or disinterested in interacting with customers, this can cause guests to leave without ordering.
This isn’t just a hypothetical scenario. Research shows that customer satisfaction is directly affected by employee satisfaction. Restaurant owners need to understand the importance of creating an enjoyable work environment for everyone, as this will lead to less turnover and higher employee morale.
The key to running a successful restaurant is investing in your employees. You should encourage their communication, feedback, and ideas so they can do the best work possible for you. That way, they’ll stay with the company longer because they feel valued.
How to Improve Employee Satisfaction
The food and beverage industry is competitive which means that if employees don’t enjoy their work, they may be more likely to leave for another job. While it seems logical to expect employees to work for pay, that doesn’t automatically mean they’re happy working for you.
To ensure everyone is satisfied with their jobs, use these four tips:
#1 – Foster an inclusive environment, but be clear about your expectations.
Improving job satisfaction is one of the first steps towards increasing engagement for many employees. Keeping your restaurant employees engaged is one of the most important things you can do to make sure they stay with you.
The best way to have happy employees is by making sure they feel like their voices can be heard. When people feel like their voice matters and that what’s happening around them has an impact on success, it builds stronger relationships.
You can do this by holding frequent but short staff meetings to set expectations, making it easier for everyone to know what they’re supposed to do on that day.
#2 – Be firm in your management style, and give praise when it’s due.
Your restaurant team is a reflection of you. Your leadership style affects your team and how they function for the rest of the shift. If any conflicts may arise between employees and managers, then everyone should know to resolve these problems right away.
One way is to hold private meetings with the concerned employees so that they can air out their issues in a civil space. Another is to include a policy for handling workplace disputes. Make an employee manual, so that everyone knows what’s expected of each aspect of their employment.
Also, part of managing a team includes recognizing when praise is due. When you recognize employees for their achievements and success, it creates a shared sense of accomplishment. It makes them feel more valued while also helping the team succeed.
#3 – Invest in your staff through training and giving them room to grow.
Whether you have a team of one or dozens of staff across locations, it is vital to invest time into training your employees. Invest in your team’s career growth by providing the training they need and deserve.
Certain skill sets will always remain important (like customer service), so create a training curriculum that gives your employees opportunities to grow. Alternatively, you can consider reimbursing employees for any professional development courses or workshops on their own time.
However, just because you paid for their training doesn’t mean you get to micromanage or demand too much from your employees. By micromanaging your employees, you’re not giving them the freedom to do their jobs effectively. This can have adverse effects on work satisfaction and everyone’s stress levels.
#4 -Provide adequate pay and benefits.
When it comes to retaining talent, pay is important. One-third of employees will leave for better wages, so offer competitive rates and don’t be afraid if you need an employee’s salary raised.
To keep your happy staff motivated, try treating them well with other non-monetary perks. These benefits can include healthcare, staff discounts, days off, or weekly team lunches. Offering a few benefits leads them toward increased loyalty and encourages those working hard during their shift to go above and beyond for you every day.
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Restaurant Staff are a Reflection of Your Business
OpenRestaurants that want to grow need not just productive but also happy employees. The most important thing for managers is to make sure they have the right tools and resources available to plan out their days in advance, making it easier when things get hectic during dinner rush hours. They also need a clear understanding of how best to motivate and reward their staff members.
At Mosaic Solutions, we have experts ready and waiting to work with you so that every aspect of your operation runs as efficiently as possible. Our cloud-based POS makes your team’s lives easier, allowing you to spend less time on operations of restaurant management—and more time on working on running a better restaurant.
Ready to level up your restaurant management? Contact us today.