A restaurant is made up of a number of components. You have the kitchen staff who prepare the meals. Your host is the first impression of the patrons. The wait staff provide both the customer service and internal communications. And, of course, strong management is the glue that holds it all together. When you're planning your restaurant's HR management structure, what does that look like? Here are some ideas to get you started:
Lead by example
The first step for good employee management is good managers. You and your leadership staff need to model the behavior that you expect from the rest of your team. Teamwork is critical in a restaurant environment, so never allow conflicts of management to get in the way of strong performance.
Provide rewards and incentives
That being said, some healthy competition is good. Create contests that encourage your staff to work against one another or the clock to get a certain amount of money or tips or to sell the most of a particular drink or dessert. Then reward the winners with prizes or bonuses.
Give them authority
You need to trust your staff to make the best decisions in the moment. A split second could be all it takes to lose a customer. Give your team the authority to make something right when a problem occurs. They shouldn't always have to come to management for approval. Trust them.
Always be respectful
You also need to earn their trust. The quickest way to create a morale problem in the work environment is to demean and insult the staff to their faces, in front of their co-workers or in front of customers. Always take issues to the side and discuss them calmly. Never shout or argue, especially on the restaurant floor.
Finally, your restaurant should be a fun place to work. It should be a place where your employees enjoy coming in to work every day. Sure, a bad day happens every once in a while, but do what you can to ensure that it isn't normal to be stressed or upset every day. You want to encourage loyalty, and if your staff are having fun, it will translate to your customers.