Dealing With Low Restaurant Employee Morale

So, your restaurant employees have been working slowly and not getting their work done on time. What's the matter? When they first started, they showed up bright and early and ready to please. Now, they just seem to be going through the motions.

If your employees suddenly become sullen, they probably have low morale. Dealing with this problem quickly and efficiently can improve employee satisfaction and get them back to them old selves.

The Importance of Morale in the Workplace

Morale is a vital part of any workplace, but imagine how low employee morale could impact a service-based environment like your restaurant. Your visitors love it when your employees are their normal selves: peppy, happy, eager to please, and fun. High-morale employees will increase your business and your customer satisfaction.

Low morale causes a variety of issues, including, but not limited to:

  • Decreased productivity
  • High employee turnover and increased absences
  • Decreased trust in you

Morale-Boosting Exercises

There are a variety of ways you can help increase the morale in your restaurant environment. These morale-boosting techniques include:

  • Perfectly training each employee so that they fully understand their job
  • Allow input from each staff member
  • Increasing the comfort level of the restaurant
  • Adding rewards and perks

Improving training helps your employees know how to respond to a variety of situations. For example, a fully-trained cook won't stress out over altered orders or complaints. Allowing input into your restaurant, such as ways to improve menu items and service, helps your employees feel like their voice matters and invests their emotions in the success of the restaurant. Rewards and perks, such as discounts on food and free beverages, also helps your employees feel appreciated.

Things That Can Lower Morale

There are a variety of ways you can decrease your employee morale without even realizing it. Improper scheduling is one of the biggest. Pay attention to how much your employees want to work and their preferred shifts. Forcing employees to work more (or less) hours than they want makes an employee feel under appreciated and ignored.

In fact, if a shift needs to be covered and you can't find somebody to do it, work it yourself. This may sound crazy, but your employees will appreciate your willingness to work hard. Do whatever needs to be done: waiting tables, cooking, or even cleaning.

You should also avoid being too harsh on your employees for mistakes or over-punishing them. For example, if a waiter drops a plate of food, don't scold them in front of customers. This is embarrassing and will immediately lower their morale. Also, avoid making them financially pay for their own mistakes.

As you can see, improving employee morale should be key to ensuring the success of your restaurant. Try these techniques out on your low energy waitresses and cooks and watch their energy increase and their service improve. 

Restaurants, like the Stardust Restaurant, offer great service and better food when employees are appreciated and professional.