We’ve all seen or heard about Undercover Boss, the popular CBS show that sends a high-up executive undercover as an entry-level employee in his or her own company. Toward the end of the episode, the executive rewards the hardest-working employees, to show appreciation for them.
As a restaurant owner, it would be tough to hand out thousands of dollars in rewards to the employees who keep the wheels turning each day, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be rewarded at all. After all, rewarding your employees has its benefits. Read on to find out about 10 easy ways to show your appreciation to staff.
1. Holiday Parties and Group Activities
Throwing a holiday party rewards employees while also improving employees’ relationships with one another. Holiday parties allow your employees to let loose a little and get to know one another in a non-work environment (which in turn improves the work environment).
If the holidays are too busy, consider carving out a day to organize a group activity at no cost to your employees, such as a trip to an amusement park or the beach.
2. A Monetary Reward
Maybe the past month was your most successful month ever. Let your hardworking employees know it was because of them! Give them a small monetary reward, like a $20 bonus on their next paycheck.
3. Employee Discount
Offering employees a discount makes them feel as though they’re truly a part of the team. After all, they’re the only reason the food gets to the customers in the first place. It’s important to give employees a discount (anywhere from 25-50%) on whatever they’re serving. This works in your favor too, because as proven by gift cards, discounts encourage trying new things and spending more than the discounted amount.
4. Days Off
This may seem like a no brainer, but there is no evidence of greater success when employees work longer hours. If you’re running a restaurant that’s open seven days a week, make sure you give employees at least one day off per week, preferably two. It runs both ways—you deserve time off, and so do they.
5. Show Them Off
Everyone knows that posting on social media can be an excellent way to show off your restaurant’s atmosphere, menu, etc. It’s also an excellent way to show off your appreciation for the team. Post pictures of employees on your restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and write blurbs about why they’re special and important to your restaurant. Whether it’s the bussers, hosts/hostesses, servers, or back of house, everyone brings something to the table that keeps the restaurant running.
6. Employee(s) of the Month
Although everyone at the restaurant contributes to its success in one way or another, there are often a few employees who go above and beyond the day-to-day tasks. Sometimes, even just wearing a smile during every shift is enough to set one employee apart from another. It’s important to let these stellar members of the staff know the huge difference they make. Offer “Employee of the Month” awards to show thanks—and to encourage other employees to go that extra step in the future.
7. Give Them a Raise
Although this can’t (and shouldn’t) be done for every employee every time something is done well, if you have an employee who consistently goes one step further, let that person know they’re appreciated by offering a raise. Doing so says, “It’s worth the extra money to keep you around.”
8. Give a Gift
During the holidays especially, show your employees a little love by giving them small gifts. For instance, a gift card to their favorite coffee shop is a small token of appreciation that will go a long way. 9. Let Customers Appreciate Them, Too
Leaving comment cards on tables allows customers to offer constructive criticism; they also provide an opportunity for customers to praise the team. When a server gets a comment card about the excellent job he or she has done, it becomes clear that it’s just not restaurant management who notice. Positive feedback makes the job all the more rewarding.
10. Say It!
The most obvious, but often overlooked, form of appreciation is simply telling your employees that they’re doing an amazing job. At the end of the night, when the last table has gone home, it’s important to thank them for another successful day (even if you’re also providing some constructive criticism).
The bottom line: If you want to create a positive work environment, your employees need to have positive attitudes. If staff members give 100% every day and never receive anything in return, they will eventually resent the lack of appreciation. These 10 ideas are simple yet effective ways to get the point across: You do appreciate your employees!