teamwork in restaurant
by Otilia Dobos

Your team members and the way they work together can directly affect your restaurant’s success. If your staff are unhappy and often have conflicts, their negative attitude will spill into their customer service, and you may lose clients.

On the other hand, if you improve teamwork in the restaurant, everyone will work efficiently to achieve the common goal of increasing your business’s revenue.

In this article, you will find out why teamwork is crucial in the restaurant industry and how to motivate your employees to work well together.

Why Is Teamwork Important in a Restaurant?

Encouraging and helping people to work together in a restaurant environment will ensure every task is completed smoothly, be it cooking a dish, completing an online order, serving clients, or managing a busy evening.

Here are the benefits you, as a restaurant owner, will enjoy if you improve teamwork in your restaurant:

  • Reduced turnover rate: restaurants have been facing a hiring crisis recently because they have a hard time finding good employees and keeping them on board. While seasonal turnover is to be expected (some students only work in their free periods), if you want to have long-term productive employees, you must offer them a friendly environment where teamwork is promoted, and they know they can ask for help when they need it;
  • Day-to-day operations run more smoothly: when your employees collaborate, they will find ways to accomplish every task well and fast, making your business more efficient;
  • Improved customer experience: when staff members are content with their job, their happy energy will emanate towards clients, and they will offer every guest the best experience possible. This will encourage customers to leave positive reviews and recommend your restaurant to others.

Tips to Improve Teamwork in Your Restaurant

There is no magic wand that you can wave around and suddenly have your employees work well together. But there are some secrets to improving teamwork in your restaurant that we are willing to share with you. All you need is planning, time, and dedication.

Follow these tips and you will notice a big improvement in the teamwork at your restaurant that will also translate into more sales for your business.

1. Hire the right people

Hiring is a time and money-consuming process. That’s why it is important to get it right the first time. Here are a few pointers that will help you attract productive candidates that will fit in with your team:

  • Include all the requirements in the job listing: add the necessary experience, personality requirements, and responsibilities to attract the right candidates. For example, you should list the following qualities as requirements: team player, good people skills, organized and committed;
  • Post job openings on your website: you can also use traditional job aggregators to find employees, but having your job openings on your website will build trust with potential candidates. If you don’t already have a website, you can generate an SEO and sales-optimized one with our restaurant website builder. It even has an integrated job listings widget you can edit as often as you wish;

teamwork in restaurants examples

  • Involve managers in the hiring process: the floor managers may be more in tune with how your team works and what type of person would fit well in your environment. Therefore, allow your managers to sit in and participate in the interviews to get more insights about the participants;
  • Ask the right questions at the interview: if you ask people directly if they are team players, most will say yes, but you won’t know if they are telling the truth or not. It is better to ask for examples and be prepared with fictional situations that they have to reply to on the spot. For example, have them give you examples of when they proved they were a team player at their previous jobs. Or have them imagine they are at work on a busy day and a coworker just spilled a tray of glasses. What would they do in that situation?
Attract team players with a complete job listing on your website Generate an SEO optimized website that will help you reach many candidates

2. Define each role and the hierarchy at your business

One of the most common causes of conflict in a restaurant is unclarified roles. For example, when someone asks the employee responsible for seating people to do other tasks that are not in their job requirements, it will brew dissatisfaction and can lead to fights between employees.

To prevent disgruntled staff members, be transparent, and have the restaurant staff’s duties and responsibilities for each role on a platform that everyone can access if they need to.

It would also be useful to have a restaurant positions chart, so every employee knows who their direct manager is if they need help or have any other situation to resolve.

Furthermore, you should also express your expectations, both through training and on the shared platform. For example, mention if you have a dress code, a preferred attitude toward the team and clients, and cleanliness for each station.

Speaking of training, it can be useful in improving teamwork in the restaurant because it gives every employee the skills they need to do their job as well as possible.

What’s more, you can improve teamwork in the restaurant industry by bringing in mentors that can give your staff tips on communication and teamwork.

3. Establish channels of communication

Communication is not only the solution but also the preemptive measure to most conflicts that could affect teamwork in the restaurant. That’s why you must ensure all channels of communication are open, from you to the team, from the team to you, and between each member of the team.

Here are a few pointers for efficient communication:

  • Be clear: when you give new directions, delegate new responsibilities, or impart any type of information, make the effort to include all details and ensure everyone understands. This way, each person knows what is expected of them and they can easily collaborate with their colleagues;
  • Encourage honesty: transparency should always start from the top. You and the managers must show employees that you are honest in communication and decision-making to motivate them to do the same;
  • Accept feedback: your restaurant and the way it works can always be improved. Listen to your employees’ ideas and you may find some useful gems. Allow them to express their opinion one on one or in brainstorming sessions, whichever way works best for them.

4. Reward teamwork

restaurant teamwork

Source: Shutterstock

An easy way to encourage any type of attitude is to reward it. Therefore, if you want your employees to excel at teamwork, reward their efforts.

You may not be able to supervise every employee’s day, but you can implement a reward program and have the managers be your eyes. Train the management team to offer words of accomplishment each time they see an employee helping a colleague, even if it is not part of their responsibilities.

Furthermore, at the end of each month, you can have a small gathering with your team where you can give out small prizes or personalized crystal awards for excellent teamwork. Think of gift cards or a few meals at the restaurant for free.

While we’re on the topic of the management role, we must highlight a big no-no for improving teamwork in the restaurant: micromanaging. If you closely follow your employee’s work, not only will they never learn to do it on their own, but they will also get frustrated with the constant comments.

This will increase your employee turnover and make your staff believe you don’t trust them. Instead, offer them the training and support they need to do an excellent job on their own, while still lending a helping hand if they ask for it.

5. Organize and promote social events

Spending time together in an informal situation that doesn’t involve work will help your team members get to know each other better and learn how to work together.

Here are a few social event ideas to improve teamwork in your restaurant:

  • Celebrate every occasion: be it someone’s birthday, holidays, a marriage, etc. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, even an hour after work for a slice of cake and a drink will be appreciated;
  • Breakfast party: once a week/month, you can have a volunteer employee share their cooking skills or their favorite bought breakfast food with the entire team. Provide a budget for this activity so your team sees that you care about their well-being.
  • Teambuilding: some people are against team building because they are usually catered to the restaurant owner’s liking. But you can be different and ask your employees what type of team-building activities for restaurant workers they would enjoy during your time together.
  • Outings: be it a bar, a restaurant, or an event, any gathering can be an opportunity for employees to socialize and be better team members. Encourage these types of outings, even when you don’t participate in them.

6. Leverage technology to make employees’ work easier

If employees are too frustrated with how much work they have to accomplish in very little time, they may not be the best team members, because they will be focusing on trying to finish their tasks.

That’s why you should take advantage of the available technology to improve teamwork in the restaurant. For example, are you still taking orders by phone? Do you have an employee that on top of serving, has to rush to the phone and send the order to the kitchen?

Then you are wasting time that could be spent offering the best customer experience to everyone who visits the restaurant. All you need is the best free online ordering system from GloriaFood that will help streamline your online ordering process.

Improve teamwork in the restaurant by leveraging technology Install an online ordering system to your website for free

You can manage all your orders and send them to the kitchen from one smart device on which you install the order-taking app. You will receive a notification each time a client places an order, and you will be able to confirm it with a simple tap on the screen.

What’s more, the online ordering system has an integrated table booking system that allows clients to easily place orders directly on your website. You can confirm the reservation with just a click in the order-taking app.

teamwork in the restaurant industry

Final Words

Improving teamwork in your restaurant should always be on your agenda if you want your business to pass the test of time. Start by selecting the best candidates and then promote collaboration by encouraging communication, rewarding good behavior, organizing outings, and leveraging useful technology.

photo of GloriaFood blog writer Otilia Dobos
Otilia Dobos

Otilia Dobos prides herself on well-documented, easy to understand and SEO-optimized content, both short and long form.