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How To Manage Your Restaurant Staff To Get The Best From Your Team

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This is a guest post from friends of our at At BlueCart, we are all about making your restaurant run better so we asked a specialist to offer a few tips on managing your staff and getting the best from your team.

How To Manage Your Restaurant Staff To Get The Best From Your Team

In order for your restaurant be prosperous, you need to have a manager who will manage restaurant staff and build successful teams.

Every team must have a manager. Whether that will be you or someone you will hire, a manager needs to meet the particular qualities and skills so he or she can manage restaurant staff and get the best from them.

First, familiarize yourself with the basics of teamwork. People usually say that they accept teamwork but only a few of them actually knows its function, principles, and rules. Human relationships are the basis of a good team. Teamwork is more efficient than individual work, and the effects of teamwork are a lot greater than the sum of individual accomplishments. Therefore, a manager needs to create favorable conditions for creative work and freedom of expression and action.

Teamwork in a restaurant is specific

These two types of working strategy are usually mixed up. Working in a group is a good way of dividing work and increasing productivity. However, perspectives of teamwork are much bigger. Especially when we talk about work in a restaurant where the staff needs to know their duties, but at the same time be able to help their coworkers when it is necessary in order for a restaurant business to flow as expected. This is only possible on a well-organized team.

It’s important to understand that working in a team is more difficult than working on your own. It requires changing your actions and working methods according to the needs and demands of working tasks.

What is the difference between teamwork and group work?

Group work is work by employees who are fulfilling their set tasks. Group work rules are determined and must be followed.

Teamwork requires multiple disciplines to be involved. Although tasks are pre-assigned , changes on a daily basis are allowed to achieve the final common goal. In our case, it is the best possible customer service.


Who makes up a team?

A team is made up of individuals who renounce their wishes and actions in order to realize a commonly set goal. Understood like this, a team does not negate individuality but affirms its values. Individual values in a team can be identified and used in the best way for business.

Teamwork is common solving a complex problem involving several members of the same or different specialties.

Is your restaurant team good or bad?

How your restaurant staff responds under stress is very important, in addition to what they care about and what their sense of humor is like. This is very important and useful to know when you need to deal with an uncertain situation. A good team holds together when times get difficult.

In addition to knowing organizational principles, you must have a sixth sense to answer the question is your team good or bad.

Turnover is not always the best measure of a good teamwork

A good outcome does not guarantee good relationships between your restaurant workers. This often happens if you’re working so many hours with someone that you feel that you need a break from them when you are not at work.

Over time, interactions between waiters and bartenders become work-only, and the interpersonal connection is weaker. The longer they work successfully together, the more they can grow apart as friends. So be sure that you or your restaurant manager makes changes when scheduling working shifts.

It’s important to recognize certain symptoms:

First symptom: discussing mistakes of others

It is not good when attention to the mistakes of colleagues increases, and personal mistakes get neglected. Therefore, one must stay away from those who needlessly interpret or judge other people’s actions. Such persons are most often not seen but are most certainly felt. If this symptom occurs, a manager must investigate the causes.

It is important to keep in mind that lack of work also creates conditions for such behavior. If there’s no work, the manager must invent it; even if some people dig holes and others fill them up again. This doesn’t have a productive business effect but it eliminates self-preoccupation.

Second symptom: frequent absences

If students miss class, for example, a teacher must pose a question why that is so. The situation is similar in your restaurant or bar. Frequent absences from work are a sign of poor relationships among staff members. In this case, the manager must also investigate causes. Perhaps the manager is the cause. He or she probably misses work a lot – so why shouldn’t others.

Third symptom: gossiping, joking and making fun of the manager, other staff members, social and political occurrences, etc.

staff managament gossip

Gossip and intrigue are dangerous and must be addressed.

In this case, informal communication channels with staff members must be established, with a goal to eliminate the causes of this symptom. Information is the key to elimination since every gossip is a product of insufficient information.

A symptom that occurs often is horizontal and vertical mistrust. For management, it is important to know that trust is not easily gained and is always tested. If a manager makes only one false move, such as making a promise but not delivering on it, employees’ trust is lost.

In order to avoid situations like this, a manager can use “management diplomacy,” i.e. when asked a question give general and vague answers such as “we’ll see,” “we’ll look into it,” “why not,” etc.

Could you manage restaurant staff to get the best from them?

Restaurant manager responsibilities are huge and we know it is not easy. Here is the profile of a good manager in the restaurant industry:

Restaurant managers need to manage restaurant staff, controlling the finance and providing the best customer service. Depending on the level of responsibility and the grade of the people you are managing, you may need to plan work at a detailed (daily/weekly) level.

The best managers started their careers in the restaurant business as waiters, bartenders or hostesses. This kind of person knows exactly where the possible problems are in a restaurant team.

manage restaurant staff

Characteristics of good team manager:

  • Must be a cultured person -This means that it is good if your manager has good taste, nice manners, and education.
  • Must respect every team member, and treat staff with respect -From dishwasher to owner. Everyone in the building is accountable and important. Your staff needs to know that your manager has no problem with cleaning a bathroom in order to make your guests’ visit positive, and neither should they. Your manager's philosophy should be that he/she wouldn’t ask someone to do something that he/she won’t do. When a good restaurant manager sees a dirty table when passing by they will take a cloth and clean it.
  • Must not be a careerist and take credit for team results -In other words, no one is going to work well and efficiently and especially not as a good hard working member of the team if the boss – manager is a self-centered jerk who thinks only of his success and his earnings.
  • Must not impose his/her will on the team -A good manager never does what he wants, he does what is the best for the team and the staff in it.
  • When describing successes they must use “WE,” and for failures “ME.” -This is very important because this approach teaches your restaurant staff members to take responsibility for every specific action but at the same time emphasizes that the attitude to the team needs to be honest and loyal.
  • Must reward his team -Rewards are very important in the restaurant business if a manager wants to see even small positive changes in their restaurant business . Everyone wants to work and to be in a positive environment. Even if your staff only has that positive energy in work, reward them because positive attitude brings good spirit and increases profit. This kind of manager mobilizes the team better than any incentive. The team feels that he/she is responsible for success.
  • A manager that is calm and patient, does not get caught in spirited discussions (which happen frequently in a team), and is a respected restaurateur, is crucial for the team.

    Factors that make restaurant team weak

    Successful teams always find solutions to fix problems in a given time-frame. However, many things can happen that can weaken team spirit and reduce a team’s efficiency, such as:

    Restaurant staff not trusting their manager or restaurant manager not trusting restaurant staff.Some believe that even good leaders are not to be trusted completely because no leader is flawless. Managers should certainly be reminded of this fact from time to time (not to mention politicians).

    Being submissive to the restaurant manager harms the team. It is true that people often obey their leaders. If this happens in a team, it harms the team more than anything. Submission, in general, corrupts managers and destroys followers. When your staff is able to accept its chief on healthy bases, then such a manager must be able to tell whether the team accepts him/her and have a non-controlling attitude.

    A team is weakened:

  • When a manager is too controlling,
  • When a manager’s actions are based on defending personal interests,
  • When it has too many members,
  • When all members are not equal,
  • When members care only about their own careers.With respects to all the elements that weaken team spirit that the manager must know, the most important task of a manager is to manage restaurant staff and create favorable conditions for creative work and freedom of expression and action.
  • In today’s world, teamwork is studied in schools and universities. Solving strategic problems by a team in simulated in classes. Management techniques in the hospitality industry are also taught.

    Factors that increase team spirit

    The performance and success of a restaurant depend on many factors including the commitment of the people working together in their workplace. Team spirit is all about working together as one to make way for success.

    Sometimes it is very difficult to build team spirit in the workplace because every worker is always out to prove he is good at what he does or he is better than the other worker. Every person is unique and even if you have very good worker with perfect skills if he do not direct all knowledge into constructive channels to bring out the best results in the workplace, then his potential is worthless.

    So how do you increase team spirit?

    Give ‘undemanding’ rules and principles

    Be compassionate and considerate at the same time. Allow indulgence and independence among the team workers and be indulgent with them. This will make your staff free in the working environment, and to try to do something new without fear of failure.This is very important for your team in the kitchen. Give them a chance to change some dishes or to make a new one. Let them help you to make a new menu. Ask them for an opinion about food and working rules.

    Encourage and Motivate your restaurant staff

    Success is a product of enthusiasm, motivation, and encouragement among the staff in your restaurant. When workers are motivated to work as a team, they feel independent and become more productive at work.Managing in a manner to increase team spirit is needed to motivate restaurant staff by recognition and appreciation of their efforts and encouraging their input to yield best results.

    Motivation – admiration, encouragement, and positive reception promote team spirit in the workplace.

    Make a dinner or cocktail party just for your employees.

    People are usually more stressed at the workplace due to challenging tasks and responsibilities. This is also one of the main reason why teams don’t function as well as they should and work with reduced productivity.

    If you want to strengthen team relationships the best way is to organize an outing for all your restaurant staff ( maybe for your birthday) which will help them to develop the power of fortitude among the team. This will help them to introduce themselves in some different environment. Sports activities, barbecue or excursion in nature are very welcome. It would help to establish relations with working colleagues in another way.

    This kind of gathering is very powerful, helps the team workers to socialize, and realize the joy and thrill, which in turn will help to increase team spirit in the restaurant during shifts. Create unique staff-bonding experiences.

    One last tip. Want to know the best way to make your employees more productive? It’s called BlueCart. A free app that streamlines your ordering, saves you time, and simplifies your life. Check it out at

    Aida Behmen

    Aida Behmen

    Aida Behmen - Milicevic, passionate about writing, delicious bites and hospitality business with more than 10 years of work experience, one of the team member of the POS Sector Point of Sale software for restaurants and bars.

    This article is by Aida Behmen from

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