Tips on Managing Restaurant Staff

How to manage your restaurant staff


Running a restaurant is difficult, no matter how big or small it is. The size of your business doesn't change the fact that you're responsible for everything from the food and service to payroll, scheduling and promoting. But even though each area requires attention, one of the most important things you can focus on as a manager or business owner is training your staff and holding them accountable for their performance.

Training and communication are the keys to managing restaurant staff successfully as well as managing the kitchen staff

Training and communication are the keys to managing restaurant staff successfully, as well as managing the kitchen staff. You must be able to effectively communicate with your restaurant staff in order for them to know what is expected of them on a daily basis so that they can perform their tasks efficiently and effectively.

You also need to make sure that you have a good rapport with your kitchen employees so that they will not be afraid or hesitant about coming forward if there are any problems in their work area.

You should always remember that communication goes both ways and everyone needs encouragement from time-to-time or else morale will drop significantly within an organization such as this one where there are so many people working together towards common goals each day.

A good restaurant will create an ebb and flow between floor staff and kitchen staff

You want to create an ebb and flow between floor staff and kitchen staff. Both groups need to be comfortable. The optimal number of people in either department is a debatable issue, but too many in one place is not a good thing. If you have too many in either department, you’ll get complaints from both sides about each other.

It’s also important for your restaurant staff to know who does what at the restaurant so that they are able to work together harmoniously with each other as well as with their guests.

Create a balanced schedule for your employees

Your schedule should be balanced so that your employees are not overwhelmed. A good rule of thumb is to have about 1 - 2 servers for every 30 customers and 1 - 2 kitchen staff for every 10 customers. This allows you to handle peak times, as well as day-to-day operations with enough staff on the floor.

Give job-specific training.

To ensure that your employees are prepared for their new roles, you will need to give them specific training. The first step is understanding what skill set is needed for each position in your restaurant and how that translates into actual job tasks. Each employee should have an individualized training plan that addresses the following areas:

  • Customer service skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Management style (if applicable)

Recognize progress.

Giving recognition and praise is a great way to motivate your staff. There are many ways you can recognize employees, including:

  • A pat on the back, note or email

  • A verbal thank you, or even just a simple smile

  • An award that shows your appreciation

Recognition should be given when it is deserved and not simply for doing one's job. Be sure you're providing recognition appropriately!

Set clear expectations, and hold everyone accountable to them, including yourself.

  • Set clear expectations, and hold everyone accountable to them, including yourself.

  • Expectations should be clear, so that everyone knows what they are.

  • Expectations should be realistic, so that they are achievable.

  • Expectations should be measurable, so that you can see progress.

Promote from within when possible.

As with any other business, it's important to keep your employees happy. One way to do this is by promoting from within whenever possible. You'll not only be keeping the good people you already have on board, but you'll also be able to find new talent and build loyalty among your staff members. Promoting from within can also make for a more diverse workforce and help you avoid unnecessary turnover as well.

Create a performance review system with specific goals, and have regular meetings with your staff to discuss their progress, answer questions and brainstorm solutions to any problems they're having.

The best way to ensure that your restaurant is operating at the highest level possible is to get your employees to work together as a team. One of the most effective ways you can do this is by creating a performance review system with specific goals and having regular meetings with your staff to discuss their progress, answer questions, and brainstorm solutions to any problems they're having.

Here's how it works: First, sit down with your employees individually and ask them what they would like to accomplish this year in terms of their jobs. Then establish some general expectations for each position in the restaurant; for example, if you have line cooks working for you then it might be helpful for them if there was an expectation around working quickly but also making sure food quality doesn't suffer because of that speediness (if this isn't already expected). Next create an evaluation form where employees give scores from 1-5 (with 5 being excellent) on different categories like customer service skills or sanitation habits; you should then compare these scores against those given by past managers or owners who have worked closely with these individuals so that everyone stays on track toward achieving excellence across all areas. Finally set up regular meetings where each member gets feedback about how well they've been meeting those expectations; afterward make sure there are plans put into place so that anyone who falls below average has time constraints placed around them until they improve!


In the end, you're going to have to rely on your own judgment. But we hope that by following these tips, you'll be able to keep everyone happy and productive at work.