How to Hype Up Your Service Staff for a Busy Shift

By Jackie Prange

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What kinds of restaurants have happy, hard working servers? Successful ones! Unfortunately for restaurant owners, this success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes mindfulness and creativity to pump up your team for a busy shift.

If you want to get your restaurant in thrive mode, but aren’t sure how to manage your restaurant staff efficiently and motivate them, here are four tried and true (and not to mention low-cost) tips to help hype up your serving staff.

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Menu Bingo

Try this fun twist on an age-old game: Create your own bingo board by filling in each square with a menu item that you want your servers to focus on selling. For example, a new main, an underperforming dessert, or your house cocktail. The first server to get a row of sales wins! Skeptical? The River Bend Restaurant in Colorado has menu bingo to thank for their server’s awesome attitudes and consistent motivation to sell.

Pre-Tasting of New Menu Items

Have a bunch of new menu items you can’t wait to get out of the kitchen? Instead of overwhelming your servers with a long list of all your new offerings, give them a taste of what they’ll be selling. During their pre-shift prep, surprise your staff with a bite of what’s new, whether it’s a daily special or an entrée you’re testing out. Not only will you hit it off with their tastebuds, but you’ll also help make them feel valued within your business. After all, they’re the ones in the trenches selling new items to your patrons, and you want them to be as excited as possible about selling new additions to your customers.

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Use this restaurant pre-shift template to help your staff prepare for the shift ahead, review important service updates, and inspire great work.

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Post-Shift Treats

Introducing a yummy reward post-shift can work as a great motivator. Offer to buy breakfast, lunch or dinner for your staff once in awhile, or better yet, let them take home a meal at the end of a long shift. Looking for something even more simple? Keep a candy dish filled in your kitchen so your staff are able to treat themselves whenever they’re feeling like they need a little “pick-me-up”.

Pump Up the Jam

Show off your restaurant’s positive vibes with the help of your sound system and an upbeat song. Pacific Standard, a hip bar in New York City, can be found blasting Nicki Minaj during their pre-shift meetings to boost employee morale. Not sure what song to put on full blast? Designate different employees to “DJ” during pre-shifts. They’ll enjoy both the fun environment this group activity creates, along with the honor of choosing the jam of the shift. Regardless of whether you or an employee is manning the music, here are some examples of great pump up songs: Lose Yourself by Eminem, We Are The Champions by Queen, and Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones.

Your servers are responsible for a large part of your restaurant’s success, so why wouldn’t you motivate them whenever possible? Happy and inspired servers will keep your seats filled with their incredible service, keep the kitchen busy, and most of all – make your restaurant more profitable. Even if you only introduce one of our above tips, our guess is you’ll begin to see a surge of motivated employees ready to rake in revenue at your restaurant.

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by Jackie Prange

Jackie was a Content Marketing Specialist and Social Media strategist at TouchBistro before moving into business development role. She covered the latest food, dining, and technology trends for the restaurant industry. A lover of all things coffee, Jackie’s hobbies include breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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