Evidence suggests that great teams are built and don't happen by chance. Here are 10 ideas to motivate and build a great team!
In an industry that often has high-turnover and low levels of staff pay it is critical that hospitality owners and managers have a plan in place to motivate employees.
Evidence suggests that great teams are built and don't happen by chance. Here are 10 ideas to motivate and build a great team!
Motivating employees starts by communicating a vision for your business. A vision is a roadmap of what your setting out to achieve. If employees feel they are part of something bigger than just themselves it will give them a greater incentive to come to work each day. Tell your staff how they fit into the vision for the company and the rewards that will come from their input.
Communication doesn't stop once you have sold a vision, it is an ongoing process. One way to motivate staff is to ensure that news, expectations and responsibilities are clearly communicated. Follow up communication is also important to make sure that information is being received, understood and delivered appropriately. Regular meetings, newsletters and memos are all tools available to communicate to staff. It is important that communication is a two-way street!
Providing interesting jobs is one way to motivate employees in the hospitality industry and provide confirmation an employees job is valued. Employees want variety in their job and learning opportunities. Can your business do more in this area? Job enlargement, job enrichment and job rotations are all areas to consider to provide interesting jobs that motivate!
Education is also a win-win incentive to motivate employees in the hospitality industry. Staff learn new skills which help your business while they feel more confident in the workplace and become more loyal.
Staff can quickly become unmotivated if they don't have the tools of the trade required to do their job properly. This includes physical tools but also the know-how to get the job done. Ensure that managers are regularly checking and employees feel empowered to communicate anything that falls short in this area.
Providing feedback is a great way to motivate employees and serves to strengthen relationships. Feedback should be given as often as possible. Rather than waiting for formal reviews give feedback straight away. This goes for either positive or negative feedback. Providing feedback right away encourages repeat performance in the case of positive feedback or corrective action in the case of negative feedback.
Creating a culture of trust fosters loyalty and motivates employees to work harder. Trust is not something created overnight but built upon and maintained through a serious of many small actions over time. By displaying honesty, being upfront and authentic in dealings with all your business stakeholders is the way to demonstrate and build trust. This should be done on all occasions, even when it is difficult to do so.
Treating all employees fairly, regardless of their seniority or background is one way to attract respect and motivate employees. When issues arise, examine the circumstances of the situation, be open and consistent in your decision making. If you get it wrong, apologise. You will earn more respect this way.
Recognition for a job well done is a powerful way to motivate hospitality employees. Recognition should be done often, in-person, and publicly if possible. Restaurant & Catering Magazine reports on a study that found praise from supervisors and company leaders was as important and in some instances more important than financial rewards.
A particularly powerful tool to motivate employees the hospitality industry is to implement a staff incentive scheme. Restaurant & Catering Magazine reported on a study that found this tool could boost the quality and quantity of an employees work by up to 40%. These incentives needn't be costly either. In fact it was found that some non-financial schemes were more effective than those offering purely financial rewards. The recommendation was to opt for a number of short-term incentives, with varying goals and a level playing field to ensure everyone had fun and a shot at winning.
Why the right music important
Research has found that choosing the right music for your restaurant helps increase your businesses profitability. Fast music has been associated with a quicker table turnover and slow music increases average customer spend. Fast music has been found to increase excitement, meaning customers eat quicker. Slower music does the opposite. In this case customers take their time and are more likely to eat multiple dishes and drink more. However this doesn't mean all restaurants wanting to increase customer spend for example should play slow music. There are other things to consider.
Choose music that matches your restaurants personality
The crucial aspect when choosing the right music for your restaurant is to make sure it matches your establishments personality.
Choosing the right music is part of the package of factors that contribute to your brands identity. These other factors include:
What music matches the energy of my restaurant?
What music matches the food and drinks I serve?
Consider all of these things to determine your restaurants personality. You will then have a clearer picture of the type of music you should select. The result will be a better experience for your customer and your staff!
Change music according to the time of day
Choosing music for your restaurant is about knowing your establishments personality but also varying it to suit the time of day.
If you are open in the morning then you are probably going to want a more relaxed music vibe. A soundtrack that helps guests wake up gradually.
You might still have a toned-down vibe at lunch but you could think of increasing the tempo.
Depending on the type of restaurant you have, nights could be the opportunity to increase the volume or offer a more exclusive vibe.
Don't just consider music to suit the time of day but also the days of the week. The music you play on Monday is likely to differ to Friday and on the weekend.
The music you play needs to be well thought through and planned.
Guidelines for music selection
Choosing the right music for your restaurant also involves creating guidelines for it's selection. These guidelines can include things like:
Choose music that is different from the competition as it can act as a key point of differentiation for your restaurant.
By providing examples of the genres/types of songs you want played you are more likely to match your brands personality and it can act as a template if someone else needs to assume responsibility at short notice. Whatever the case you don't want to include music with any profanity.
Where to go for music inspiration
There are a range of sources where you can seek inspiration for your restaurant playlist.
The bottom line
Choosing the right music for your restaurant is something that deserves your time and attention to get right. Your business stands to benefit financially if its does.
The pricing of your food plays a critical role in the success of your hospitality business. It is important to spend the time required to get it right. Manage it on-going to reflect any changes in the business landscape.
If you've avoided an evaluation of your hospitality venue's prices for a long period of time, chances are that you're not as profitable as you could be. Welcome the opportunity to ensure the continued success of your business.
There is no exact formula when it comes to calculating food costs but there is a range of factors you should consider.
1. What are your Cost of Good Sold (COGS)?
How much does it cost to serve each item on your menu? Remember that every cost incurred in running your business has to be covered by the food and drink that you offer.
Let's take the example of producing one hamburger. The costs would include:
That means that before you even consider any other overhead costs you have to charge at least $15.
The cost of producing each item also includes any other expenses directly related to purchasing the food and can include:
2. How much do you spend on overheads?
The costs associated with the day-to-day operation of your hospitality business need to be added to the cost of producing each menu item to get a better picture of the price you should charge.
Wages are a big part of a hospitality business expenses but also consider things like:
As an example:
Depending on your hospitality business this may or may not cater for you target customer. If it doesn't then consider not using as many ingredients or substitute for a cheaper product.
3. How much is your customer willing to pay?
Depending on your target customer, the quality of your food and the dining experience, customers will have a rough idea for the prices you should be charging.
Depending on the hospitality venue that you operate a customer might be willing to pay more or less depending on the following factors:
To increase customer perception of how much you should be charging consider advertising how ingredients are grown, whether it is organic or free-range. Using these words to describe a menu item can often command a premium. So too can items that require more effort, artistry or talent to prepare.
Your business location as well as general supply and demand also play a crucial part in how much you can charge, with these factors being more difficult but not impossible to influence.
4. What's your competition doing?
Your competition can be a good gauge for how to price your food items. Give some thought though about who it is that constitutes your competition. Consider asking your customers what other businesses they frequent. Make sure that any business you choose to compare your prices with is doing well themselves.
The are a number of different strategies you can employ when pricing yourself against the competition
5. How often do you change your menu? - Seasonality
A good way to keep the cost of your menu items under control is to offer a seasonal menu. Food that is season is usually cheaper to purchase and fresh. This is a win for both you and your customers. By changing your menu items to reflect the season you are forcing yourself to review your pricing on a regular basis.
6. Can you limit the consequences when increasing prices?
It is a fact of life that there will be times when you will have to raise your prices. There a ways of doing this though that will mean you don't lose customers though.
Consider the following tactics:
7. How can you add to the experience?
Lastly, when it comes to your hospitality business it should be the total value of the experience not just the food that you should reflect in your pricing.
Customers are more likely to judge a restaurant on the quality of your food, the level of customer service and how it is perceived by others before they worry about price.
Finding ways to add more value to the experience of dining at your establishment gives you more leeway when setting menu prices for your hospitality business.
Technology is changing the hospitality industry. How can your business benefit?
Online ordering is one piece of technology that is becoming increasingly popular. Customers appreciate the convenience of being able to order outside of business hours or when they can't get to a phone.
As a restaurant or cafe owner you can choose a third party online booking service or develop one that's customised to your needs. Investigate each option to see which works better for your business.
Regardless of which option you choose, the key is to make online ordering easy with a website that is easy to navigate. Make sure your website is mobile friendly as well. Not only are more people ordering online but they are doing it via their smartphones.
The importance of social media to the hospitality industry only seems to be strengthening. Social media has democratised which restaurants and cafes get noticed. Most restaurants and cafes are run by small business owners who should embrace social media as a low cost tool for building awareness and getting customers through the door.
When deciding what social media platforms you should have a presence on, consider your target customer and where they spend most of their time.
Explore sites like Facebook and Foursquare which allow diners to check-in to your restaurant or cafe.
Review sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon are a great way to monitor feedback of your customers and make any necessary improvements.
One Increasingly popular piece of social media technology in the US is Facebook ordering. Sites like Net Waiter can add this function to your site. It's low cost and has the potential to grow sales.
No matter what social media platform you choose, creating compelling content and interacting is they key to ensure engagement with your existing customers and attracting new ones
The use of tablets is becoming more prevalent in restaurants and cafes because of the potential efficiencies they offer. The use of tablets means diners can order and pay for their meals quicker and your business can serve more people.
Some restaurants have found they are able to reduce their wage bill as they do not need the same amount of staff to serve the same amount of customers.
Not only is the use of tablets more efficient but it can improve customer service. Customers appreciate efficient service and the added benefits like the ability to ensuring their credit card is always in view when paying at the table.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a system for organising your ongoing relationships with customers and ensuring important information is stored. There are many CRM tools on the market that are constantly being updated and readily cater for the the hospitality industry.
A CRM tool should enable you to access details such as:
1. Customer contact details
2. Frequency of visits
3. Meal preferences
4. Average spend per visit
You can then use the information provided by your CRM system to tailor customer promotions. This will ensure the you are not only encouraging repeat business but increasing the profitability of each visit also.
Electronic POS systems are making the humble cash register redundant. They allow restaurants and cafes to operate more efficiently and provide better customer service. When integrated with a CRM tool they provide a wealth of data on your business.
Here are just a number of things that a POS system can record and measure for your business:
The hospitality industry is notorious for it's high staff turnover. Reasons for this include:
A recent study by Griffith University found that Australian hotels have more than a 50% staff turnover rate. The study put the figure to replace those staff to be on average $770,000.
What the study makes clear is that the financial cost of high turnover directly effects your business bottom line.
Hospitality businesses operate with very tight profit margins. So it makes sense to get your hiring right. You stand to improve your profitability if you do.
Here are 3 tips you should focus on when interviewing hospitality staff to ensure you hire candidates that are going to stick around.
1. Watch Body Language
A candidates body language during an interview can give you great insight into their personality.
Here are some of the things you should be on the look-out for:
2. Ensure staff are a good fit with your business
When interviewing staff for your hospitality business one of your goals should be to determine whether the candidate will make a good fit with your business. Think about the personality of the brand, the customers you serve and your existing staff. Do you see this candidate fitting in?
Some questions you can ask to uncover whether the person you are hiring is a good fit for your business include:
Why do you want to work here?
3. Interviewing is a Team Process
When interviewing hospitality staff for your business determine ways to involve more people in the process. Existing staff who will be in regular contact with a new employee are prime candidates to have input into the hiring of a new staff member. This is one way to ensure that when someone new is hired they are readily accepted, fit in and can make an impact straight away. It also promotes open communication, a good team atmosphere and culture which is critical in the hospitality industry.
Once the new staff is hired have a mentor system in place whereby they shadow an existing staff member. They will get a better insight into the processes and procedures of your business and will learn their role as well as those of others.
Via: Hospitality Magazine, Frontline Hospitality, HR News Daily, Open For Business
We'd love to hear your thoughts. What have you found to be a critical part of your hiring process to ensure that your hire the best staff for your hospitality business?