When you're managing a restaurant, the overall success depends hugely on how your team works together. A team that works well together can increase the efficiency and quality of service - the goal of any successful restaurant.
If you're finding that your team lacks effective teamwork then you should consider using these restaurant team building activities to help your team work better together. Here are some no-cost activities you can use to get started.
- Plate Balancing Run Competition
- Paper Napkin Game
- Best Cocktail Contest
- Scavenger Hunt
- Team Cook-off
- Host a Sports Event
- Team Yoga Session
- Trivia Night
1. Plate Balancing Competition
This activity encourages patience, teamwork and collaboration.
Create an obstacle course with chairs across the seating area of the restaurant. The aim of the game is for team members to carry as many items as possible to the finish line.
This might be an easy one for your waiters and servers but could potentially be a challenge for front of house staff and bartenders.
For each item that gets to the finish line successfully, award points for that team. However, if any items are dropped - deduct double the amount of points. This helps to promote patience and efficiency.
For this game, use paper plates to avoid breakages - they’re also harder to carry. Not very coordinated? Here’s a guide on how to carry serving plates like a professional, if you want to give your team some guidance.
2. Paper Napkin Game
This activity encourages communication and strategic thinking.
Only using paper napkins, each team is tasked with making a paper aeroplane. They can use as many napkins as they want but it's harder than it sounds to create an aircraft ready for take-off. Whichever team's plane flies the farthest is crowned the winner.
Understandably, it’s challenging to make a successful plane with just paper napkins. You can provide other items like paper straws, sellotape and coffee stirrers to help improve the structure of the plane.
3. Best Cocktail Contest
This activity encourages creative thinking, communication and collaboration.
The goal for each team is to create a delicious cocktail, based on originality and a specially selected ingredient. Give them access to the bar and have your bartenders give a demonstration. Not only is it fun, but it also involves teams that wouldn’t necessarily work together like bar staff and kitchen porters.
To decide the winner, your bartenders can judge which team created the best cocktail together.
4. Scavenger Hunt
This activity encourages critical thinking, decision-making and collaboration.
Create riddles and clues for your teams to decipher. This game invites the entire team to get involved and use their skills to find the next clue.
If you're able to equally split up the teams into chefs, waiters and bar staff you can create clues and mini-games related to each department so each member of the team will have their time to shine.
5. Team Cook-off
This activity encourages creativity, communication and collaboration.
Here's a culinary team-building activity that hopefully ends up in dessert. Creating new dishes together requires creativity and means everyone gets to put their teamwork and leadership skills into action.
Divide your team into smaller teams, pick a food category and challenge each team to cook up something delicious. The category could be anything from cake to pizza.
Pick a single ingredient that all teams must use, like bananas or onion. The best part? Your team gets to enjoy a meal they’ve made together.
6. Host a Sports Event
This activity encourages teamwork, strategic thinking and collaboration.
Sports games are considered one of the best team building activities because it gives everyone a chance to work together in a fun and active environment. Find a day in summer where everyone is free to attend a sports game.
This can be a game of football, rounders, cricket, etc. It's best if you choose a game where you know (or someone else knows) what the rules are so the fun can continue.
7. Team Yoga Session
This activity encourages patience, empathy and trust.
Although during a group mindfulness session, you may not be outwardly communicating and collaborating, you’re building a deeper connection with team members.
This activity delivers benefits on the individual and also the group level. Everybody will potentially experience less stress and better moods.
8. Trivia Night
This activity encourages teamwork and critical thinking.
Nothing is as engaging, educational and inclusive as a quiz. Even people who don’t guess out loud can discuss with their team and feel invested in the activity.
Few other activities can drum up that much universal engagement.
Ultimately, a cohesive team is a reflection of you and your management skills. Looking to develop further as a restaurant manager? We have just the resource for you.
How to Be a Successful Restaurant Manager
As a manager, you have plenty of responsibilities but ensuring there's a high level of teamwork is very important. By making your employees feel like they are valued, they will naturally feel encouraged to work together as a team which will, in turn, benefit overall morale.
One of the best ways to look after your staff is by making sure they have the correct footwear for work. Our slip-resistant work shoes are designed for restaurant workers, they have excellent comfort, support and impressive slip-resistant grip. Visit our shop to see the styles we have on offer.