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Motivating Your Kitchen in Six Steps: Getting Team Buy In

The secret to success in any business is to keep your staff happy and motivated. After all, they're your most valuable asset. A prime example of this is the restaurant industry. Here are six simple steps on how to keep your kitchen staff upbeat and motivated. How many are you currently following? 





1. Create a Compelling Vision


Every restaurant will have a different vision and end goal. It's all well and good having just a few of the team believing and knowing this vision, but if the whole team aren't as excited and pumped by this vision as you are, then you're already fighting a losing battle. 


You need to really hit home and emphasise this vision of yours to your staff. Be passionate. Be proud. Be specific on where you envisage your restaurant and what you want it to become. Your employees will benefit from the knowledge that they are working under a head chef who gives a damn. 


Once you're all singing off the same hymn sheet, your team will then be more focused and determined, which is one big step towards the end goal of your vision. 



2. Reward Risk Takers


Playing it safe in the restaurant game will only allow you to reach a certain level. It's not being afraid to go above and beyond the norms and putting your neck on the line that will get you noticed. 


If you create an environment in the workplace which wants to see your team succeed, you should shun complacency and promote risk taking. If the risk pays off, reward your team. Little incentives encourage your team to keep performing and hitting targets. 


However, if the risky decision doesn't quite pay off at one point in time, but in the future it could be a success, don't shoot them down and punish them. Reward them by giving them the opportunity at the right given moment. Be constructive. Your team will benefit from it in the long run and would not shy away from taking a risk. 


Of course, inherent in taking risks is failure. But, it's how you react to these setbacks that determines whether you can deem them as an actual "failure." Remember, each failure leads you one step closer to success.


If people are just reckless or don't learn from failures, then that's a different story.



3. Show Selfless Leadership


Selfishness and leadership are two qualities that don't mix very well in all walks of life and the kitchen is no different. Your team are your most valuable assets and they've got to be at the heart of your leadership decisions.


Protect your team and show them that you are genuinely interested in their well-being. This will help your team open up to you and not be afraid to approach you if there is a problem. 


Be prepared to stand up and accept blame if things do unfortunately go wrong. In the same light, if things are going to plan and the restaurant is doing well, praise accordingly. Your kitchen will benefit from the morale boost of being told they're doing their jobs well.


As mentioned earlier, be constructive. If somebody isn't fulfilling their full potential, they don't want somebody on their back heaping the pressure on. Honest and supportive feedback will keep your staff motivated.



4. Growth


Quite simply, if employees aren't growing, they won't be happy. So, ensure that you know your team's career goals. That way you can support and help to achieve them.


Growth in the kitchen is important, but don't just encourage growth in their job role - encourage them to grow as people too. Maturity and a level head in a kitchen role can account for a lot and produce amazing results.



5. Fairness


Fairness is a hugely underestimated management quality. Often, unfair decisions are what cause leaders and team members to not see eye to eye.


A fair but firm management style gains a lot of respect from employees. You have to be transparent and deal with things in an objective manner. That way, you can resolve situations without causing friction. 



6. Autonomy & Empowerment


As a head chef, you're bound to be nervous if you're absent for a shift. Will the food be alright? Will the kitchen be run properly? These are no doubt questions that will be running through your mind. 


As the role of the chef evolves, head chefs are trusting their sous chefs more and more to run the kitchen in their absence. By empowering your team like this, you are showing them that you are putting your trust in them to do a good job. This will, in turn, make your life easier and in the future make the business a lot easier to scale. 



Don't Forget to Keep Them Safe


Slips, trips and falls are some of the most common restaurant injuries. Ensure that your staff are protected from hazards by investing in slip-resistant shoes to keep them safe and comfortable all throughout their shift.



Keep Improving Your Offering


Being a respected leader never goes out of style. But plenty of food trends come and go.


Make sure your chef team is up to date with the latest food trends. Download a FREE copy of our Flavour Trends Guide for restaurants to inspire you for any future menu changes. We've compiled this year's hottest trends and rated whether they're just a fad or worth investing time in.


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