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Chefify - How to improve teamwork in your restaurant

Monday, April 23, 2018

Teamwork is the fastest road to success for any business, optimising results, opening up new perspectives and allowing all opportunities to be explored. If your restaurant currently falls down on teamwork there are ways this can be improved.

A shared goal

It is important to ensure that everyone in the team is focused on a particular objective, whether that’s just a fault free service or something more ambitious. Part of this is communicating that goal clearly and in a motivational way. The other element is giving people ownership of it so that they feel involved and invested as a group in its success or failure. So, share plans for the future of the restaurant, ask for opinions and suggestions and make sure everyone feels they have a voice.

Mistakes don’t equal failure

If your restaurant is an environment in which mistakes are not tolerated and failure is punished then people can start to feel very isolated. Instead, encourage mistakes to be viewed as a learning opportunity. If mistakes are acceptable your team will support rather than hurt each other, and you’re likely to see greater creativity and growth.

Avoid petty squabbles

The key to teamwork is removing the pettiness and over competitiveness from the process. Healthy competition is fine but if this gets to the level of a grudge match then you have a team at war not a team working together. Key to this is being able to handle conflict effectively. Recognise when it exists, offer confidential ways to report it, and introduce clear processes for managing clashes and disputes. Shut issues down quickly - but also ensure there are no lingering resentments.

Incentivise the team as a whole

If you reward performance by the entire team then you encourage everyone to work together. Individual recognition is fine and useful but supplement this with incentives that apply only to the team. For example, offer the incentive that if you get a great review from a particular critic you know is about to visit then everyone in the team gets a reward, such as a longer break or a cash bonus.

Foster a sense of togetherness

If staff are just showing up to work, silently doing their jobs and then going home, there is little to encourage teamwork. Establish some social events so that people can get to know each other outside of their work roles; ask everyone in the team for their views so that they feel valued and included, and get people talking via feedback and regular catch up sessions. The more staff feel a sense of inclusion in a team, the more likely they are to focus on what needs to be done in order to make that team succeed.