How to Improve your Restaurant Employee Morale: Restaurant Manager Tips

Happy male barista using digital tablet at cafe

With over 15.3 million restaurant employees in the United States alone, competition is fierce for attracting and retaining talented staff. It’s no secret that employee turnover is high in the industry (a whopping 73 percent!) so because of this, restaurants need to prioritize ongoing strategies and procedures to uphold employee morale. We’ll show you three effective ways to boost restaurant employee morale as a restaurant manager:


Improve Communication

One of the biggest sources of employee frustration is the lack of communication across the restaurant. As a restaurant owner or manager, you should focus on improving communication in these areas to boost employee morale:

Communication Between Employee & Coworkers:

When you introduce new employees into your restaurant’s work environment, be sure to stress the importance of regular, ongoing communication. To start, try creating a staff platform or group message where restaurant employees can communicate, ask questions, and even swap shifts. This will keep communication open each day, and provide an opportunity for staff members to keep in regular contact.

You will also want to ensure your employees are set up for successful communication while physically at the restaurant. Implement technology tools that will help make their shifts as smooth as possible. A kitchen display system (KDS) can synchronize front- and back-of-house communication to ensure everyone is on the same page no matter their position.

Communication Between Employee & Management:

Don’t forget that communications with employees is also essential if you are a restaurant manager. By having an open-door policy you can boost employee morale since they know they can come into your office or see you at any time if there is a problem. Additionally, regularly scheduled pre-shift meetings are a great way to keep communication open each and every day.


Flexibility and Trust

As a restaurant manager, you want your employees to feel like they can make decisions on their own without your supervision at every turn. Employees want to feel like they are valued and their input is trusted without the fear of being reprimanded.  Flexibility can also be a factor in overall restaurant employee morale. By letting employees take days off and being flexible with their day-to-day schedules, your employees will feel a stronger sense of value and respect in the place they work.

For an added level of flexibility, introduce a BYOD (bring your own device) program at your restaurant. Your employees will feel more comfortable and in control using their own device on the job, as well as more productive by using something they are already familiar with.


Recognize and Reward Them 

As humans we all want to be recognized for our hard work, especially when we put a lot of time and effort into it. When your restaurant employees are doing especially well, let them know that your see their effort and appreciate what they do for your restaurant.

Creating a rewards program is another way to let employees know that they are doing well and you recognize their work. Rewarding employees on a regular basis by awarding an “employee of the month” or bonus program can encourage hard work and continued motivation.

Longevity is unfortunately not as common in the restaurant industry, so be sure to reward the employees that have been with your restaurant for a long period of time. If other employees see the possibility of being rewarded for loyalty and longevity, it will increase the likelihood of them sticking around as well.


Making sure restaurant employees experience a positive work environment is key to high employee morale. WaveSoft provides the technology tools restaurant managers need to create a more efficient, enjoyable experience for their employees. Contact us today to learn more.