Targeting Restaurant Teamwork


Teams, in any context, share common goals and a clear mission. As you adjust to changes at your restaurant, your restaurant team needs to adjust a well. How has the team’s mission changed? What goals are striving to achieve through restaurant teamwork? Do all your team players understand how they contribute to the team’s success? In answering these questions, you show employees their place in the big picture and give them something to shoot for together.

Defining Restaurant Teamwork Goals is a Step-by-Step Process:

First, define your operation’s overall mission. What are you in business for? Well, let’s be honest — it’s to make money, and for many restaurants right now, it’s about making up for lost time. So, if the mission is to be profitable, how do restaurants make it happen? For most, it’s by minimizing waste and maximizing sales, all the while providing guests with high-quality food and service to keep them coming back. Use the operation’s mission to define a purpose for each team. A team without a common mission will wander aimlessly from task to task, despite the best team building efforts.

What’s the team’s purpose in helping the operation be profitable? The front-of-the-house team’s may be, “Selling more food and drink while providing guests with a quality dining experience (or to-go experience) that encourages guest loyalty.” The kitchen team’s may be, “Reducing waste and providing guests with a consistently good meal that encourages repeat visits.” Notice that a team’s mission differs greatly from its goals. A mission should have a “pie-in-the-sky” quality — something members strive for every day.

Ask teams to help define the problems that keep them from achieving their mission. What specific hurdles keep profitability low and prevent customers from coming back? Inconsistent quality, poor service, an unclean dining room, waste in the kitchen, etc. Use these problem statements to develop a list of do-able team goals such as: “Increase sales,” “Minimize mistakes,” “Provide great service” or “Reduce waste.” Work together to establish milestones. For example: “Reduce mistakes by 10 percent in the next month.” Or “Increase sales by 10 percent in the next month.” Or “Minimize customer complaints by 10 percent in the next month.”

Service and Sales Training to Promote Restaurant Teamwork

The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.

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