Tips On How To Manage Challenging Restaurant Staff
Tips On How To Manage Challenging Restaurant Staff

6 Tips On How To Manage Challenging Restaurant Staff

Working in a restaurant environment can be fast-paced and demanding, requiring effective teamwork and cooperation. However, every restaurant manager will encounter challenging employees at some point. These difficult individuals can disrupt the overall harmony of the staff and impact the quality of service provided to customers. According to research done by ZoomShift, 81% of respondents said a difficult employee has caused work to be slowed or stopped completely. To maintain a productive work environment, it is crucial for managers to develop strategies for handling restaurant staff effectively.


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Below are 6 Tips on How to Manage Challenging Restaurant Staff

1. Communication and Feedback

One of the fundamental pillars of managing difficult employees is open and honest communication. Regularly scheduled feedback sessions with employees provide an opportunity to address concerns, provide constructive criticism, and recognize positive contributions. Moreover, when dealing with a difficult employee, it is important to approach the conversation with empathy and understanding. Focus on specific incidents or behaviors and offer solutions for improvement. By fostering clear lines of communication, managers can establish a positive work environment and encourage employees to voice their concerns and ideas.

2. Setting Clear Expectation

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3. Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution - Manage Challenging Restaurant Staff

Inevitably, conflicts may arise between employees in a restaurant setting. As a manager, it is crucial to address conflicts promptly and fairly. Encourage employees to resolve minor conflicts amongst themselves first but be prepared to intervene if the situation escalates. Mediation techniques, such as active listening and empathy, can help facilitate a productive discussion and find a mutually agreeable resolution. By addressing conflicts promptly and fairly, managers can prevent tensions from escalating and maintain a harmonious work environment.

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4. Training and Development

Some difficult employees may exhibit challenging behaviors due to a lack of necessary skills or knowledge. Providing comprehensive training programs and opportunities for personal and professional growth can address these issues. Regular training sessions, workshops, and mentorship programs can help employees enhance their skills and confidence, reducing the likelihood of problematic behaviors. By investing in the development of your staff, you can create a motivated team that is more likely to meet performance expectations.

5. Recognizing and Rewarding Positive Behavior

Negative behaviors can often overshadow positive contributions, leading to a demoralized work environment. Managers should actively seek opportunities to acknowledge and reward exceptional performance and positive behavior among their staff. With that being said, recognizing and rewarding employees for their hard work, dedication, and positive attitude can reinforce desired behaviors and boost morale across the team. This positive reinforcement encourages employees to continue their exemplary performance and serves as a reminder of the expectations set by the organization.

6. Progressive Discipline

Despite all efforts, some employees may persist in their difficult behaviors. In such cases, managers may need to implement progressive discipline measures. This involves a methodical process that normally begins with verbal warnings, then moves on to written warnings, suspension, and, if necessary, termination. It is essential to document each step of the disciplinary process, maintaining transparency and fairness throughout. By taking consistent and appropriate action, managers can demonstrate to the rest of the team that they value a healthy work environment and are willing to take action to maintain it.

Effectively managing difficult restaurant staff is a critical aspect of maintaining a productive and harmonious work environment in the restaurant industry. By employing open communication, setting clear expectations, providing training and development opportunities, addressing conflicts promptly, and implementing appropriate disciplinary measures, managers can mitigate the impact of difficult employees on overall staff morale and customer service. Remember, each employee is unique, and it is crucial to address their concerns and needs individually. By investing time and effort into managing difficult employees, managers can foster a positive work culture and create a cohesive team that delivers exceptional service.

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