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As a restaurant owner, you know how hard your employees work. You want to keep them happy and motivated, while creating an environment where they will enjoy their work and want to stay.

The key is making them feel appreciated. Here are some great ways to do just that:

Encourage Peer Recognition

Recognition from management is important, yet studies show that peer-to-peer recognition programs increase employee engagement and retention, and customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Here are three easy ways to encourage peer-to-peer recognition:

Share. Hang a whiteboard in a heavily-frequented area where employees can easily give praise to a fellow worker for a job well done.

Give. Have a rotating award that gets presented to a different employee every month. Each month’s winner is the one to pick the next recipient.

Click. Utilize a free cloud-based peer recognition app where team members can recognize fellow employees using their smartphones—via badges or a points system for redeemable prizes.

Value Their Opinion

Asking staff for feedback builds unity, pride in your brand, and it’s also a great way for employees to voice concerns and help you improve your restaurant as well.

Here are a few things you should be asking your staff about:

New Menu Items. Hold a pre-launch tasting session. This will create a fun and inclusive opportunity for staff to share their opinions, give input to help perfect the dish, and motivate them to sell the product.

Tools & Equipment. Check in with your staff periodically to see if their  work tools either support or hinder them. Grubhub reports that 89% of restaurants that deploy an elevated POS system have raised staff productivity and streamlined business performance.

Customer Service. Your front-of-house staff and delivery team deals with customers all the time. Pick their brains a bit to see if they have any ideas to improve customer service. Chances are, they do.

Friendly Competition

Show your staff your appreciation with a competitive rewards program that awards employees for meeting key objectives you set.

It’s easy; set your goals, create a rewards system around them, and give out great prizes for the top achievers.

Here are a few contest ideas to get you started:

Sell the most featured entrée.

Create a branded hashtag and get the most people to post a picture with it.

Get the most customers to write a review and mention your name.

Combine Recognition with Charity

Looking for a way to reward an especially compassionate employee while building good will within your community?

Host an event to raise funds for the charity of that employee’s choice. Advertise the event along with the employee’s name. Donate a portion of sales to the charity. According to Grubhub, socially-conscious businesses reap many rewards.

Here are some benefits of hosting a charitable event to recognize an employee:

Recognition. First and foremost, you are honoring that team member. They will feel great about themselves and the charity, and you’ll feel good pretty good too.

Good will. Through print and social media, table cards and word of mouth, the positive news about your good deed will spread throughout your community.

New business. There is a strong possibility that your charitable event will attract new customers, while encouraging loyalty due to your social consciousness.

Remember—one of the best ways to make your employees feel appreciated is to help them be more productive and efficient on the job.

Don’t bog them down with clunky ticketing processes and antiquated equipment. With streamlined and efficient tools, your staff will soar (and your profits will too!)

Check out the many benefits of POS integrations.

Ready to reach new customers and grow your business with Grubhub? Sign up today!

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Image: Flickr