I want to start with these statements because I see them everywhere in this industry and I think society evolved enough to understand that looks don’t matter!
There is one reason why waiters are not allowed to let their hair down or wear jewelry and bright makeup or have a beard. And that is hygiene. You, as a customer, will not want to find in your food a piece of fall out nail polish, earrings or hair or even on your plate, just hanging there. Regarding make up is mostly about fall out as well and maybe even technique, so just keep it simple.
You, as an owner, should keep in mind this, but don’t be rude or expose your employees in front of your guest. These rules should be presented when hiring a person. Also keep in mind your state rules, it can be that in different countries rules are more permissive.
Next is a statement that I heard a lot and: “people that are really attractive may not get hired because guests don’t want to see people that are looking better then them”.
O my God this is so much BS on so many levels especially in this time in this society. Also for people that actually thinks like this, ain’t our fault you are insecure as fu*k. First of all, you can get a lot of regulars by having nice looking staff. Treat them like paintings in a museum, you go there to stare at the “nice beautiful works of art” that you don’t understand, at least a cute bartender can talk with you.
My point is that you should not discriminate by looks or anything for that matter. You should keep in mind the hygiene rules, their willing to work and their involvement.
Yes, this is another statement that a lot of owners and managers are having an allergic reaction to. But it’s easy, if you invest in your team they will give you back. And the “give back “ part for you as an owner means increased revenue.
Invest in a comfortable uniform. Keep in mind there are cold seasons and warm seasons. Make sure they are comfortable and visually pleasing. You don’t want your employees looking like butchers if they work in a coffee shop.
Invest in training sessions before the season starts. Make sure your team has all the information about products and techniques that your establishment is using and they can present it in a way that will make your customers buy the most expensive item that you have on that menu.
Invest time. Make sure the mental health of your employees is OK. This is a demanding job, both physically and psychically. Have 15 minutes meeting with the team each month, hear out their ideas and worries.
Invest your money. Don’t underpay your team just because you think they make tips. Some days are good and some are bad. Don’t rely on the tips and make your team happy. Money makes everybody happy, they are not an exception. If they are coming happy and smiling at customers and giving a good vibe around your customers will spend more money on your location.
Yes, I know it’s controversial. A lot of owners are treating their team like something that they can dispose of easily but the truth is that it is hard to keep someone happy and willing to work with a smile and make you money if they are treated like shit.
In the end it is not that hard. Invest in your team the resources that you invest in your customers like time and money. They will, in the end, make you more money.
- Have quarterly meetings with all employees. Even if you need to close your establishment for three hours. Get them all together and hear them out, maybe do some constructive exercise to bring them all together. For a lot of employees that are working in this domain, the people at work are as a second family. If they work as one you will feel it in your pocket. In the end they will empower each other.
- Have some surprises for them. Like a coupon for a massage, a bonus for Christmas, a free day for their birthday if they are scheduled to work that day. They will appreciated and you will reward in loyalty and increased revenue.
- Be part of the team and don’t micromanage. If you see something that you would like to be changed, propose the idea, hear them out on why they do it this way and agree to change or not(this can also be a possibility). People are reluctant to change, and if this is enforced the “low trust phenomenon” comes in effect. An unfriendly takeover or rude enforcement, unable to see the other side’s opinion, pushing change without visibility or trust is something that you can’t come out of winning. You might get your way but you will lose the team.
- Don’t work understaffed. It is a stressful environment for all sides. Customers have to wait a long time, the employees will be overworked and the mistakes will be more frequent because of tiredness, you will be angry because of all the bad reviews and the profit that is slowly decreasing.
- The team is also an asset. If you treat it well and take care of it, rewards will come, if not your turnover will be high and profit medium to low.