“People need to know why their jobs matter,” says Henry Patterson of ReThink Restaurants.
He explained to us how guest-facing restaurant positions have built-in instant gratification, in the form of tips, but back-of-house or support workers should also own ways of measuring their work that help them feel more satisfied with their jobs. The best thing about a system like this is that it empowers staff to decide how they want to measure their efficiency.
Bussers at one ReThink Restaurants client, Rail Trail Flatbread Co., came up with a system to increase the speed of clearing and turning tables, for example. The GM handed out counters to each busser so they could track their efficiency, turning it into a game and competition.
Programs like this empower back-of-house staff to own their own success. “What could we do that they can count for themselves and know that they're contributing to the mission or to the profitability of the business — and that they don't have to rely on the “attaboy” from any supervisor,” said Patterson.