The service that is provided by a restaurant is an equally important factor as the food in repeat customers. If your employees are lacking in motivation and seem lazy around the restaurant, customers will pick up on this and feel like that lack of effort may even transfer to the food. This will cause sales to decrease while the cost of food remains the same. The National Restaurant Association claims that maintaining employee motivation is vital, not only to keep a low turnover rate, but also to provide the best experience for customers. If your staff could use a boost, consider the following:Here are four motivational tools to help your restaurant staff perform their best.

Give Incentives and Have Contests

Have some fun. Try breaking up monotony by offering a challenge to sell the most of a certain item on the menu. Even if it is just the special for the night or a random undersold menu item, have employees keep track of how many customers they can get to order the item as a game. The Harvard Business Review reports that employees are motivated by challenge, so if there is a little competition going on, employees will likely get involved.

Offer an Employee Meal

Prior to each shift, offer the employees a family-style meal so everyone can sit down together and get their energy up for their shift. This also helps employees have an opportunity to try items on the menu, which helps them to speak about the items more intelligently to customers with questions. It also helps them make recommendations on menu items. If an employee has never tasted anything that a customer is asking about, they’re unlikely to sound convincing when talking about how good it is.

Share Responsibility

Showing a mutual responsibility for the many tasks that are to be fulfilled in a restaurant is a crucial way to keep employees motivated and to keep them feeling purposeful. Even small tasks, such as bringing dishes to the dishwasher, can be done by upper management, showing other restaurant employees that no one is above or below any task. With everyone working towards a common goal, employees are more likely to offer to help with tasks that are not typically their own.

Offer Support

Offering childcare support or flexible schedules to allow for employees to take classes helps employees realize you have an interest in their outside life. Consideration for the fact that people have responsibilities outside of work can work for you in return, as it will inspire employees to then go out of their way for you. It’s important to have a company culture where employees know they are supported and cared for.