Restaurant employee evaluations can be anxiety-inducing for both the employee and the restaurateur. Yet, touching base periodically allows for some private time with an employee to review goals and performance, as well as help a restaurant run more smoothly.
Need some guidance on conducting a productive restaurant employee evaluation? Follow these steps and you’ll be good to go!
1- Set clear goals and expectations.
Be sure that all new employees have the tools they need to do a good job. Train them well so they know what is expected, and touch base in real time to let them know if they’re doing a good job or need to improve something. When people have all the tools and training they need, they’re able to do their best work.
The more information your servers have, the better job they can do.
Make sure your goals and expectations are clear so that no one is left guessing. If you have certain sales goals, let the team know if they are being reached or not. The more information your servers have, the better job they can do.
2- Prepare for the meeting.
Take an employee evaluation seriously and prepare for it ahead of time. Rather than quickly fire off your positive and negative observations off the top of your head, gather the information you need to provide real feedback. If your restaurant POS system provides employee data, look at the numbers. Take notes throughout the year that you can refer to and avoid talking about only recent events. Compile all your information so that you can provide both positive and negative feedback. Prepare simple documentation that an employee can take away and review. This also assures you’ll remember to tell them everything you had planned.
3- Don’t surprise your employee.
While it may seem like surprising an employee and calling them in for a review on the spot may relieve some of the anxiety, no one likes to feel shanghai-ed. Schedule a meeting properly, with at least 2 weeks notice to give your employee time to prepare and come to the meeting in the right frame of mind. Perhaps you can even provide them with some questions to think about before the meeting such as: What are your goals for yourself? Is there any additional training you are interested in?
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4- Be open to feedback.
This may be one of the only times you have alone time with an employee, use it effectively. Ask your employee if there is anything getting in the way of their success, or any tools or training that would help them to do a better job. Ask about their experience working for you and your team and be sure you listen to any information they offer. Pay attention and see if you notice any recurring themes from multiple employees and address any issues before they become problems.
5- Keep money talk for a different time.
Keeping money out of the equation when it comes to an employee evaluation can take a lot of the pressure and anxiety off the meeting. Try to do any compensation increases at a certain time of year for everyone, and meet for an employee evaluation on a date such as an employee’s hiring anniversary. Removing the pressure of money can help these meetings be more productive.
The best restaurant employee evaluation should leave both parties feeling heard and empowered. Remember, the purpose of these meetings is to build trust, open the flows of communication and ultimately improve your restaurant.