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busy restaurant staff

Burnout among staff is a common problem in the restaurant industry. Long hours, cranky guests, and often unpredictable tip income can put staff in a struggle to maintain positive.

Overworked and stressed staff is not good for business or morale, so here are steps you can take as the boss to make sure your staff maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Angry waiter

So how can you help as the owner or manager?


Set an example

If you’re stressed and overwhelmed at work as the manager or owner, you are setting the tone for the rest of the place. Management needs to take time away from work just as much as the servers do.

  • Promoting work-life balance begins with you as the leader of the restaurant.
  • Making a workplace that values each employee, their time, their contribution, and respects their life outside of work makes a positive workplace environment by your design.

Encourage time off

Numerous studies have found that workers in the hospitality industry feel the need to work more, something known as “presenteeism.” As a service-based industry, workers feel the need to be present, even if they are ill, because they need the money. This in turn affects your business, especially if a server or kitchen staff was ill and could negatively affect your guests.

Everyone needs a break from work.

  • Keep an eye on the schedule. If you notice that your chef has worked 16 days in a row straight without even an afternoon off, it’s important to encourage staff to take time away.
  • This can be as easy as encouraging staff to use their accrued vacation time or switching their schedule with another available staff member.

Schedule wisely

Restaurants are often open long, non-standard hours. This makes server and kitchen staff shifts longer than other types of jobs.

With weekend and holiday shifts needing to be filled, it’s important to set expectations for your employees about shift schedules. Being open and transparent about your expectations as an employer will set the standard and work culture for your employees. Making the work schedule as far in advance as possible will help workers plan ahead so they feel they have control over their time.

Making your employees feel that their schedule is flexible and allows time for social and family activities will make them aware that their wellbeing and happiness as an employee is an important value to your business.

Written by   |  
Kristen is a curious person with a love of pop culture, history, and the arts. Lover of all things food, tea, and books. Once a Season 5 blogger for Stratejoy in 2011, she can now be found around the internet @lifebykristenc and lifebykristen.com, her lifestyle blog.
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