How staff incentives can contribute to your restaurant and hotel revenues

A little incentive for staff can go a long way in making your hotel successful.

Motivate and encourage your staff to sell more, while making guest service a priority. This is dependent on good training that gives staff the skills and confidence to do this in the right areas, so take the time to invest in this.

Being transparent and open about your restaurant or hotel business helps build trust and can be very eye-opening for staff. Ensure that your staff understand your margins and how these are calculated. Without this knowledge it is all too easy for them to give away (or eat!) your profits. If they understand your budgeted margin and how well you are performing towards this, they are more likely to take some ownership and are in a stronger position to come up with ideas and contribute to your margins.

Rather than limiting incentives to a straight sales figure, you might consider a prize for the person who makes the biggest increase on their sales compared with the previous month (this incentivizes those starting from a low base). Or how about rewards for those who make the best suggestions (this includes back of house staff), and those who get the best guest feedback? Obviously, when using guest service as a metric this can be subjective, so you’ll need to be clear on the criteria for measuring this.

Ensure a fair policy for tips, service charges or tronc system that incentivises all team members to excellence in all areas that impact on the guest in some way, not just those in direct guest contact. It’s very easy for waiting staff for example to ‘see’ the results of their efforts, but this needs to be shared and communicated to everyone in the business.

Caroline Cooper

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