It’s important to always remember just how much of a key role your staff play in your restaurant’s long-term success. Unfortunately, the industry can also be a high-stress one and tends to suffer from a high staff turnover rate. 

In fact, hospitality industry workers were most likely to change jobs in 2019, with 17.9% changing their employer or business. That was nearly 10% higher than the national average.  

Whether it’s employees being frustrated about outdated processes, or simply a case of staff burnout, there are signs that you as an operator can detect and promptly act 

Here are some red flags that could signal your staff are losing faith.  

1. They’re taking more time off and regularly coming in late  

Employees taking more days off, or worse yet, showing up late for their shift without prior notification is not only a sign of low morale, but also is detrimental to day-to-day operations. 

While a boss would understandably seek to reprimand tardiness, it may be worth considering why this is going on, especially if it’s more than one person. 

People who are overworked will be more likely to need time off, when you factor in both physical illnesses and mental health issues. 

2. They’re only doing the bare minimum

Employees who are lacking motivation will likely do the bare minimum to get through their shift, and as a result, certain tasks may be put off, or ignored entirely.  

Simply put, unhappy employees will not be motivated to do an exceptional job.  

This can obviously be very problematic, as employees just doing enough to ‘get by’ won’t be engaged with the business, which could spill to lower standards of customer servicor let complacency sink into your work culture.

3. They’ve gone quiet

Working as a team in a restaurant, or any hospitality venue for that matter, is vital for creating a warm, friendly atmosphere that your customers will enjoy.  

No, your staff don’t all have to be best mates, but if you notice a decline in social interaction among employees, be it with their colleagues or managers, something might be wrong. 

Do you notice any of the following with your staff? 

  • They merely exchange basic pleasantries. 
  • They only communicate when sharing vital information. 
  • They spend their breaks scrolling through their phone in a corner. 
  • They leave their shift in a haste the minute they’re done.   

dramatic shift in social behaviour could indicate that they’re feeling detached, either from their fellow coworkers, or with your venue entirely. 

4. They’ve gotten less productive

It’s one thing for an employee to be unproductive from day one and never show any willingness to improve. 

However, it’s another thing to see your solid employees slipping.  

You might notice that they’re taking a long time to complete basic tasks or fail to communicate ongoing issues with their colleagues or managers. 

If you know your employees are capable of more but it’s not showing in their performance, simply approach them about it in a non-confrontational manner. Perhaps there’s an underlying reason they seem incapable of fulfilling tasks as efficiently as usual.  

5. You’re hearing more complaints from guests

This is the absolute last thing you want to happen as a restaurateur. You certainly don’t want any issues with employees to start affecting your customer experience.  

Guests tend to be understanding of issues such as a shortage in stock or a slight delay from the kitchen, but poor service will likely prevent them from returning.  

Your employees’ attitude will give guests a strong impression of your brand, positive or negative. Therefore if your guests are feeling the effects, it’s something that can likely be traced back to a low morale amongst your staff.  

Wrapping up 

It’s important to ensure that you’re doing all you can to keep employees’ spirits high.  

Luckily there are tools to help you effectively engage with your staff   

H&L’s workforce management solutions tools were built to help you spend more time managing people, rather than schedules 

Gein touch with our team here to learn how our WFM systems can help your venue.  


H&L POS – working with you to help you grow your business
H&L POS has been delivering POS solutions with extensive back of house and staff management systems to the hospitality industry for more than 30 years. As hospitality people at heart, H&L understand the critical requirements for each food and beverage operation. We have staff in every state of Australia providing direction and advice as you grow and as technology changes.
Call us at 1800 778 340, email or fill in the form below to discuss your venue’s needs.