When you're managing a restaurant, the overall success depends hugely on how your team works together. Teamwork helps the restaurant run smoothly. If you're finding that your team lacks effective teamwork then you should consider using some restaurant team building activities to help your team work better together. Here are some no-cost activities you can use.
Let's start with some activities you can do inside the restaurant.
With most of these activities, split your employees into teams so they are encouraged to work together in order to win. To make people more enthusiastic, have a prize for the winners. It needs to be something good that will prompt them to put in extra effort, for example, an extra day holiday, a free meal or shopping vouchers.
Plate balancing run competition
This might be an easy one for your waiters (and servers) but will prove more difficult for your chefs. Create an obstacle course and the aim of the game is for people to carry as many items as possible to the finish line on plates. They can carry as many plates or items as they can. For each item a team gets to the finish line successfully will result in points for that team, however if they drop anything they lose double amount of points the item was originally worth. Ouch!
For this game, use paper plates so it's no big deal if they are dropped and it's also harder to balance.
Here is a guide on how to carry serving plates.
Paper napkin game
Only using paper napkins, each team is tasked with making a paper aeroplane. They can use as many napkins as they want but it's harder than it sounds. Whichever team's plane flies the furthest is the winner.
Understandably it's very hard to make a successful plane with just paper napkins, you can offer other items like straws, cellotape and plastic coffee spoons to help improve the structure of the plane.
Best cocktail contest
Of course your bartenders will be at a better advantage so you may not want to include them in this game and instead use them as judges (or make sure they are spread out in other teams).
The goal for each team is to create a delicious cocktail. Give them access to the bar or give them only a select few ingredients. You can be the chief tester to decide which team created the best cocktail.
Set up a scavenger hunt. Create riddles and clues for your teams to decipher. With this game, it encourages the entire team to get involved and use their skills to find the next clue. If you're able to equally split up the teams into chefs, waiters and bar staff you can create clues and mini games so each member of the team will have their time to shine.
You can choose between having this game inside the restaurant or outside. Especially if you have a big team, it may be hard to have everyone rushing around the restaurant.
Here's some team building activities you can do outside of work
There are other restaurant team building activities you can host outside of work, such as:
Many pubs host weekly quizzes. Getting your entire team to go to the pub after work one night is a great way for your staff to socialise outside of work and to also participate in a fun game. It's good for morale if the business can treat everyone to their first round of drinks and it's a good incentive for everyone to attend the quiz.
Host a sports event
Sports games are considered one of the best team building activities because it gives everyone a chance to work together in a fun and active environment. Find a day in summer where everyone is free to attend a sports game. This can be a game of football, rounders, cricket, etc. It's best if you choose a game where you know (or someone else knows) what the rules are to avoid disagreements.
This is a fantastic opportunity for staff to bring their family and friends too.
How to be a successful restaurant manager?
As a manager, you have plenty of responsibilities but ensuring there is a high level of teamwork is very important. By making your employees feel like they are valued, will naturally encourage them to work well as a team and benefit overall morale.
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