Motivating Catering Staff When They Are Overworked

Regardless of whether it’s busy wedding season, holiday season, or off-season, every employee in the catering industry can feel overworked at some point or another. Unfortunately, with our line of work, most of our profits are generated from weekend events, so finding a happy medium with keeping staff motivated during back-to-back events can prove to be a little difficult. So, what’s the key to establishing a burnout-free work environment?


Evaluate staffing needs on a weekly basis

To eliminate any unnecessary long hours or overstaffing, consider taking a look at the weekly schedule for your employees in comparison to the staffing needs of the events. For example, cutting a few hours here and there and relieving your staff in the case of a smaller-scale event gives them time to breathe and return to work feeling refreshed and motivated. This encourages more productivity on the job, and you’ll be able to employ all hands on deck without worry when it comes to larger events.

 Cycling through and switching up the employee schedule routine (bearing in mind any special circumstances or requests) also prevents any staff from falling into a slump. Compare performance results with applicable client reviews to ensure that all needs are being met so you aren’t stretching your staffing too thin.

Audit your SOPs

Putting standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place is one of the best things you can do in terms of automating your internal workflow, especially in the case of training new employees. However, re-visiting those SOPs to identify places where you can make processes more efficient can help out existing employees as well.

Doing so can take care of any inconsistencies in service or product, and your staff won’t have to work with out-of-date procedures, therefore eliminating any stress or frustrations when working an event.

Encourage feedback

Happy employees are good employees! Implementing a system for employee feedback or providing an opportunity within your internal meetings is a great way to allow your staff to voice any opinions or concerns. Creating an open-door work culture where everyone feels heard is a positive step in the right direction. Communicate your expectations and listen to theirs in return.

This may go without saying, but it’s important to give your team the tools they need to be successful. Make sure that no stone remains unturned when it comes to efficiency and time management (including getting them out of events on time and avoiding extended hours when you can). Setting them up for an event without proper training or equipment will only lead to frustration in the end. Take the time to prepare them, no matter how big or small the job may be! Encourage educational opportunities and hold hands-on training when necessary.

Keeping your team motivated can be easier said than done, but the last thing you want is to have an unhappy set of employees. Adding some of these strategies to your work culture will make your business much more sustainable, and your catering events will flourish in return!