Rewarding Restaurant Staff and Increasing Sales Through Travel

Rewarding Restaurant Staff and Increasing Sales Through Travel

Managing employees in the restaurant industry can be especially challenging due to high turnover rates and the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Staff shortages have become a major issue, making it difficult for restaurants to operate smoothly. To address these challenges restaurants are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to engage their staff, boost sales, and maintain customer satisfaction. Despite these obstacles many restaurant managers remain committed to creating a positive work environment that motivates and empowers their employees.

Glassdoor reports that the average annual income for a restaurant server is $38,338 while the cost of living in the United States is typically around $36,000 per year. As a result, there is often little disposable income left over for saving towards goals such as travel.

Given the financial constraints faced by many restaurant servers, restaurants have a unique opportunity to motivate and incentivize their teams by offering travel-related rewards. By providing travel incentives, restaurants can encourage their employees to work towards specific performance goals and provide them with a valuable opportunity to experience new destinations and cultures.

One effective way for restaurants to incentivize their team using travel is by creating a quarterly raffle with a vacation destination prize. Here’s an example of how a contest could be structured:

Servers receive a raffle ticket every time they sell an appetizer. At the end of each day, the average number of tickets per server is calculated and the rest of the staff who were clocked in that day, such as hostesses and cooks, are issued that same number of tickets. This is to ensure that everyone who contributed to the restaurant’s success has a chance to win.

At the end of each quarter, random tickets are drawn to determine the winners of the vacation destination prize. By implementing a contest like this, restaurants can motivate their employees to work towards specific goals while providing them with a valuable opportunity to travel and experience new destinations.

The winner of the quarterly raffle for the vacation destination prize could receive the following incentives:

  • A post-tax/grossed up cash reward (e.g., one 10K or two 5K prizes) into their 401(play) account.
  • The post-tax cash equivalent of one week’s salary, provided as a vacation bonus, rather than accrued vacation time.
  • Time off from work once their trip is booked, allowing them to fully enjoy their vacation without worrying about work obligations.
  • A free company t-shirt for each member of their family to wear while on vacation, creating an opportunity to showcase their pride in working for the company and allowing for fun photo opportunities to share on the company intranet.

While the exact amount of increased revenue generated from contests may vary based on specific restaurant operations, research indicates that sales can increase by as much as 30-50% because of these incentives. Based on this information, it’s reasonable to assume that the return on investment (ROI) could be at least 10:1 or greater, making it a worthwhile investment for restaurants to consider. With such a high ROI, restaurants can expect to see significant benefits from incentivizing their employees this way.

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