Safety is a primary concern of any restaurant operation and not only because of the escalating costs of worker’s compensation claims. When an employee gets hurt on the job, the entire staff suffers. So does the service provided to your guests. Restaurant safety contests promote a safer working environment, reduce the time and money lost to accidents and injuries, and demonstrate your commitment to the well-being of your staff. Interested? Give these fun ideas a try:

Safety is no accident.

Make copies of your operation’s floor plan and, a few days before a staff meeting, hand a copy to each of your employees. Ask them to mark areas where they recall accidents occurring over the last year. Discuss how these accidents could have been avoided and what’s been done or needs to be done to prevent them from happening again. Break the group into teams. Hand a dollar bill to those who contribute the best cost-saving or accident preventing ideas. For each dollar earned, a person gets to write his or her name on a piece of paper and put it in the hat. At the end of the meeting, have a drawing for the grand prize. Gift cards, tech gadgets, movie passes and the like make good prizes.

Restaurant safety bingo.

You’ll need a stack of standard bingo cards with corresponding numbers, and a box from which to pull out the numbers. After gathering these items, distribute the cards to your staff. It’s best to hang them all in one area, perhaps on the employee bulletin board. For every day no injuries occur in the restaurant, draw a number from the box and post it on the bulletin board. Employees mark their bingo cards accordingly. Award $10 for covering a row, $20 for covering four corners, $50 for a diagonal cover and $100 for a blackout. You can use “funny money” redeemable for prizes or food at your restaurant to keep safety bingo cost effective. Here’s the catch, however. If at any point during the incentive someone gets hurt on the job, the cards are cleared and the drawing starts all over again.

Restaurant Management BooksNeed more restaurant safety ideas?

Our “52 Ways” book series provides one idea per week to solve some of the toughest restaurant management challenges. Books cover topics of employee incentives, staff turnover, cost-cutting, teamwork, and bar profits. Each book contains 52 easy-to-implement ideas – one idea for each week of the year. Click here to get started today!