Before you can effectively build a team-oriented environment, you must establish a clear mission: What direction should the team go? What goals should it strive to achieve? In answering these questions, you show employees their place in the big picture and give them something to shoot for together.

Defining Restaurant Teamwork Goals is a Step-by-Step Process:

First, define your operation’s overall mission. What are you in business for? Well, let’s be honest — it’s to make money. While it’s nice for operators to believe they’re in business to provide a product or service that customers need, most every successful company on the planet is in it for financial gain. So, if the mission is to be profitable, how do restaurants make it happen? For most, it’s by minimizing waste and maximizing sales, all the while providing guests with high-quality food and service to keep them coming back. Use the operation’s mission to define a purpose for each team. A team without a common mission will wander aimlessly from task to task, despite the best team building efforts.

What’s the team’s purpose in helping the operation be profitable? The front-of-the-house team’s may be, “Selling more food and drink while providing guests with a quality dining experience that encourages repeat visits.” The kitchen team’s may be, “Reducing waste and providing guests with a consistently good meal that encourages repeat visits.” Notice that a team’s mission differs greatly from its goals. A mission should have a “pie-in-the-sky” quality — something members strive for every day.

Ask teams to help define the problems that keep them from achieving their mission. What specific hurdles keep profitability low and prevent customers from coming back? Inconsistent quality, poor service, an unclean dining room, waste in the kitchen, etc. Use these problem statements to develop a list of do-able team goals such as: “Increase sales,” “Minimize mistakes,” “Provide great service” or “Reduce waste.” Work together to establish milestones. For example: “Reduce mistakes by 10 percent in the next month.” Or “Increase sales by 10 percent in the next month.” Or “Minimize customer complaints by 10 percent in the next month.”

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