By Nick Fosberg   |   March 6, 2013

Hello and welcome bar owner tv. If you haven’t checked out last weeks episode about St Paddy’s day promotions, make sure you watch it. You will get some great ideas and knowledge about How and Why consumers choose the places they do for their ST Paddy’s day celebration. You might be surprised!

Earlier today I was reading an article on the internet about keeping your employee’s motivated and I thought the author made some great points and actually reflected back on a talk I had with one of my managers a few months back.

The article stated that most business owners would think that money is the best tool to motivate their employee’s but to think this is a huge mistake. The survey’s that were taken from several different industries showed that money ranked 5th or even lower as their main motivators.

In the bar business I would say this would be within the top 3 because we are in the cash business and our employee’s make most of their money from tips, at least the bartenders and waitresses… Managers are a completely different story.

So when motivating your employee’s you should have 2 goals in mind. The most important one is that you should show that you respect them. The 2nd is you need to recognize their efforts, their presence, and their hard work. Why would your employee’s want to keep busting their asses for you if you don’t show you appreciate them… Maybe you do but do they know that??

I’m not going to lie, I’m not the best at remembering to do this as much as I should. For one I’m not at my bar 24/7 like I used to be and I now I leave my managers in charge of doing this for me. So if you are in my shoe’s you should talk with your managers about motivating employee’s because this is crucial to the way your bar runs but it’s also crucial you remember to motivate and recognize the accomplishments of your managers.

When you treat people like shit or don’t recognize the hard work they do, what do you think is going on their head? In my head I would be thinking “I come  to work every day on time, bust my ass, try to bring in as many people as I can, and I still never get a thank you or good job?”

When you’re employee’s start thinking like this, there goes the trust, and there goes your free liquor.  So what are some ways to keep your employee’s motivated?

You want to get them involved in the business. Let them make suggestions. Let them know you care about their opinion. The end results is going to show that you value  them and their concerns for the business.

When an employee does something good or makes a great suggestion, award them with something. Take them to dinner, give them some cash, give them a gift card from somewhere. Your employee’s want to be recognized for the hard efforts they have put in. This will motivate them to do better and will also motivate others to do better when they see others getting recognition from you.

What I’m always good at is anytime I have a new waitress or new bartender and their sales are high and my regulars tell me they love that person and they have a great personality, I give them $50 to $75 bucks cash and tell them keep up the good work and you will get more incentives like this. I will also tell them WHY I am doing this so they know what I like to see.

Good bartenders and waitresses are not easy to come across, at least where I’m from. When I see I have a winner, I make sure I gain their trust and show them I appreciate them. This will push them to do better but also to feel welcomed to their new job.

What I tend to be bad at is to keep that kind of encouragement going after someone has been working for me for a long period of time because I just expect great work from them. I never realized this till an employee actually called me out on this while we had a talk in my office. He said to me “ You know I’m just frustrated because when I do a good job I don’t get credit for it but when I screw up, you’re all on my ass.” Which was true. He was 100% right. Ever since then he made me realize what I was doing and I’ve been trying to make sure I always reward or thank employee’s know matter how long they’ve been working for me.

Here’s my suggestion to you. Create a one question survey that is “If we are to create an employee of the month contest each month, what prize or incentive would drive you to be the employee of the month, every month.” Once you get your answers put this to work and base the winner on highest sales but also creative ideas to bring in more business and team work.

Please leave your comments and questions at the bottom of the page and I’ll see you on the next show.

Nick Fosberg

Nick Fosberg is known as one of the highest paid, marketing and promotional consultants in the bar & restaurant industry and he owns 2 bar / restaurants in the Chicagoland area. He's famous for creating some of the highest grossing digital marketing promotions in the history of the bar & restaurant business..... without spending a penny on marketing. All done through e-mail & Facebook posts. 

Click here to get a free copy of my latest book.

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