Why Annual Restaurant Employee Evaluations are Important

Posted on September 6, 2017 by Michelle Locke

Have you ever thought of adding employee evaluations to your restaurant? Maybe you’ve done them in the past and have fallen off the wagon. Or maybe you try to keep up, but high turnover over and busy schedules prevent you from feeling like they are an effective tool.

When it comes to employee performance, evaluations can be incredibly important—but we know it can be difficult to believe in restaurants, where taking time for an evaluation can steal precious time your employees need for doing their actual jobs. So why are employee evaluations important in your restaurant—and how can you make them work?

Why They Matter

Firstly, employee evaluations are a great way to maintain contact with employees, to praise good work, and to address areas of improvement.

Secondly, employee evaluations are a great way for you (the owner, operator, or manager) to get feedback on what works and what doesn’t. It’s important to remember that employees are on the figurative “front lines” of your restaurant—they see things you might not and they might have really good suggestions for what’s working and what isn’t. These suggestions might save you money, simplified the restaurant works, and improve guest experience.

( Click here to read our blog post on other ways employees can help your bottomline.)

Lastly, when employees know that you’re paying attention, they’re more likely to perform their best. We don’t want this to sound like a “Big Brother” situation: employees performing out of fear isn’t great for morale! It goes the other way too: if employees know they will be praised for providing a fantastic guest experience or improving ticket averages, they’re likely to hit goals and set big achievements.

( Click here to learn more about training employees for your menu pairings.)

How to Make Them Work

Now, let’s address how you, a busy restaurant owner, operator, or manager, are supposed to add annual meetings into your already packed schedule.

Firstly, remember that these are annual evaluations for each employee, so they won’t be all at once. Also, remember that an employee evaluation doesn’t have to last longer than 30 minutes.

Secondly, if you have an existing training program, it’s easy to include these meetings into existing training. If you’re implementing on-going training for your employees (and you should), it’s easy to schedule evaluations in alongside check-ins.

( Click here to read more about healthcare training for your employees.)

Third, you can easily use Waitrainer+ to quickly and efficiently check in on training, make notes for evaluations, and assign training on things that need improvement. Here’s an example: it’s nearing a server’s one-year anniversary of hire. You log in to Waitrainer+ and view their specific user report. You see they scored high on all quizzes and passed every course. However, notes from your manager show they still struggle to do quality checks and to stay on top of side work, but excel at upselling. Your meeting will consist of congratulating them on completing their training so efficiently and applaud their efforts at upselling and upsering, but reminding them to pay attention to quality checks and side work. You can reassign those Courses to them during your meeting and give them a deadline to complete.

Easy, right?

( Speaking of training, click here to read about detoxing your training.)

Ok, it won’t always be that simple. But I hope you can see how important employee evaluations are to your restaurant. Ensuring that you always know how your employees are performing is important; it’s also important for them to speak with you, meet with you, and know that you care about their successes as well as their failures.