As a restaurant owner or manager, you know how quickly a tiny setback can spiral into full-blown bedlam. 

If a team member calls in sick on a busy Friday night or an ingredient didn’t show up for the night’s dinner special, poor communication could lead to a complete breakdown in operations. In an already high-stress environment like a restaurant, the last thing you need is added chaos brought on by poor communication. 


While a missing ingredient is a superficial fix, poor restaurant communication over a sustained period compounds minor issues. It leads to bigger problems like low employee satisfaction and high turnover. 

Improving your restaurant team communications strategy will help you develop greater cohesiveness and a more productive team. 

team communications restaurants

Why Team Communications Matters

Communication is the backbone of any successful relationship. This includes the working relationship at your restaurant.

In an industry where staff turnover is high, menus change fast, and shifts are varied, the relationship between managers and workers, front-of-house and back-of-house staff, and even the relationship between servers and patrons are affected by communication — good or bad.

Poor team communication can lead to unhappy workers. And unhappy restaurant workers are bad for business

Considering quit rates in the food industry are 3-6% higher than any other industry, and high employee turnover is instigated by low morale brought on by poor communication, it’s in your best interest to prioritize restaurant team communications.

Four Tips to Improve Restaurant Team Communications

Use the following tips to help facilitate a productive relationship with your restaurant team and experience higher employee retention rates and a more profitable restaurant. 

Offer Employee Appreciation and Recognition

It is human nature to seek approval. People want to be recognized for a job well done, and a simple thanks can go a long way.

Restaurant employees work hard, but when you’re running a busy and dynamic business, it’s easy to overlook telling your employees what a great job they’re doing. 

An eight-hour shift can go by in a flash, and you may barely get a chance to even acknowledge workers before shift changeover. But, the thing is, regular employee recognition can lower staff turnover by 31%. Yet, 63% of employees feel like they don’t get enough praise

With a worker shortage — especially in the food industry — putting in the effort to recognize your workers will have a positive return on your business. Restaurant staff who feel seen and appreciated are more engaged at work and can boost profits by 21%


Gather Restaurant Employee Feedback

Not everyone feels comfortable sharing honest feedback directly with their restaurant manager. Unbeknownst to you, some of your workers could feel frustrated with no outlet to share feedback. 

It could be as innocent as requesting a more straightforward way to swap shifts or a deeper issue such as feelings of dissatisfaction at work. Restaurant worker feedback also allows your workers to share their creative ideas and further solidify how connected they feel to your business.   

Providing your restaurant team with an opportunity to offer anonymous feedback opens the lines of communication and can have a positive impact on your business.  

Create Digital Training Documents

good communication

Communication breakdowns often happen when expectations aren’t clear. Emergencies happen, and when your staff members know how to respond, you’ll experience fewer interruptions in restaurant operations. 

If your training manual is still a thick binder with missing tabs, restaurant workers will scramble in unfamiliar situations. If someone calls in sick and they need to reassign a section, or there’s a fire in the kitchen, the ability to problem-solve is critical.

Of course, you can’t prepare for every possible problem that may arise. But when employees feel confident they can quickly and easily access the information they need to do their job, they are more likely to remain loyal to your restaurant. 

Providing digital training documents will also give you a competitive advantage over other restaurants. Because when workers feel adequately trained, they are 18% more productive and give a 23% ROI.

But don’t create digital documents and then let them gather digital cobwebs. Send regular reminders to long-term and new employees alike.

Use Communication Tools to Stay in Touch

Developing strategies to improve restaurant team communication is all well and good until you realize there’s a breakdown in the conversation.

When running a busy restaurant, it’s not always practical to have team meetings before each shift. And not all restaurant communication is relevant to your entire team. Asking already over-taxed workers to sit through mundane meetings can have the opposite of its intended effect.

Take advantage of technology and use a communication tool to quickly send messages to your team at any time of the day. Since 97% of Americans own a cell phone of some kind, it makes sense to use a texting tool to keep in touch with your staff. 

You can use a texting tool to send messages such as:

  • Birthday wishes
  • Employee recognition such as employee of the month
  • Anonymous feedback opportunities 
  • Links to digital training tools
  • Last-minute shift changes
  • Employee schedules
  • Menu updates and more!

Be careful about sending too many group texts, though. You may end up overwhelming your workers and end up right back where you were before. Some texting tools allow you to segment your team so you can send messages to everyone or targeted messages to a smaller group.

Get Started with goHappy

Open communication is critical to the survival of your business. It leads to happier staff and a well-functioning restaurant. 

And it starts with finding the right communication tool. goHappy is a texting tool that’s helped hundreds of restaurants improve culture through employee communication. Better communication equals higher retention, increased engagement, and more sales. 

The best part about goHappy is that there’s no responsibility for your restaurant workers to download an app or learn a new piece of technology. It’s a 100% texting-based tool and works with every mobile phone. Yes, even flip phones!

An easy-to-use dashboard makes your life easy as you can access all your employee data in one place. Whether you have one restaurant or many, everything you need to improve your team communications is at your fingertips. 

You can send bulk texts to your entire team or send messages to smaller segments like restaurant location or position. If you need to reach just your management team or head chefs, it’s easy to do with goHappy. 

Check out goHappy today and schedule a free demo to learn how our texting tool can help your restaurant today.   

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