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to be fed up with my staff?

(77 Posts)
rimmer Sun 14-Jun-09 15:59:18

Dh and I run restaurant. Have a number of waiting staff. We pay over the minimum wage and they keep all the tips shared between themselves - we take nothing for ourselves. AIBU to want them to work harder and faster? It feels like me and DH are busting our arses and they are just standing about or on a permanent go-slow.
It seems like when I give instructions they either don't hear or don't understand so I have to say it over and over. I mean how many times can I say "Can you pass me some butter please" before it would have been quicker to get it myself.
I am aware that waiting tables is not the best job in the world but please can someone offer some useful suggestions to ease the situation or should I just accept that they only work on a slow pace and get over it?????

willowthewispa Sun 14-Jun-09 16:05:20

I'd be making the least effort possible for just over minimum wage too.

Nancy66 Sun 14-Jun-09 16:05:53

I did loads of waitressing when I was a student. I loved it, mainly because of the tips and the fact that I could earn twice as much as my mates who worked in shops in half the time.

I would call a staff meeting - tell them they're being slack and you're not happy with them and that you expect more of them and they have a week to buck their ideas up. Also point out that the faster they move and the friendlier they are the more tips they get. Mention that in the current climate they are lucky to have jobs and easily replaced.

Is the problem because some don't have English as a first language?

junglist1 Sun 14-Jun-09 16:06:22

Normally low pay= low motivation, if they're paid OK and treated well, they should pull their fingers out. Fire the worst one and the others will soon sort themselves out.

Nancy66 Sun 14-Jun-09 16:06:41

willow - waiting staff are nearly always paid the minimum wage because they are able to boost this with tips.

cornsilk Sun 14-Jun-09 16:06:46

You can't expect them to really care that much about your business TBH. I've done plenty of waitressing - there's not a lot of job satisfaction.

frisbyrat Sun 14-Jun-09 16:09:40

I waitressed myself through college (plus grant!).
The big perk was the free lunch/tea. Do your waiting on staff get this?

I used to be so quick making the sarnies/cleaning the tables/mopping the floor when I was told I could have my break once I'd done such-and-such a task.
The tips helped too, mind you!

WolframAlpha Sun 14-Jun-09 16:11:45

stop sharing the tips? As in they get their own tips? Not much motivation to be good if the rest are shit and you see your hard earned tips go to some slacker.

I loved waitressing - I used to double my wages in tips.

ineedalifelaundry Sun 14-Jun-09 16:13:26

Me and DH and DD ate out at Nandos last week. The staff were fabulous - couldn't have been more attentive / helpful / fast. While we were there a whole group of staff were getting ready to go on a themed night out (fancy dress beginning with letter P - there were punks, pirates and plumbers). Everyone very excited and happy. I overheard one of them saying it was some kind of staff reward.

So, incentives other than tips - could there be something in that?

rimmer Sun 14-Jun-09 16:16:17

willow - not helpful comment TBh but thanks anyway grin
They get average 50p per hour over minimum wage, they are all under 25 but not foreign so no language barrier.
Nancy I tried to say that to them, on a good day when they get themselves on top of things they can earn £10 per day in tips each which I think is bloody good!!
They get free food and free drinks (coffee, cans of coke etc).
I realise it's not the best job and I don't expect them to care about it like I do, I just want to figure out how to motivate them.
DH says they don't like me asking them to do jobs. I always say please, and I always pitch in. I know it would piss me off being ordered around when the boss sits in the back reading the paper, but we honestly don't do that...
HELP please!!!

IamAlsoADreamerOfChocolate Sun 14-Jun-09 16:17:39

Tell them to all look for other jobs???
Seriously I can't beleive that some of you are sticking up for the staff because of their wages!
The op has'nt put a gun to their heads and made them work there and as some of the others have said you can get some pretty good tips.
My dh is a gm for a vv nice/good restaurant in london and people regularly ask him for jobs.
It is about respect and ther sounds like a distinct lack of it.
Op call a staff meeting and say ecxactly how you want things done etc.

rimmer Sun 14-Jun-09 16:18:07

wolfram - that's a good idea because i know it annoys the hard working one when the others take the piss. I have asked several of the slack/problem ones not to come back....

IamAlsoADreamerOfChocolate Sun 14-Jun-09 16:19:06

sorry about the sp mistakesblush

ItsAllaBitNoisy Sun 14-Jun-09 16:19:33

Minimum wage? Lots of people would be very grateful for it at the moment.

I waitressed for years, and we all worked our arse's off tbh.

Although, something I think that helped was the "team" aspect to it. We all sat down together for a staff meal at 6pm, bosses, chefs, potwasher - everyone (I recall lots of sliced white, soup and jugs of tapwater!) - service started at 7pm. Then after service (could be anything from 11pm to 4am) we all sat down for a drink together (on the house) and bitched about the nightmare customer, the lovely regulars etc. etc., this was all with the bosses. We generally had a bit of a wind-down together and it helped. I think it helped us all feel part of it?

Good luck with it OP, it's hard work.

WolframAlpha Sun 14-Jun-09 16:19:57

I used to make a lot more than £10 per shift a long time ago... What sort of restaurant is it - do your customers not tip usually? How many covers do they each do on a normal service?

rimmer Sun 14-Jun-09 16:20:08

thanks dreamer. TBH I am worried because we live in a tourist area and things are only going to get busier as the summer holidays start, so they could stand to make a lot of money in tips. Maybe it's time to weed out the slower ones... as you have said there are not many jobs to go round. I think they are getting complacent cos if they left my place there wouldn't be many other choices...

IamAlsoADreamerOfChocolate Sun 14-Jun-09 16:20:21

Sorry meant to say that actually being in the restaurant trade can be a career as well as just some job.

rimmer Sun 14-Jun-09 16:21:16

it's more like a tearoom/cafe, restaurant is the wrong word, more like soup sandwiches tea and scones.

WolframAlpha Sun 14-Jun-09 16:22:04

Oh good, glad you think them keeping their own tips is a good idea, it might make the others pull their socks up if they stop being subsidised by the good one...

Bonneville Sun 14-Jun-09 16:24:33

Rimmer I dont know what is the matter with them! I work for 50p per hour over minimum wage - in a job which needed a fair bit of training, no perks or chance of any tips. I would work for you! Do they realise how difficult it is to get a job (any job) at the moment. They should get their fingers out and consider themselves lucky.

dittany Sun 14-Jun-09 16:24:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WolframAlpha Sun 14-Jun-09 16:25:36

Ah, so people aren't probably tipping all that much. What about a small incentive scheme - a bonus at the end of the season if they stay for the whole time and are really good.

And if you've let some go, change the tip system, the others will probably pull their socks up pronto.

IamAlsoADreamerOfChocolate Sun 14-Jun-09 16:27:08

rimmer you said they are getting complacent 'as there would'nt be many other choices' wll damn well give them their choice -they work as a team or they can make a choice and leave.
I am biased I realise but for me we all have to work our employers are not the ones making us work they just enable us to work.
Remind them that the are lucky to have jobs.

rimmer Sun 14-Jun-09 16:29:30

sorry dittany didn't mean to offend you. What I meant was that I thought that for a student job to earn £200 plus per week plus £40 plus in your hand was good for a job working between 10 and 5, 5 days a week.
We live in a rural place where there are not many other jobs for them to choose from.
I realise they don't really care what happens to my business and I don't see why they should care, but is it too much to expect people to put themselves out a little bit? And not to stand around propping up the wall when there are others running themselves ragged?

cat64 Sun 14-Jun-09 16:30:32

Message withdrawn

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