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Kitchen Incentive Programs

Kitchen Incentive Programs are not always the first thing a manager might think about when operating a restaurant, and many incentive programs work well for FOH, But you should also focus on your BOH and here's why!

Having a winning kitchen team at your helm is crucial for success and keeping them around and motivated is the biggest challenge for any Kitchen Manager and this is where a Kitchen Incentive Program comes in, although incentives can be a touchy subject among some managers it has shown to boost morale and motivation among staff and worth giving it a try.

Read: 6 Tips for Managing a Challenging Employee

Here are some examples of Kitchen Incentive programs that other restaurants have tried with great success:

Gift Cards:

Some restaurants have joined together to swap gift cards with other restaurants, for example, R3000 for R3000 in R50 or R100 increments, when a staff member perform their tasks successfully and consistently they get a gift card to a different restaurant.

Kitchen Excursions:

Everyone needs a break from time to time, so plan a few excursions like taking them to a brewery, winery, local farm, cheesemaker, chocolatier etc make it fun and educational as well.

Earned PTO:

Earned PTO (Paid Time Off) is a fantastic way to keep your long-time hard workers around and helps combat burnout, it's a nice incentive that can be started once someone has worked so many Week/months.

Cash Spot Bonuses:

Set clear targets for your BOH staff, and when they all reach their targets, for example, if pass your health inspection and everything is up to code, ALL the BOH staff gets a cash spot bonus.

The employee of the month:

This one been around for a long time and is a very nice way to say thank you and to acknowledge hard-working individuals. It can as simple as putting up a photo of your employee for everyone to see, and can be combined with a cash bonus or gift card or some time off.

You don't need a kitchen incentive program to get the best out of your team, overall transparency and working hard to create a fun inclusive culture will go along way, but rewards are a nice way to say thank you too.