Your employee experience is your customer experience: Prioritizing employee happiness in quick service restaurants

Oct 12, 2022
min read

A customer’s experience at your restaurant is only as good as your employees’ experience working for you. Really think about that for a second. 

You do so much to ensure your customers have a great experience in your establishment, but are you doing the same for your employees?

In this blog, we’re diving into the whys behind prioritizing employee wellness and wellbeing in quick service restaurants and ways you can create a better overall experience for your staff and customers. 

What is workplace happiness?

There are a number of factors that influence an employee’s motivation to do their job well, like wages and benefits, comfortability with management and coworkers, and job satisfaction. Employee happiness lies within a company’s ability to satisfy these needs. 

The quick service restaurant industry is unique and is said to have the highest employee turnover rate every year, which runs as high as 150%

And when employee turnover is so high, it’s easy for employers to avoid investing in their people if they believe they will leave within the coming months. This can result in a lack of motivation and caring, and it is felt by customers. In fact, when student workers are removed from the equation, hospitality workers report lower happiness than those in other industries. 

Employee satisfaction = customer satisfaction

According to a survey conducted by consulting firm Eagle Hill, 64% of US workers said that employee experience impacts their ability to serve customers. 70% of respondents also said their employee experience affected their productivity and their ability to do meaningful work, claiming work-life balance and purposeful work mattered most to them. 

We may think enhancing things like self-service options is what we should be focusing on to improve our services (plus, have you ever tried to order from a competitor’s fast food kiosk when you have a coupon. Sometimes, not worth it.). But to truly fix the issues that lie at the heart of customer experience, employers must focus on the human relationships of quick service restaurants by prioritzing their people. 

Five ways to prioritize employee happiness in your restaurant

Here are five ways you can improve employee happiness at your quick service restaurant.

1. Check in and collect regular feedback

How important your employees feel directly impacts their emotional connection to your business – it’s this mindset that determines their readiness to help you offer standout service to your customers. 

Keep lines of communication open, where employees feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and opinions openly and freely, and act on their feedback. At Humi, we send out weekly surveys about employee experience within their own teams and the overall culture of the company. The frequency ensures everyone is feeling good and taken care of, and we can continue making Humi a great place to work for all Humigos. 

Tip: use Humi’s survey feature to regularly keep track of your employees’ feedback!

2. Maintain a clean work environment

You want your staff to feel comfortable in a clean environment, and that starts with putting policies in place to establish and sustain one.

Covid-19 aside, cleanliness and a sanitary work environment have always been a part of cultivating a satisfactory employee experience. Things like handwashing and wearing hairnets and gloves when handling food are all essentials in making those who work for you feel safe to spend hours in this environment – it also translates well to customers who know their food is being handled with care. 

3. Invest in training your employees

A 2018 survey found that one third of small business employees had never received workplace safety training. 

You can’t expect stellar performance (and a safe performance for that matter) from employees who aren’t properly trained to do their job. Make sure you have a new hire program in place to get your onboarding employees feeling well-equipped and comfortable in their new working environment. 

We recommend preparing a new-hire training guide that includes training on all transactional systems and technologies, clear explanations of their responsibilities, and all the good to know company policies and guidelines. 

4. Respect boundaries 

Odds are you have employees from all different backgrounds and life situations – it’s important to remember that their place of work is their source of income, not their sole priority.

When preparing weekly schedules and approving vacation time, be mindful of your employees’ availability. Don’t call or text your employees on days off, don’t schedule them when they’ve told you they aren’t available, and make sure all team members are taking their full breaks. We also recommend using a communication channel that doesn't blow up their phone like Ameego where employees can choose to get notifications and keep their work separate from methods of personal communication. 

Tip: to keep track of employee weekly schedules and availability all in one place, speak to our team about Ameego

5. Reward your employees

Investing in your employees might be the most important thing you can do to ensure they have a good experience working for you and stick around longer. 

Especially for those employees who only see your business as income for a brief time in their journey, putting programs in place that reward employees for good performance is the way to ensure people are happy and jobs are getting done well. 

Reward employees when they do a good job, make them aware of growth opportunities within the company, and be flexible about time off for dedicated employees. And if you really want to reward your employees (and yourself) with easy schedule management, speak to our team about Ameego

Get started with Humi (and Ameego)

Want to know how you can create balanced employee schedules with the click of a button? Check out Ameego

To learn more about how you can build a culture of high performance with Humi, connect with our team

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