The Restaurant Team: 10 ways to build cooperation
If you work in any area of hospitality services, one thing is certain: you don't work alone. If you work in a large resort, you may have thousands of co-workers. If you work in a small restaurant, your co-workers may be like family to you. The point is, hospitality services, food services, casino services - all of these require teamwork.
It's called cooperation. Sharing the load to ensure that your customers leave smiling. And if you've never worked in the hospitality industry, you don't know just how important cooperation is on the job. As members of the team, everyone pitches in with one goal in mind - to keep the customers happy.
A better teammate is a better co-worker, who is more likely to advance up the professional ladder to success. So, becoming a better team player doesn't just benefit an employer. It benefits you in a very real, 'cash-in-the-pocket' kind of way.
So what can you do to become a better teammate? Here are 10 tips to help you function as a key part of a well-oiled machine:
Tip #1 Volunteer
Volunteer to stay late. If someone's out and your boss needs a replacement, raise your hand and volunteer to fill in. That's coming through in the clutch.
Tip #2 Keep Busy
The slow times in the hospitality industry are few and far between. But there are times when you've got a little time on your hands. So, how about pitching in when you're a little slow? Let's say you're the salad chef, you're all caught up and ready for the dinner rush, so ask the kitchen manager if she could use a little help elsewhere? That's the kind of teamwork employers look for.
Tip # 3 Be Prepared to Compromise
When people are working closely as a team, to accomplish the singular goal of providing guests with the best possible experience, there are bound to be disagreements and conflicts. It's inevitable. But you can do something about it!
Avoid conflicts. Compromise. Give in a little. Work is hard enough without hassling with co-workers. Find a way to work it out and be willing to give a little to get a little.
Tip #4 Don't Take It Personally
This one's not always easy to follow when you take pride in your work. When you slip up, make some kind of mistake, and you have a "chat" with your supervisor, don't take it personally. As a team leader, that supervisor is supposed to ensure top performance from every team member - including you. So, learn from your mistakes and don't take criticism personally.
Tip #5 Learn to Follow Directions
This is so obvious yet you'd be amazed at how many people just don't get it. Correctly following directions is important to your success and the success of the entire team.
Listen to directions. Write them down if they're complicated or hard to remember. And don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't understand precisely what your task is. Better to ask than get it wrong.
Tip #6 Show Up
Another obvious one, but we've all done it. We've all called in sick when we weren't. Well, in the hospitality industry, if you're not working, someone else (a co-worker teammate) has to pick up the slack. If you're really sick, stay home. If you're just taking a "mental health" day, go to work and be a team player.
Tip #7 When You Need Help, Ask
Don't be afraid to ask for more hands when you need them. You may be plating 250 dinners in two hours and sometimes the line gets backed up. Give a shout for some help to keep delays down to a minimum. There's nothing wrong with asking for a hand when you need it.
Tip #8 Make Friends
Working a 12-hour shift with the same crew six days a week creates strong bonds and even stronger friendships. If you're helpful and enthusiastic, you'll have no trouble making friends - the gang that stops for a cold one before going home.
Tip #9 Learn New Skills
A good move professionally and for the team. You can fill in, play a lot of different positions and that makes you very valuable.
Tip #10 Enjoy What You Do
Working with friends, covering each other's backs, sharing the load - all of these things add up to a great work experience. Sure, you may work long hours, but you're with friends and you're a member of the team.
So, take the time to learn the 10 tips for building cooperation and teamwork within hospitality services. You'll quickly see that being a good team player has rewards all its own.