Fast-food chains rely on frontline employees to provide first-class customer service, setting their establishments apart from competitors in this highly-competitive industry. Fast-food employees are often paid minimum wage or only slightly above, making financial incentives an especially effective motivational tool in this industry. Instituting a range of employee incentive programs in your fast-food business can increase employee morale in addition to productivity.
Fast-food chains measure a wide variety of performance-related data, ranging from the time customers spend in the drive-through line to the number of orders entered into each cash register daily. Find ways to use performance data to reward employees. Implement a contest for the fastest service times, for example, or the highest number of food items prepared on a single production line. This can align employees' personal goals with your business goals, boosting motivation and productivity.
Customer satisfaction surveys can reveal areas of needed improvement in your restaurant, but you can also use these tools to identify and reward your top performers based on qualitative measures. Make room in your customer response surveys for customers to list the names of employees who gave them outstanding service. Implement a scaling rewards program that offers greater rewards for employees whose names consistently come up.
Secret Shopper Bonuses
Secret shoppers are another effective tool for identifying performance gaps and can also be used to spot top performers in your restaurant. In addition to the range of details secret shoppers check, ask them to keep an eye out for employees providing above-average customer service. To motivate employees to excel, let them know the rewards when a secret shopper cites them for top service. Make sure that customer surveys and secret shopper reports provide equal opportunities for all employees, not just frontline cashiers. If secret shoppers are especially impressed with the food they receive, for example, consider giving a bonus to the cooks who worked that shift.
If you own a second fast-food restaurant, consider implementing sales contests at both stores, offering valuable rewards to team members in the winning store. Set ambitious sales goals for these contests and roll the contests out over a long term, such as a year at a time. To make these contests truly motivational, offer rewards that will really get excite your employees, such as paid vacations or large cash bonuses.