Motivate your staff

The most important factor in scaling your restaurant from one unit to multiple units is the staff.  There is a tremendous need in the restaurant industry for professionals who buy into the process, develop their staff, and grow sales. The days of expecting clock punchers and “you should be thankful for just having a job” are gone with the baby boomers.

So, how do I motivate my staff?

1. Perception

“Limiting beliefs are a virus of the mind. They decline your success and happiness.” – Maddy Malhotra

  • Shift perception and titles to reflect empowering positive positions. For instance GM of a pizza shop to CEO of a small business which does $650,000+ in revenue.

2. Bonus

“Let your performance do the paying” – Charlotte Bronte

  • The pay for management should be a scorecard bonus program correlated to store performance. Management should understand the companies P & L and what affect food cost and labor cost have on the bottom-line. The bonus should be structured on the control of food and labor cost in addition to hitting and surpassing sales numbers.

3. Purpose

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” – Bill Gates 

  • Define a purpose for your management. People are motivated by interesting work, challenge, and increasing responsibility.  Provide opportunities to multi-unit management and store ownership.

4. Work Life Balance

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein

  • Offer flexibility. Small gestures often make a big difference.

5. Listen

“ Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.”  –  Bernard Baruch

  • Empower. Create mediums for employees’ ideas for job improvement.


Ryan Rao is a Principal of Apex Franchise Development Group and is a franchise development expert who has grown multiple franchise based businesses into national and international brands. Franchising has allowed him to help individuals realize their dreams of business ownership, while permitting them to experience the independence, flexibility, and freedom that comes with being a business owner. He also serves as a franchise consultant, and is a personal growth advocate.

Follow or Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn at