How Can the Restaurant Industry Utilize Gamification to Drive Performance, Engage and Retain Staff?

Competition for quality employees is at an all-time high and the available labor vs needed labor gap continues to widen. The restaurant industry is one of the most impacted by the labor shortage. When shorthanded employees can easily become dissatisfied, resulting in low morale, and a high turnover rate. To overcome the staffing shortage COVID brought about, restaurants have been forced to be creative in motivating, hiring and retaining staff. In comes gamification. What is gamification? According to, “gamification makes work, and everyday activities, more fun. Gamification describes the process of applying typical game-like components—like point systems, rewards, problem-solving, and competition—to non-game activities to keep people motivated and participating in the task at hand.” To put it simply, employee gamification introduces competition and fun games to the workplace to inspire and retain staff. Gamification is a creative solution to motivating staff by utilizing a little friendly competition, and an appealing reward system. Gamification promotes loyalty, productivity, and engagement in the workforce by making the more mundane work processes more fun. Studies show that gamification can result in up to a 25% improvement in key performance indicators! So how can restaurants utilize gamification? Here are a few key areas:
  1.  Communication – In a fast-paced customer service-focused restaurant, communication among staff can be a huge challenge. Studies show that only 40% of employees are well-informed of their organization’s goals, initiatives, and opportunities. If your team doesn’t know what they’re working toward or what they need to do to get there, your restaurant’s performance will fall flat. The solutions for this involve message boards, regular communication with your staff, and progress updates to keep staff motivated and informed of their progress towards the goals.
  2.  Increase Employee Recognition –  In an often-thankless industry, it’s vital to quickly and effectively recognize employees who meet their goals and provide amazing service. Gamification allows business owners and managers to quickly give kudos, offer real-time feedback, and celebrate employee and store milestones.
  3.  Get Employees Invested – Gamification utilizes a social aspect to boost morale and staff investment. The more involved staff are in the daily tasks (even if for an internal contest), the better they feel about their job, and the better the whole team performs.
  4.  Leverage Tech – With simple tools like QSRSoft, you can easily offer these announcements, rewards, gratitude messages, and more to feature the gamification happening in your quick-serve location. If you own multiple locations, technology can be even more helpful to link all of your locations together, or invite multiple locations to compete against each other. QSRSoft makes it easy to bring gamification into your team dynamics!
It’s important to create a healthy sense of competition and to utilize that competition to build morale and staff comradery. Consider offering a strong reward system (and no, we don’t mean a pizza party!) that motivates your staff toward a common goal. Staff communication is key here. Depending on your staff, badges and certifications may be just as appealing as a gift certificate. Keeping your staff motivated leads to higher satisfaction and much less job turnover, which is something we can ALL benefit from in the quick-serve restaurant industry! Recognizing your employees and creating healthy competition with gamification is the best way to a happy staff and there’s no simpler way than with QSRSoft TV. Interested?  Book a demo to see it in action!