5 Ways to appreciate your team

In today's competitive restaurant and hospitality industry, it's more important than ever to show recognition to your staff. Not only does this help to build morale and motivation, but it also helps to foster a sense of team spirit and unity.

Additionally, recognition is a key ingredient in building resilient teams. When employees feel appreciated and valued, they are more likely to stick with the company even during tough times. This month Fairkitchen spoke to these leading chefs and experts about ways to build strong and resilient teams.


1. How you approach staff is important

“One of the things I learned as a teacher is that If you approach people only when they are doing something wrong, then what they learn is that every time they see you, every time they hear your voice, every time you are approaching them is because you have something negative to say to them. Try to be very intentional when you speak to people. Tell them something that they are doing really well as well as constructive feedback in areas that they need improving. You’ll find that now when you approach people, they’re not going to bristle when they see you.”

Dina Altieri
Director of Membership Development at American Culinary Federation


2. Understand workers needs

"The biggest change I would like to see in the industry is more recognition of professional chefs who are also mothers. I would like to see them being able to fulfil their passion for cooking whilst also being able to look after their families at the same time. Even though we are mothers, our love for cooking and being part of a service is still there however we're not often able to work the hours that a single person is able to. But, if the industry was able to understand the needs of mothers I think you'll see a whole host of professional chefs come out of the woodwork."

Chef Michelle Trusselle
Founder of Myristica, London, United Kingdom


3. Flexibility and reduced working hours

"Given the current conditions, flexibility is a huge factor. For example, we close at Christmas for several days to a week. Business wise we are losing out but I think people appreciate the time off especially when they don't get to see most long weekends or holidays. Reduced work hours is also something the industry needs to implement. Gone are the days of working 60 hours a week on salary. Adding some kind of benefit program will bring us in line with every other industry. Right now we are playing catch up.”

Chef Christopher Eamer
Bistro Nolah, Quebec, Canada


4. Boost staff morale

“Treating staff is very important to us. Usually, I’ll give out $100 gift cards to Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks every few months. Every week we also like to do a really nice staff meal, instead of just the regular or cheaper food that most serve for family meal. So we’ll have something like stuffed chicken or fish and chips, and I find it’s a great way to boost morale. And every year, we have a staff party in September as well as for Christmas. We treat our staff like family here.”

Executive Chef Jennifer Normant
Sea Level Oyster Bar, Newburyport, Massachusetts

5. Change your perspective

"It may seem simplistic.  But [to build resilience] start with changing your perspective, to change how you are perceiving a situation. So one of the ways we can take stressors and make them a little more manageable is by viewing it as a challenge rather than a threat. To view the situation as a challenge to be solved rather than an opportunity for you to fail or threatened."

Dr Jen Sumner
Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychology at University of California, Los Angeles.


The hospitality industry can be more resilient in times of stress by recognising the importance of its staff. When workers feel appreciated and supported, they are more likely to give their best effort. This not only benefits the individual worker, but also the business as a whole.

If you want to learn more about creating a resilient team, sign up to our free online leadership programme

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