Restaurant employee evaluation forms are one of the best ways to improve performance and productivity. As orders come in, cooks are busy at their workstations. Servers rush in and out of the kitchen. With all the chaos, recognizing good work can feel challenging. Pausing to offer feedback on the fly disrupts any restaurant’s workflow.
Learn more about digitally enabling your hospitality workforce with Beekeeper.
Using evaluation forms helps restaurant management break down specific parameters that determine whether an employee is performing at their best. We’ll review what a restaurant employee evaluation form looks like, why it matters, and how to create one. At the end of this article, we’re including a free template to get you started!
What is a Restaurant Employee Evaluation Form?
Let’s clarify what a restaurant employee evaluation form looks like.
A restaurant employee evaluation form is a document that helps managers assess how well an employee is performing their job duties.
The goal of performance reviews is to learn:
- What an employee excels at
- Areas in which they need to improve
With evaluation forms, restaurant management can quantify, articulate, and analyze areas like customer service, work ethic, and skills. For employees, evaluation forms offer a chance for self-reflection and improvement.
Why are Employee Evaluation Forms Crucial for Restaurants?
It’s often difficult to rate employees on how well they interact with customers or work with colleagues. Many skills required to succeed as a restaurant employee are intangible.
But trying to make subjective evaluations more objective with a performance review makes it easier to set the standard for excellence.
Employee evaluation forms also:
- Keep restaurant managers and employees on the same page. If an employee isn’t aware that their teamwork skills could be better, evaluation forms can help bring it to their attention.
- Provide a record of employee performance. Restaurant management can refer back to evaluation forms to decide who gets promoted. For employees, evaluation forms are a way to track progress.
- Increase employee engagement. Regular evaluations allow employees to better understand how they contribute to the goals of the restaurant, making them more invested in improving their performance.
What Are the Benefits of Restaurant Employee Evaluation Forms?
Need reasons as to why employee evaluation forms make a positive impact in the restaurant industry? We’ve got five:
1. Recognition Boosts Workplace Satisfaction
A recent survey of restaurant employees found that recognition matters. How?
- 67% would like to receive paid bonuses as recognition
- 38% would like public recognition
- 32% would like promotions
Employee evaluations might not be a direct form of recognition, but they are a stepping stone to the kind of recognition that matters most to restaurant employees. Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of employees can form a more objective basis for promotions and other types of recognition.
2. More Efficient Hiring
The restaurant industry is known for its high turnover rate.
With a 74% turnover rate pre-pandemic, the hospitality industry faces new hiring challenges as restaurants return to a new normal.
Recruitment in hotels and restaurants now requires different strategies for attracting and retaining employees.
Hiring new employees is a costly and time-consuming process for HR. With employee evaluation forms, managers can review staff performance and get a better idea of whether the right candidate is an existing employee.
3. A Safer Workplace
One of the top hospitality trends for 2021 is a greater focus on creating a safer environment for guests and employees. While 2020 saw restaurants constantly adapting to new protocols, we’ll likely see them implement more lasting agile strategies.
Employee evaluation forms are flexible, ever-changing documents. Restaurants can incorporate various safety metrics, such as how well employees adhere to health and safety regulations. That way, safety becomes an important part of what defines success as a restaurant employee.
8 Steps to Implementing a Restaurant Employee Evaluation Form
Now that we’ve covered why restaurant employee evaluations matter, let’s switch gears and talk about what the evaluation process looks like from start to finish.
1. Introduce the Form to Staff
If performance reviews aren’t the norm, it’s best to introduce them early — well before employees receive their first evaluation.
2. Explain Reasons and Benefits
Transparency as to why you’re introducing an evaluation form makes it more likely employees will easily accept constructive criticism.
3. Schedule Performance Reviews
Restaurants are crazy busy. Who has time to reflect when orders are waiting? A platform like Beekeeperschedules performance reviews via mobile. This makes the process more accessible to on-the-go restaurant staff.
4. Ask Staff for a Self-Evaluation
Employees who reflect on their own performance are more engaged in the evaluation process. They also are more confident in their skills and achievements. Self-evaluation questions might include:
- Which elements of your job do you enjoy?
- Which would you like to change?
- Are there any new responsibilities you have taken on since your last performance review?
- What are your current goals?
- How can your manager better help you achieve those goals?
5. Evaluate Employee Performance
Create a performance file for each employee and take notes throughout the year to make filling out evaluation forms easier. We’ll take you through how to create an evaluation form step-by-step later in this article. And remember, if you’re looking for a form template, we’ve got one at the end of the piece.
6. Share and Review Results
When conducting the performance review, here are a few tips:
- Prepare ahead of time
- Back up criticism with specific examples
- Look ahead
7. Encourage Professional Development Plans
Outlining the next steps may involve long-term planning for how employees will learn skills they’re lacking or want to acquire.
Development plans may include:
- One-on-one mentoring
- Remote skills training via mobile app
- Shadowing other colleagues
Pro Tip: Beekeeper allows restaurant management to set up training programs employees can complete on their mobile devices.
8. Track and Update Performance with Regular Check-Ins
Regular check-ins between performance reviews help to:
- Keep employees engaged with their work
- Provide direction so employees stay on track
- Align individual goals with restaurant objectives
How to Communicate with Restaurant Employees After a Performance Evaluation
Employees typically receive annual or even quarterly performance reviews. How can restaurant managers provide feedback on a regular basis?
The restaurant industry is notoriously fast-paced. Employees are often too busy to sit down with their supervisors. Even so, employee engagement is key to building trust and loyalty between restaurant managers and employees.
For non-desk workers, using an employee engagement app like Beekeeper offers:
- Mobile flexibility
- An intuitive interface
- Survey and poll features
- Options for digital training
- An analytics dashboard
By adopting a digital employee engagement strategy, restaurant managers can check in with employees to ensure goals and feedback from performance evaluations stays top-of-mind.
How to Put Together a Restaurant Employee Evaluation Form
Here is a checklist of elements to consider before creating an evaluation form:
What are the characteristics of a successful employee? Categories might include:
- Work habits: arriving on time, keeping their station clean, following health and safety guidelines
- Professional development: displays a desire to learn, shows improvement, adopts new strategies/skills
- Teamwork: communicates well with colleagues, receives instruction well, listens to feedback
Pro tip: Customize your evaluation categories to the employee’s position. For example, if the employee works in the front of the house, you might consider evaluating customer service skills in greater detail.
A consistent grading system makes it easier to evaluate how successful an employee is in a particular area. Whether you use a letter system (A-F) or a numerical scale (1-5), it’s also important to define what each point means. For example, a grade of 2 for “displays desire to learn” could describe an employee who might excel at their position but is not actively looking to improve their skills. A score of five might mean they actively reach out to other restaurant professionals for guidance.
Reviewing Previous Goals/Feedback
Reviewing previous performance evaluations allows managers to determine whether the employee has improved in certain areas. This may inform categories that evaluate whether the employee is willing to learn and improve.
Compiling notes taken throughout the year allows evaluators to back up their grading with specific examples.
Restaurant Employee Evaluation Form Template
Now it’s time to put all of those elements together. Here is one possible evaluation form you can use to conduct a thorough performance review:
- Employee name
- Date of hire
- Evaluator’s name
- Date of evaluation
This form is intended to improve productivity in the workplace and provide employees with feedback for areas where the employee needs direction.
Please complete this evaluation with the following scale:
A: Performance is so successful that no improvement needs to be made
B: Performance is above average
C: Performance meets standards but has room for growth
D: Performance is slightly below standards but employee shows desire/potential for improvement
E: Performance falls significantly below standards and employee shows no inclination to improve
Essential Job Functions
__ Prepares food as specified by menus
__ Follows safe food handling guidelines
__ Stores food in an organized manner
__ Practices safe operation for equipment
__ Maintains clean workstation
__ Performs cleaning and maintenance of equipment as needed
__ Displays desire to improve skills
__ Shows improvement from previous evaluation
__ Communicates with colleagues in a professional manner
__ Listens to feedback
I have discussed this evaluation with the employee.
I have reviewed this evaluation.
Future Trends for Restaurant Employee Evaluation Forms
COVID-19 disrupted operations across the restaurant industry. As restaurants are returning to work, many have adopted digital tools for customer-facing needs and internal communication.
Companies can make performance reviews more significant in day-to-day operations by digitally enabling restaurant employees.
For example, restaurants can send out reminders about health and safety guidelines to help employees improve safe food handling. Digital training can improve an employee’s skills in a particular area without disrupting their duties in the restaurant.
Download our Hospitality Trends for 2021 white paper for more insight into how digital enablement is changing frontline communication.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
1. Recognition Boosts Workplace Satisfaction
2. More Efficient Hiring
3. A Safer Workplace