Managing millennials is very different than managing other generations.

They have  a strong sense of purpose – when they feel as though their efforts are genuinely appreciated and their ideas are actually taken into account, they’re more than likely to excel at their work. In the age of instant gratification, millenials tend to be less committed to their job if they are unhappy.  But empowerment brings loyalty, and with loyalty, employees are much more productive in a fun workplace.


Happy employees leads to happy customers, which ultimately leads to a more profitable business. With the restaurant industry constantly struggling with high turnover and employing a large amount of millennials, here a three ways to manage this young, tech savvy generation. 

1. Engagement

One of the most important values for millienials employees, is engagement with their workplace. 

Just look at social media – it’s no coincidence that employee highlights from businesses are taking social media by the storm.  Most restaurant businesses don’t just highlight their products, or dishes, but they also promote their team members and staff.

Millienials value recognition and they want to be heard and feel like they are part of something bigger. Money is usually a secondary when it comes to a making a difference with their work role. They want to feel like the work they do matters.

Find ways to get your staff to participate with decision making. Many restaurant employees have worked in other industries like retail. Take their experiences into account and ask them what worked and what didn’t work.

They bear a wealth of knowledge – and since more restaurants target millennials; it’s key to get your team involved with tasks like menu building, music selection, or decor. The more you do so, the more passionate they are as they take ownership of being part of the decision making!

Employee feedback is also another great way to engage employees!

For example:

A restaurant group using  Push Operations, an employee time tracking tool, ran a survey when employees clocked in, inquiring about their favorite beer selections. To collect their answers, staff left a comment in their clock in entry to vote on which beer they should bring in next and answered why.

Engaging employees was easy when the survey was added to their usual shift routine, and the experience was personalized. With passion at the forefront, the company ended having sky rocketed beer sales. For servers and bartenders, upselling their favorite beers was easy they were able to invest their own genuine opinions.

2. Technology 

Many companies hold back on seeing an return-on-investments (ROI) in technology; as most owners are part of older generations. But one of many things millennials are rockstars are in, is technology.  Technology for millenials is almost second nature to them – almost as much as breathing.

And just because you don’t understand something, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth exploring. In restaurants, service is key – introducing technology to your business can aid in increasing the efficiency for your work flow. And in turn,  the less you focus on mundane tasks that can be automated, the more you can focus on training employees to give great service to customers or create a delicious meals.

There are plenty of areas where you, as owners, will see a ROI. Technologies such as online reservations system like Opentable will speed up your reservation tracking; automated texting systems for wait list ques (like a SMS message when your table is ready) can improve your guest experiences; modern point-of-sales systems like ToastPOS and Touch Bistro will ease the order communication from your front-of-house to back-of-house teams; and workforce management software like Push Operations can streamline employee management for you, and make your employees’ work life easier.

Make work easy for your tech saavy employees. Instead of having them stress about their work life (requesting time off, viewing schedule changes, changing availabilities), introduce technology to their work flow to ease the madness of the restaurant environment.

This’ll allow happy staff to focus on what they love the most in a service industry- touching tables and interacting with guests.

3. Transparency

Millennials want to trust their employers and nothing attests to trust than having transparency. Transparency in leadership, and transparency of their work schedule, and pay is what millennials yearn for. Give them real-time access to their work schedules provides convenience and empowerment to their personal life.

With time clock management software you can grant access to their time cards and allow staff to verify their hours before pay-day. This equals to major brownie points. How often does the staff have missing hours and they only discover this on pay day? That’s annoying!  Millennials are all about instant gratification. So finding an easy way to give them access to their pay statements is helpful!