Hospitality team spirit: creating passionate and happy bar, restaurant, and nightclub employees (part 2)

Developing a strong bar, restaurant, and nightclub staff starts with leadership, mentorship, a strong training program. This creates a good, solid foundation to build on, and without it, turnover is sure to be high. However, just because employees are sticking around, doesn’t necessarily mean they are happy or satisfied. When we started the RMD Group, a hospitality consulting, management, and developing company based in San Diego, we were already a tight knit crew. We started with two venues: Side Bar Nightclub & Lounge and Ciro’s Pizzeria & Beerhouse. Our management staff consisted of people we had worked with in the past, and many of our employees were from past projects and venues the RMD partners had known prior to hiring. But as our company started to grow, as we started building and developing new nightlife and restaurant venues, and managing more hospitality properties, it become increasingly obvious how important employee satisfaction was.

For us, it wasn’t good enough to have low turn-over rates. We wanted to create a family, one that wasn’t confined to the work rituals, with people who enjoyed their job, and dare we say …LOVED their job!?! Unless you are a Fortune 500 business with the ability to build a state-of-the-art employee lounge or buy first-class tickets for a company-wide trip to Mexico, chances are, you’re going to have to get creative with ways to empower your employees and make them feel valued. Here are some ways to increase your hospitality team spirit and keep your staff passionate and satisfied with their job…

Team Outings

The more bonded your team is, the more likely they will get along while at work. Friendships happen naturally, especially in the hospitality industry, but it never hurts to help nudge the team in the right direction. Setting up all-staff outings is one way to create bonding experiences and help your employees get to know one another. This can be a trip to see the Padres play at Petco Stadium or a BBQ at the beach. Another great tip…use these outings to visit other nightlife venues and small businesses in your area! This is a great way to show support to some of the best restaurants, nightclubs, and bars in your community!


Contests are a great way to create some friendly competition while also recognizing and rewarding hard work. Who can sell the most wine this month? Big weekend coming up? Create a contest to see who can book the most bottle service tables. Need more social media support? Who can attract the most followers on Instagram? Choose prizes that invoke excitement, (we’ve found that most of the time, cash is king!).


It seems most of us never grow out of the need to receive a few gold stars every once in a while. Take time to recognize the employees who stand out. Every year at our winter all-company outing in Big Bear, we announce the winner of “Rookie of the Year”. This award goes to an employee who has been with the company for less than a year and who has risen above expectation and proven they are an integral part of the company. A plaque is given, and another plaque with a his/her picture and the year goes up on our corporate office wall. It doesn’t cost very much, and because it’s been a tradition we’ve followed every year, it’s become a coveted award!


One of the easiest ways to show your staff you care is to offer some perks. You don’t have to give away the house, but a good employee discount can go a long way. Perks don’t just have to just be the stuff you give away…it can be the environment you create. Loving your job and the people you work with is definitely a perk! So, create a company culture that facilitates this!


Find out more about RMD Group’s bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Find out how you can improve your existing venue, or to turn your bar, restaurant, or nightclub dream into a reality with RMD Consulting.


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