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4 Tips To Motivate Your Employees To Work On Thanksgiving

One of the hardest parts of opening your restaurant on Thanksgiving Day is staffing. The fact is that your employees will not be eager to work. Many of them have family events that they would prefer to attend. Scheduling your kitchen and wait staff will inform them that they have to come to work, but you cannot force them to show up. Even though they might risk their job by calling in sick, the truth is that there really is not much that you can do about last minute no shows. Instead you will find yourself shorthanded and in need of employees4 Tips To Motivate Your Employees To Work On Thanksgiving. The best way to solve this potential problem is to motivate your employees so that they actually want to work in your restaurant on Thanksgiving. There are several things that you can do to achieve this goal.

Shorter Shifts

Since it is likely that everyone will want to plan their own Thanksgiving festivities, the best thing you can do is offer shorter working shifts. Schedule everyone to work but limit their shift to only a few hours. This allows your employees to be there while also having plenty of time to plan their own dinner and family time. If your employees know that they don't have to put in a full day, they will be more willing to work.

Extra Pay

Money is one of the best motivators for anyone employed in the food service industry. Offer extra pay to those willing to work a shift on Thanksgiving Day and you may be surprised at how many people volunteer. It is a way for them to earn extra money, and if you have shorter shifts, then they still have plenty of family time left. Some employees may even volunteer for longer work shifts simply because they need the extra cash. Always remember that money talks and you simply have to find the people willing to listen.


Some businesses offer bonuses to those who are willing to work on any holiday. You can set up a system whereby whoever wants to qualify for a bonus by working on a holiday would have to work their normal shift before and after the holiday, as well as on the holiday itself, in order to quality for the bonus. Whether the bonus is money or a vacation day, chances are that your employees will appreciate any special consideration you give them for working on a holiday. Spend some time thinking about what motivates them and the best way to reward them. You will find a lot of people choose to volunteer for bonuses when you show them that you value them.


If you want people to volunteer, make it fun. Offer contests throughout the day that only those working are eligible for. You can choose any type of prize. Chances are that your employees will love the competition and have a lot of fun waiting to see who wins each round. It will make the day go by quicker and give them something to look forward to.

The key to motivating employees is to make them actually want to work on holidays. You can do this by appealing to them in the following ways: shorter shifts, extra money, bonuses and contests all work together to provide a work environment in which they don't mind spending part of their holiday.

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