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It can get pretty hot in a café. And not just in the kitchen. The challenge to consistently produce and serve good quality food can quickly fray the tempers of the calmest souls.


We know that keeping staff on an even keel takes time and effort. So if it is up to you to make sure you don't let sticky situations get out of hand, here are a few tips on what to do:

1. Keep a keen eye on bullying

Bullying and abuse are expensive in terms of your time to monitor and control the situation. It will impact staff turnover and retention. And in extreme cases, lead to court appearances due to legal action initiated by an angry employee.

2. Look for a positive attitude

A large part of creating harmony in the café is hiring staff that are not only competent at the role they have been hired for, but have the right attitude and disposition. In fact, many café owners look for the right personality and attitude before they assess the skills a potential employee may have. Practical skills are easily picked up by someone with the right attitude. But an easy-going nature and good work ethic need to be part of the package on the first day of the new job.

3. Be quick to act

If things do get out of hand, you may not hear about it until things have reached boiling point. But to keep control of the situation you need to act quickly.

4. Speak to an expert

If you think the situation is serious, don't hesitate to call a professional. There are organisations who specialise in workplace mediation.

5. Know when to let go

If there is an obvious 'bad apple', it is best to let them go. It may be part of an ongoing pattern of behaviour and in the long run easier to find a replacement for one person than to continuously lose staff.

Carefully choosing a team of considerate, hardworking staff can really boost the productivity of your café. It will also help create a welcoming atmosphere in your café and dramatically reduce staff turnover.

For further information, check out Fairwork Australia or business.govt.nz.

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