New work in gastronomy: 5 steps to more job satisfaction

New Work in der Gastronomie: In 5 Schritten zu mehr Zufriedenheit am Arbeitsplatz

Digitization, new forms of work, tandem models, co-working spaces, work-life balance, team building, mentoring: these are all terms that belong to our modern working world and can be assigned to the area of "New Work". But what is this New Work actually? How can it be combined with the catering or hotel industry? Where exactly should one start? Can it finally be used to attract new skilled personnel? And how exactly do you start your own little transformation now?

All these questions we have asked ourselves and searched for useful answers and ideas for you.

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First of all: What is this "New Work" actually?

Our work culture is in a constant state of change. It is shaped by current trends, political decisions and new digital innovations. Job search priorities have changed tremendously over the last decade: For Generation Y (*1982-1993), flexibility and meaningful work are of great importance. For the upcoming worker generation Z (*1994-2010), start-ups and digital formats are part of everyday business more than ever before. It is precisely these aspects that New Work addresses: meaningful and progressive forms of work that are based on positive cooperation at eye level and a constant foundation of trust.

"New Work: The new way of combining life and work. New Work, the future of work and the new culture of people."

New Work in the hospitality industry

Whether in the family hotel, in the restaurant, in the new hip bar or in the favorite cafe around the corner - everywhere is teeming with new concepts and ideas on how to do work differently. But especially in restaurants, day-to-day business is usually hectic and characterized by spontaneity. That's why it's not so easy to find time for internal exchange. Nevertheless, we believe that New Work can also be implemented in the long term in small steps and with a little dedication.

We have compiled the following list of New Work approaches that you can bring into your company. This includes, for example, bringing more sustainability into the Hotel or behind the Bar and thus ensuring more mindfulness.

For more New Work ideas, we have written guidelines to provide inspiration on topics such as employee leadership, reflection, creativity, training and team building, and thus bring you closer to the field of New Work.

1. employee management

Appreciation and joy are indispensable for many employees today. But often there is a lack of communication to express these two aspects correctly. Especially at the level of team management this often causes discomfort. In order to show appreciation to the staff and to meet them at eye level, there are a few tricks that can be implemented without spending a lot of time.

Why not conduct a short survey at the end of the shift?

  • How did the day go?
  • Where were there difficulties?
  • Are there any open wishes of the employees?
  • How do they rate the teamwork?
  • Would the staff appreciate (more) feedback?

This survey alone lets your employees know that you care about them and take their concerns seriously. Of course, it is important to think about changes in the next step and to initiate and implement them. Whether it's giving regular feedback, putting up a note with space for new ideas, or occasionally sharing what you're looking forward to or what you appreciate about each other. Try to meet your employees at eye level and keep the hierarchies flat.

This measure requires no financial investment and only a small amount of time and can significantly increase the satisfaction and joy of the staff. In the long term, new guidelines for internal communication and cooperation can be created from the reflection and the wishes. This small change in personnel management is the first step towards New Work.

2 Encouraging creativity

There is always a lot going on in the service area: new guests, instructions from the kitchen, current daily specials, shift changes and much more. Despite the varied work, many people miss out on letting off steam creatively and discovering new things. Here, too, there are plenty of opportunities to bring more creativity into the workday:

For example, new culinary combinations can be thought about. Discussing the visual arrangement of dishes and coming up with new suggestions is another idea. In addition, there are numerous interdisciplinary opportunities for exchange: invite the nice ice cream vendor next door for a beer, visit gastronomy fairs in the vicinity or spend time alone or even together in other restaurants and exchange ideas about the concepts and ideas of others.

Furthermore, small projects can help: Who wouldn't want to decorate the store again or redesign the menu and really let off steam with type, shape and color?

3. stay flexible

As already mentioned, with each new generation of employees come new demands and priorities for their own jobs. Young people place a high value on flexibility. That's why it's becoming increasingly important to keep working hours and work schedules flexible. Despite the high economic pressure in the hospitality industry and the ongoing Corona crisis, it is advisable to change the perspective and think about alternative concepts or questions:

  • To what extent can the shift system be made more flexible?
  • Can digital shift scheduling provide a remedy?
  • Are there tasks that can also be handled from the home office?
  • What about the team spirit of the staff?
  • Can we create space for employees' children?
  • Would digital communication channels bring us advantages?
  • Does a 6-hour day per employee or a 4-day week work in my company?
  • Is it worth it to reshuffle teams or allow for mutual insight?
  • What rules are in place for single parents/trainees/people with disabilities to provide the best possible circumstances for each life situation?

Questions about questions, which should help to identify your possibilities and first starting points to bring New Work and thus more satisfaction into your company. In addition, a catering business with modern concepts is attractive to potential young professionals, which not only helps you attract new employees, but also sets you apart from the competition by setting a good example.

4. support continuing education

Not only creativity, but also inspiration and education are part of a progressive working world. There are various offers and formats for continuing education, some of which are even financially supported by the state or other institutions.

Let's start at the beginning: education. Nowadays, this no longer consists only of dry theory in vocational school and alternating "drudgery" in the company. In the meantime, there are methodical learning lessons and practical parts, which are supposed to better prepare the students for the real working day. To discover other concepts and traditions, many vocational schools offerinternational exchanges with other schools or even internships lasting several weeks. This mostly arises through school partnerships or through an Erasmus+ mobility. Few people know that this option is not only available for students, but also for apprentices. It is worth asking the vocational school about this or finding out for yourself on the Erasmus+ website. The latter is also funded by the EU and can be a unique experience for the trainees.

When the training is over, there are opportunities such as participating in workshops or gain new impressions and improve one's skills in certain areas. For example, there is the Bar Convent Berlin or the Internorga in Hamburg.

In 3 days to the Barista professional or CrashKurs to Knigge: Workshops give the coworkers new impulses and help them to more self-fulfillment. In addition, such courses are a great way to network. Who knows what kind of inspiration and contacts come together. In the case of workshops, it is possible to send individual employees to specialized seminars. You can also bring an in-house training provider into your company to train selected or all employees. The best way to do this is to look on the Internet for regional providers or on social media for events or groups.

A particularly flexible option is online training, which can be booked and conducted from anywhere. Platforms such as "Airbnb Online Discoveries" or websites such as or, which offer a variety of digital workshops, are suitable for this.

In addition, competitions also boost commitment, creativity and, at best, team spirit, making them a welcome option for coming up with new original ideas.

Continuing education and inspiration motivate people to apply newly learned things at work. This increases identification with the company and creates a kind of elation. This phenomenon is also called employer branding, which has been proven to lead to greater productivity and success. Thus, investing in the training of one's own employees can have significant positive effects on the entire company: We achieve a win-win situation.

5. increase balance and team spirit

The bottom line is that what brings happiness and satisfaction in the professional world is to find the right balance between work and leisure, or to link these two areas of life accordingly. Work is no longer just about working, but also about maintaining social contacts, being creative, educating oneself and being supported by the workplace.

In addition, there are so-called work-life offers; these include things like discounts for the gym, #Coffeeforfree, childcare, a fresh fruit basket or even teambuilding. In other words, it's all about the atmosphere and the nice things that enrich the everyday work life outside of the normal tasks. Especially for young people, these aspects are decisive reasons for choosing a company in the future.

In the area of teambuilding, there are two variants:

  1. Self-organized teambuilding: for example, with games, competitions, team tasks that challenge skill and cooperation or, for example, a puzzle trip.
  2. External teambuilding: Examples would be raft building, climbing, professional (game) teambuilding or Escape Rooms.

Depending on budget and time, you can choose between these and weigh different offers. Teambuilding leads to improved communication and a good working atmosphere, which is essential for a smooth working day and strengthens the loyalty of the employees.

New Work, New Life, New Ways

Change always takes time and dedication, but even small steps lead to success. New Work is absolutely nothing extraterrestrial, but rather describes new concepts and ideas to make the working world more sustainable and employees more satisfied. As we have seen, this can be achieved through small innovations.

In the end, both the communication of wishes and ideas plays a major role as well as the attempt to bring work together with the needs of employees and employers in the best possible way. Only through reflection and collaboration can change be brought about. Only through reflection and collaboration can new beautiful things emerge. What is certain is: New Work helps us to go through this optimization process and in the end to be more satisfied with ourselves and our work.

The heart of a company is the people behind it. So what are you waiting for? We wish you every success and are looking forward to the ideas and changes that are yet to come!

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