A clear employee evaluation process helps you assess productivity, identify development areas, and make promotion and pay rise decisions. In this guide, you’ll learn how to create a restaurant employee evaluation form and conduct employee evaluations in 10 simple steps. Plus, use our free template to get started today.

Table of contents
  1. What Is a Restaurant Employee Evaluation Form? 
  2. Why Use Restaurant Employee Evaluation Forms? 
  3. How To Create and Use a Restaurant Employee Evaluation Form 
  4. Restaurant Employee Evaluation Form Template 
  5. Conclusion 
  6. FAQs

Restaurant employee evaluation forms help you manage workers’ expectations, assess their performance, and identify areas of concern. They’re also vital in preventing low productivity, poor customer service, mistakes in food handling, and more.

That’s not all—without formal evaluations, personal biases are more likely to affect pay and promotion decisions. All this can put your restaurant at financial, reputational, and legal risk. That’s why it’s best to use a thorough performance review form that provides an objective and relevant set of criteria to assess your staff members. 
Our guide can help you do this. Below, we explain how to create a restaurant employee evaluation form. We also share tips on using it effectively and provide a free template to save you the hassle of starting from scratch.

Key Takeaways

  • Evaluation forms help restaurant managers and owners provide meaningful, objective feedback to employees.
  • Effective evaluation forms measure performance on role-specific and company-wide criteria. 
  • Employee self-assessments help improve discussions about performance.
  • Use software like Connecteam to create, publish, and analyze evaluation forms from a single system.

What Is a Restaurant Employee Evaluation Form? 

A restaurant employee evaluation form is a structured document that restaurant managers or owners use to assess their employees’ performance

It usually includes various sections to evaluate team members’ skills, work habits, behaviors, and overall contributions to the restaurant. 

Here are some key criteria you can use to assess workers. 

  • Job knowledge: Familiarity with responsibilities, restaurant procedures, compliance regulations, etc.
  • Task performance: Quality of work, including attention to detail, accuracy, and consistency.
  • Communication skills: Skill in effectively communicating with customers, team members, and management. 
  • Teamwork and collaboration: Ability to work well in a team, support coworkers, and contribute to a positive work environment. 
  • Customer service: Ability to interact well with customers and handle their questions, concerns, and complaints promptly and professionally. 
  • Work ethic: Punctuality, reliability, and integrity at work.

Why Use Restaurant Employee Evaluation Forms? 

Employee evaluation forms have several benefits for your restaurant. Some of these are listed below.  

Clear expectations for managers and employees

Evaluation forms outline specific goals you expect employees to achieve. These could be measurable metrics like customer ratings or other factors like communication skills. This way, workers can understand your expectations—and you can provide specific and actionable feedback to improve their performance. 

Relevant criteria across a variety of roles

Restaurants have a range of roles—from waitstaff and bartenders to chefs, dishwashers, and restaurant managers. A well-rounded employee evaluation form provides assessment criteria that address the unique needs of individual positions while setting overall performance standards for your workers. For example, you should assess a sous-chef’s culinary skills and work ethic. 

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Open, two-way communication

A formal performance review process encourages open discussions about goals and performance. It compels you to provide workers with feedback on your specific performance criteria. It also allows your workers to share their professional goals and ask for support. 

Without a formal process, you might delay or put off these conversations, leading to unwanted surprises when it’s time for promotions and salary appraisals. 

Identify training and development needs

A barista in an apron is looking at his Connecteam Training & Onboarding app on his phone.

Employee evaluation forms help you spot exactly where your employees must improve. For example, while assessing a member of your waitstaff, you might realize they’re great at service but have poor communication skills. 

You can then provide them with relevant communication skills training to address the issue before it impacts your guest experience. You might have overlooked this shortcoming without completing a comprehensive employee evaluation form. 

🧠Did You Know?

Connecteam’s employee training software lets you build custom training courses and deliver them straight to workers’ mobile devices. 

Objective performance reviews and fair decision-making

Using standardized evaluation forms ensures fairness and consistency in assessing all employees. This means you can make objective decisions regarding pay, promotions, and other opportunities. Plus, this keeps you compliant with labor laws that prevent discrimination in hiring, compensation, promotion, and more—like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

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Enhanced employee engagement and retention

Employees are more likely to stay driven and engaged when they understand their goals and what you expect of them. Further, positive feedback and recognition in evaluation forms can boost employee morale by showing that you value their growth and hard work. This, in turn, helps increase employee retention and loyalty. 

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With Connecteam, you can roll out employee recognition gift cards to top performers, making them feel valued and motivated.  

How To Create and Use a Restaurant Employee Evaluation Form 

Here’s a step-by-step process for crafting and using an employee evaluation form for your restaurant staff. 

Step 1: Determine evaluation criteria 

First, you must identify the critical criteria and metrics you want to assess. Review the individual positions in your restaurant—for example, kitchen staff, servers, managers, and so on. Outline their daily responsibilities and put these into broader categories. 

For example, your waitstaff should know your food and beverage offerings, wine list, and any allergens in your dishes. These could all be captured under a performance indicator called “understanding of menu items.” 

Do this for all key positions in your restaurant to set role-specific performance criteria

Additionally, consider your restaurant’s overall mission and values to measure how workers contribute to these. If you want to run a customer-centric business, for example, establish this as a key performance indicator for all your employees, regardless of their jobs. 

Step 2: Choose evaluation methods and questions 

Next, decide on the format of the evaluation form. 

You could use a rating scale that gives employees descriptive performance ratings like “Excellent,” “Average,” or “Needs Improvement” on each criterion. 

Or, you can use a numerical scale—for example, a 1-3 rating scale where 1 is “Needs Improvement” and 3 is “Excellent.” 

You can also opt for open-ended responses. 

Finally, decide whether you want to leave space for employees to conduct self-assessments. Self-assessments help workers think through their own strengths and development areas. Plus, they can highlight employee achievements you might have forgotten about. 

💡 Pro Tip: 

The best forms typically include rating scales and space for open-ended comments from both employees and managers. This is a great way to gather structured feedback while allowing for additional context and actionable insights. 

Step 3: Select your evaluators

Decide who will conduct employee evaluations—unless you plan to do this yourself. 

Your choice will likely depend on your restaurant’s size and structure. Typically, your evaluators should work closely with those they’re evaluating, as they can provide more accurate and relevant feedback based on their direct observations and interactions.

In smaller restaurants, owners might take on this responsibility. In larger establishments, restaurant managers commonly handle this task. Restaurant chains might delegate this task to lower-level management like assistant managers or supervisors. 

In some cases, evaluators might both give and receive evaluations. For example, restaurant managers might evaluate the employees they directly supervise, while owners might evaluate managers.

🧠Did You Know? 

Some employee evaluation forms also ask workers to evaluate their supervisors or peers. Employee evaluation forms that gather feedback from various sources are known as 360 reviews

Step 4: Create your employee evaluation form 

Once you’ve decided on your format and performance criteria, create a template for your staff evaluation form. Include sections for gathering employee information, evaluating employee performance, and asking for evaluator and employee signatures. 

Don’t forget to include guidelines about how to answer the questions. For example, if you’re using a rating scale, explain what each rating means to avoid confusion for evaluators and workers. 

You could build your form using Microsoft Word or Excel. But this method is manual, time-consuming, and prone to mistakes. 

Instead, consider using survey software to create your evaluation form. It has ready templates and built-in rating scales, text boxes, and other tools for easy form creation. Ensure your form is well-spaced, has a readable font (for example, Arial or Verdana in size 12), and is free from distractions like images and logos. 

🧠Did You Know? 

Connecteam is an employee communication survey app that lets you create and roll out your evaluation forms and other employee surveys in minutes. 

Step 5: Provide guidance and training on using the form correctly

Conduct an in-person or virtual training session to walk evaluators and workers through the evaluation form. Educate them on the purpose of evaluations and how to use the form constructively. 

You can also train evaluators to conduct fair and objective evaluations free from unconscious bias. 

Step 6: Determine the frequency of the employee evaluation process 

Decide how frequently you want to run your evaluation process. Consider various factors, including the nature of the roles, the size of your team, and the pace of work

Chefs, for instance, might benefit from quarterly evaluations due to the fast-changing nature of the job. Annual or bi-annual reviews might be sufficient for other roles. 

Some restaurants run evaluations seasonally. For example, rolling out the forms after a busy period like summer can help to evaluate how employees worked and coped with the pressures of peak times. 

You can also run evaluations any time they’re needed—for example, if you’ve started receiving consistent customer complaints and must identify the cause. 

Step 7: Roll out evaluation forms and implement deadlines

Distribute the employee evaluation forms to your team during appraisal time. You can directly email forms created with Microsoft Word, Excel, or similar tools or distribute printed paper copies. When you use survey software, you can send forms as links.

Provide your teams with a clear deadline to complete the forms. It’s best to have the employee self-assessment deadline first, followed by the due date for evaluators to complete the forms. This way, evaluators have time to review and absorb employees’ self-ratings and comments before conducting their assessments. 

Step 8: Analyze results 

Once forms are complete, you must analyze the results. You can do this at a few different levels. 

Individual scores

Imagine you’re using a rating scale such as 1-3, where 1 is “Needs Improvement” and 3 is “Excellent.” Add up the total score across all indicators for each employee. This will give you a good sense of how close each employee is to optimal performance. 

For example, for 10 criteria, optimal performance would be 3 x 10, or 30. This means an employee who gets 30/30 points is performing optimally.  

Using individual scores also helps to compare workers’ scores when making key decisions, including promotions. Further, you can dive deeper into the scores that stand out—for instance, 1s—and provide tailored feedback to improve performance.   

Evaluator versus employee scores 

You can also compare the total scores given by evaluators to self-assessment scores. For example, a gap between evaluators’ and workers’ scores could indicate that the worker doesn’t fully understand their responsibilities.

Teams, departments, and location scores

Also, be sure to look at the big picture. You might find evidence of consistently poor performance across all workers in one department, for example. You can then address this through training and other means. 

In addition, you might compare performance results across different departments or franchises for more context. For instance, you may notice that attendance levels are down in a specific team. But, if it’s also low across other teams, you could consider broader issues like seasonal illnesses. 

Analyzing this larger employee data set can be challenging, though. Manually entering all employee and evaluator responses into an Excel spreadsheet can be time-consuming and error-prone. Survey or restaurant management tools make this easier by auto-generating charts and reports that you can view by employee, location, team, and more. 

🧠Did You Know? 

Connecteam is a top restaurant management app that can help you with all aspects of running a restaurant—including conducting and analyzing employee evaluations. 

Performance scores over time

Also, compare metrics over time to identify emerging trends. For instance, you might find that performance has improved since you rolled out a new training program, which could indicate the training program is working.  

Comments 

Don’t forget to look at evaluators’ and employees’ additional notes or comments. Analyzing results with some context gives you a better understanding of the scores. For example, if an employee has low punctuality scores, their comments may explain this is due to a personal issue they’re struggling with. You can then offer them the support they need. 

💡Pro Tip: 

Securely store each employee’s evaluation results so you can use these for future reference and follow-up evaluations. Connecteam offers secure and centralized management for team documents

Step 9: Conduct constructive feedback and career development sessions

An illustration showing Connecteam’s rewards and recognition from manager view

Send copies of completed performance evaluations to your employees so they have them on record and can go back to their feedback whenever they need to. 

You should also have one-to-one feedback sessions with each worker to review their scores, development plans, and career goals. Not only does this improve performance, but it also makes employees feel valued and supported. 

💡Pro Tip: 

Don’t forget to review and update your employee evaluation form regularly to keep it relevant. For example, most restaurants had to incorporate performance indicators relating to hygiene protocols in the aftermath of COVID-19. 

Step 10: Evaluate and change your process as needed

Your evaluation process should evolve with your needs, so don’t be afraid to change it based on what’s working and what’s not. For example, say your evaluators think a 1-3 rating system is too limiting. You might instead choose to adopt a 1-5 rating system. 

Restaurant Employee Evaluation Form Template 

Here’s a standard restaurant employee evaluation form template. Before using it, ensure you’ve customized the form to align with your restaurant’s specific needs. 

Employee and manager information 

Employee Name
Employee Job Title
Department 
Evaluation Period 
Manager Name 
Manager Job Title

Performance evaluation form 

Please complete the below performance evaluation form using this rating scale.

1: Exceeds Expectations 

2: Meets Expectations 

3: Below Expectations 

Performance Criteria Employee rating (1-3)Employee commentsEvaluator rating (1-3)Evaluator comments
Job knowledge and skills
Understanding of menu items
Knowledge of restaurant procedures
Execution of assigned tasks
Familiarity with health and safety regulations
Quality of work 
Attention to detail and accuracy
Consistency in meeting standards
Handling of rush hours and busy periods 
Communication skills
Interaction with customers
Communication with coworkers
Teamwork and collaboration 
Ability to work effectively in a team
Support provided to other staff members
Customer service 
Responsiveness to customer needs
Handling of difficult customer situations 
Work ethic 
Attendance and punctuality 
Honesty and integrity shown 
Overall performance 
Overall performance rating 
Employee signature:
Evaluator signature: 

Conclusion 

A well-rounded employee evaluation form helps you set performance expectations, provide objective feedback, and keep your restaurant staff driven and engaged. However, knowing how to format it, which performance criteria to include, and how to roll it out effectively can be challenging. 

That’s why we created a template to get you started. You can tailor this to align with your restaurant’s key positions, role-specific performance indicators, and other assessment criteria. 

Further, you can use software like Connecteam to create employee evaluation forms in minutes, distribute them to your team members’ mobile devices, and analyze results easily. 

Try Connecteam for free today and see how you can use it to improve the employee evaluation process in your restaurant. 

FAQs

What is the best app to manage my restaurant staff? 

Connecteam is the best HR software for restaurants. It offers features to ease the administrative burden of running restaurants. It includes employee scheduling, payroll support, training tools, and more. Plus, you can use Connecteam’s built-in survey feature to create, roll out, and analyze your employee evaluation forms. 

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Check out our guide on the best HR software for restaurants.

How long should a restaurant employee evaluation form be? 

Ideally, your form should have less than 10 assessment criteria, or completing it can be tiring. Be precise when choosing the key performance indicators you want to include in your evaluation forms. This way, you can gather comprehensive feedback on the most important performance criteria. 

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