Vimigo Case Study

F&B Industry Summit: Cost-Effective Strategies to Motivate Employees

On September 14th 2023, the 2nd F&B Industry Summit hosted by Vimicoach delved into a challenge that many restaurant owners and cafe managers are facing: How can F&B business owners enhance team morale without extra budget.

Restaurants, cafes, and even fast-food chains rely heavily on workforce. A no-show can mean disaster especially during peak hours. This not only impacts service quality but can lead to low customer satisfaction and overall company performance.

Vimicoach Patricia, the HR strategy practitioner with a track record in restaurant management and food-processing business consultancy, highlighted 5 challenges that most F&B entrepreneurs encounter:

  • Front-liners and kitchen staff can be hard to manage
  • Rising labor costs
  • Labor shortage
  • Supervisors lack leadership skill
  • Struggling beyond salaries to retain employees

Early September, a recent push to increase the minimum wage from RM1500 to RM2000 could make these challenges even tougher. If enforced, labor costs such as EPF, SOCSO, OT etc will increase proportionally. Imagine a chain restaurant with 100 employees, the monthly costs could jump by thousands or more!

As such, increasing staff productivity becomes a prime concern to maintain restaurant profitability.

Patricia suggests, “First, we need to understand what really drives people. It’s either:

  • Pain (losing something they want or getting something they don’t)
  • Pleasure (getting something they want or losing something they don’t)

In fact, any action that an employee takes is led by one of these two factors: what would I gain/lose now or in the future.

One summit participant, Tony Wong, who implements a rewards system only pondered if a penalty system was necessary. Vimicoach David pointed out that just like carrot and stick, reward and punishment should go hand-in-hand. Whether to enforce a penalty system depends on company culture and the consequences of the mistakes.

Unlike our predecessors, today’s millennial workforce grew up with decent material conditions. They are more driven by emotional fulfillment like job security, recognition, and sense of belonging. In line with this, Patricia shared some budget-friendly yet impactful employee appreciation techniques:

  • Praise publicly
  • Employee-award ceremony during company annual dinner
  • Leverage VIMGO diamond to apply leave
  • Display Best Employee certificates and photos for everyone to see, even customers


Vimicoach Shirley shared a real case study. Through lunch challenges, a company in China used chips and blind boxes to boost team spirit. It was cost-effective and the video footage can even be used in viral marketing campaigns to help recruitment.

For those on board with VIMIGO, the summit was a chance to reflect and review their progress. Based on how goals are set, VIMIGO users can be categorized using this framework:

  • Level 1: based on tasks completed. Employees merely follow instructions
  • Level 2: based on performance. Employees know how-and-what to do
  • Level 3: based on performance and engagement. Employees leading the team to achieve goals

Most business owners starting with VIMIGO begin at Level 1, focusing on setting clear job scopes and establishing SOPs. Once the foundation is solid, they move up to Level 2 and 3, truly tapping into the power of the performance rewards system.

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