Motivation in Food service – a) Motivational theories; 1. Maslow’s Theory,2. Douglas McGregor – X and Y theory, b. Types of Motivation; Positive (Incentives) Negative (Fear), Extrinsic (Externalmoney, fame) Intrinsic (Internal- praise and recognition)

Food Services Management


A good management will always try to motivate employees and provide a suitable work atmosphere. The productivity of food service operation is directly related to the motivation of the employees.Motivation is derived from the word ‘motive’. Motive is defined as an inner state of individuals’ mind that activates and directs the behaviour. Motivation refers to the way in which drive, aspirations, and strivings are aimed to accomplish some goals

a) Motivational theories

From the time human organizations were established, various thinkers have tried to find out the answer to what motivates people to work. Different approaches applied have resulted in number of theories. But here only two theories namely Maslow’s Theory and Douglas McGregor X and Y theory are explained.

1. Maslow’s Theory

There are five levels of needs which need to be fulfilled and motivated for a successful operation. Abraham Maslow proposed five different kinds of human needs, beginning with the most basic physiological needs, such as food and shelter, and followed by needs related to safety, social needs and higher order needs self esteem and self actualization.

2. Douglas McGregor – X and Y theory

This theory of motivation is based on assumptions about basic human nature. He termed his theories as X theory (Negative/ Pessimistic) and Y theory (Positive / Optimistic). X theory assumes people dislike work, avoid responsibility, have no ambition and excessively secure. Accordingly they must be motivated, controlled and threatened with punishment to make them work. According to Y theory, workers are positive, optimistic, willingly accept responsibility and display creativity and imagination in the work performance. They are self motivated, exercise self direction and self control and are committed to the objectives of the organization.

b. Types of Motivation

If a food service manager wants to get work done from his employees, he may either hold them by promising a reward or may constrain them, by installing fear. Motivation can be classified as

Positive or incentive motivation – is generally based on reward. People work for incentives in the form of the four ‘P’s of motivation: praise, prestige, promotion and pay

Positive motivation includes:

☆Praise and credit for work done

☆A sincere interest in subordinates as individuals.




☆Delegation of responsibility



The receipt of awards, due recognition and praise for work well done definitely leads to good team spirit, co- operation and feeling of happiness.

Negative or fear motivation – is based on force or fear.

Negative motivation has certain limitations and imposition of punishment frequently results in frustration, and leads to negative behaviour.

This includes:




☆Reduction in paid holidays

☆Transfer to inconvenient places


These kinds of motivation may result in lower productivity as it tends to dissipate human assets such as loyalty, cooperation and unity.

Extrinsic motivation is concerned with external factors, which employees enjoy. This includes promotion, status, fringe benefits, retirement plans, health insurance schemes, holidays and vacations.

Intrinsic motivation is concerned with the feeling of having accomplished something worthwhile. This includes praise, responsibility, recognition, esteem, power, status, competition, and participation.

Employees may feel satisfied when they are motivated in the correct way.

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