There aren’t many industries in which hiring the perfect staff is more critical to a company’s success than the restaurant industry. From the shift leads and cooks to the cashiers, every restaurant employee has a direct connection to the customers and therefore a tremendous impact on how those customers view your business.
Unfortunately, hiring the perfect restaurant staff is complicated. It’s not always easy to know just how qualified someone is to represent your business until they’ve proven otherwise. Fortunately, you don’t need to learn the hard way.
The following guide will help you be better equipped to overcome the restaurant staffing shortage and make the right hires.
What to do before hiring restaurant staff
Employing the perfect restaurant staff starts well before you accept any applications. Getting prepared ahead of time ensures a smooth process, from posting job openings and accepting applications to interviews and onboarding. Here’s how to prepare before you hire anyone.
Know what kind of restaurant staff you want
Getting a good feel for what makes a great hire for your restaurant will take a bit of trial and error. If you don’t have a lot of experience in hiring restaurant staff, think about what the ideal employee might look like to you.
- What types of restaurant staff do you need the most right now?
- What kind of experience do you expect from a new hire?
- What do your sales per labor hour numbers tell you about the value of seeking new hires in the first place?
The answers to these questions will help guide you toward the next steps in the process.
Write a great restaurant job description
Receiving a ton of applications from unqualified candidates is a total waste of time and resources. Get ahead of the problem by creating clear, concise and highly specific restaurant job descriptions.
Outline the job requirements and duties of the potential hire and include the exact job title. You’ll also want to describe your business and its goals to give applicants an idea of your brand.
Have good systems in place to make onboarding easier
Properly onboarding new employees is critical to maintaining engagement and retaining talented workers. Boost your onboarding process by creating a great hiring system that not only trains but also gets your new hire excited to join your team.
How to find and manage restaurant staff applicants
There is an endless number of avenues to pursue for anyone interested in hiring restaurant staff. This is of course a good thing, but it can also be fairly overwhelming. Don’t let all the options get in the way of finding the perfect restaurant staff. You just need to take some time to find which methods work best for you.
Where to post restaurant job openings
The internet is your friend when it comes to hiring restaurant staff but it’s not without its pitfalls. Start with a reputable service like Homebase where you can create a job description and share it across popular sites like Indeed and Craigslist with just a few clicks.
There are also restaurant-specific job listing sites like Good Food Jobs or hit up your local job boards.
Sometimes your best bet for finding good hires is by tapping your current network. If you’ve got a truly reliable employee with experience in the business, they may very well know another experienced, reliable restaurant worker who’s looking for a job. If you know other people in your industry, they may be the perfect resource for seeking out great employees.
Consider offering a hiring bonus
Some restaurants are having great success offering hiring bonuses. It certainly gets applicants’ attention and creates more demand for your position. However, there are drawbacks when it comes to the quality of applicants and general morale for your existing team.
How to hire restaurant staff
If you’ve followed the above restaurant staffing tips, you should have a number of applicants waiting to hear from you. But that’s only the beginning of this journey. Now it’s time to find out who’s best qualified to become a reliable member of your restaurant staff.
What to look for in restaurant staff
You may know what you want out of your restaurant staff, but you can’t necessarily know whether an applicant has it by simply reading their resume.
When you speak with a potential hire, you should look for a solid knowledge of the industry, some sort of experience that translates to the position and, perhaps most importantly, the presence of good communication and interpersonal skills.
Questions to ask
You’re a restaurant owner, not an investigative journalist, so you may not realize that the questions you’re asking potential hires are not going to get you the answers you’re looking for.
For this reason, it’s important to really consider what you want to hear from an applicant so you can better understand how you might get those answers in an interview.
The basic questions you’ll want to ask include:
- Have you worked in a restaurant before?
- What was your role in previous positions?
- If you haven’t worked in a restaurant, have you worked in customer service?
Of course, you’ll want to cover these basics regarding their qualifications, but you should also ask them questions about themselves, their motivation for applying, and how they might handle certain scenarios.
- How do you perform under pressure?
- Have you ever had to multitask, and how did you handle it?
- Why do you want to work in a restaurant?
When you combine basic questions with these deeper inquiries, you’ll get a combination of practical feedback and answers that tell you more about a candidate’s temperament.
What you can do
Great employees aren’t born that way. Many people can learn all of the things required to be a positive contributor at their place of work, and that learning should at least in some part come from you. Offering training, exercising empathy and building a strong restaurant community can go a long way toward creating the ideal restaurant staff.
Table Needs POS makes onboarding easy!
Creating a great restaurant staffing plan can be difficult, but Table Needs can help. Our POS system is super intuitive and easy to use, and our customer service is always available to answer staff questions and provide extra training.
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