Hiring is an essential part of any business, especially in the food service industry. Most successful restaurants often credit their staff for their success, and rightly so. Your staff at your restaurant are your greatest assets. After all, they’re the ones directly dealing and interacting with customers. Right from cooking up the best of dishes to catering to diners and offering exceptional service, the restaurant staff is the one doing it all.

However, the hospitality industry is infamous for its staffing challenges and high turnover rates. Even if one does manage to hire exceptional candidates, retaining those candidates over time proves to be a challenge. This is why it’s crucial to put in a little more thought and effort when hiring for your restaurant. In this article, we’ll be exploring the different ways in which you can successfully hire the right staff, retain them, and ultimately, build a dedicated team of employees.

Find Out Your Requirements

First and foremost, it’s essential to know which roles and positions you’re hiring for. While the exact requirements may vary from restaurant to restaurant, the basic ones that remain common to most establishments are servers, cooks, hosts, kitchen staff, and dishwashers, and managers. If you have a bar, you’ll also need to hire a mixologist or bartender. Once you’ve determined the roles, the next step is to know how many of each you need. For instance, how many servers do you think you’ll need to ensure there are comfortable waiting times at your restaurant.

Let The Word Out

Now it’s time to let everyone know you’re hiring. You can publish job openings on social media platforms, online job portals, put out classified newspaper ads, or simply hire through word-of-mouth and referrals. Usually, hiring is done by the restaurant manager or the owner, but, often burdened with a ton of other tasks and responsibilities, they may not have the time to look into hiring. In this case, you can choose to work with an external recruiter that can take care of your hiring needs from end to end.

Process Applications & Conduct Interviews

If you’re lucky, you’re likely to receive a decent number of applications to process. Take your time to browse through, study carefully, and consider each applicant. Once you have shortlisted a certain number of candidates, the next step is to invite them over for the interview process. It’s recommended for you to personally interview the candidates as this will help you get to know and observe them closely. At the interviews, ask relevant questions pertaining to the job, and don’t hesitate to paint a clear picture of what the job is going to look like. Both parties should be on the same page concerning the job requirements. Observe their attitude and demeanor while answering the questions. If you find someone whose thought process aligns with yours, you’re likely to have found your perfect candidate.

Onboarding And Training

Proper onboarding and training programs are super important! Investing in the training of new hires, especially industry freshers, helps them to gain an understanding of the work and learn the ropes quickly. Training also enables new employees to experience better job satisfaction and engagement, resulting in low attrition rates. So if you wish to retain employees for longer, go ahead and invest some time and resources in their training and development.

Monitor Performance And Keep An Eye Out

The hiring process doesn’t stop at the training. Even after you’ve on-boarded and trained employees, a good manager must closely observe their performance and know if they’re working well. At the same time, you must keep in mind that employees should be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.

If attrition rates are high at your restaurant, you’ll want to keep an eye out and identify its reason. Developing a good rapport with the staff, valuing them, allowing flexibility, and offering good incentives and perks can enable them to be happier at work and stay with your restaurant for longer.

The Bottom Line

That sums up the basics of Hiring 101 for your restaurant. Hiring staff for a restaurant may seem easy, but it, unfortunately, isn’t. You obviously want people who have the right skills along with the right attitude and behavior. This ensures they’re skilled at their jobs and also a good fit for your restaurant. Remember, the success of your restaurant is closely dependent on your staff. So you want to give all your time and attention to this process. Not only will it result in successful hires but also enable more productivity at work.

If you’re looking to hire for busier seasons, then it’s advisable to start hiring early. In this way, you’ll stay ahead of the competition as well as have your employees trained and ready for the busy times that lie ahead.

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