How Can You Hire and Recruit Restaurant Staff

It’s no surprise that the hiring and recruiting, specifically in the restaurant industry is tough and time consuming. Even more so now, with government assistance and the apprehension of possibly contracting a virus. The general public is asking themselves if it’s worth it to return or enter the industry. The question remains: How can you hire and recruit restaurant staff.

Match Your Mindset to The Talent You Want

Likely, if you’ve held onto to your restaurant amidst COVID-19, that says a lot about your establishment. All good things. Also likely is how your mindset has shifted. Hopefully the shift was in the positive direction. With so much unknown and the rules and regulations out there, it does not allot for full-capacity dining, and you must keep a positive mindset. You’ve heard the saying before, “you are who you attract,” This is why mindset in the restaurant industry is everything. You want talented and positive employees, you need to possess leadership and have a positive mindset. If you don’t care, why would they, right?

Train Yourself and Train Your Staff

If you’re going to talk-the-talk, you need to walk-the-walk. To each their own. However, in an already fragile economy, if you are needing talented employees to get ahead of your competition and survive and thrive, you need to show your staff you care. A great way to show that you care about them and the industry is to know what you are talking about and present yourself to your staff with confidence and know-how.

Take the time and put in the effort to know your way around the kitchen, dining-room, and office. Take the time to learn what works best and what needs improvement and more importantly, learn your staff. It’s recommended to be skilled in being able to both run a kitchen and people. Train yourself in those departments. Read cook books, sign-up for conferences and learn about the trade. Anything you can learn or teach yourself will only be a benefit to you and your business.

Something to consider: Be the best version of yourself first and then attract top talent. No one likes to work for and with a bureaucratic leader.

Confidence Leads to Success and Success Leads to Happiness

Provide your staff with the confidence they need to be successful. Successful employees are happy and happy employees stay. Proper training no matter the skill-set of a restaurant employee is beneficial. A top-chef may be a top-chef in Colorado, but when they come to L.A. may have no idea what they are doing. That’s because even though many techniques are similar, a restaurants culture and management is never one-in-the-same, and so it’s a good rule-of-thumb to provide a two-week on-boarding regimen.

Train and train some more. There is always something more to learn not only in the restaurant industry, but in all industries. Granted, it’s difficult to motivate everyone on the team, but training your staff ensures they know what they are doing when it comes time to start their shift. Think also about the headache that goes away by knowing you provided proper and effective training. You don’t need to babysit while trying to run a restaurant.

Your duty as a leader is to start a fire within the people on your team. Then every day fan and fuel that fire until it takes off.

Never Stop Your Recruiting Efforts

You must always be on the lookout for talent. No matter how solid you think your team is, life happens. When life happens, be ready. With this, you will want to always keep your hiring efforts going to attract talent. If you only hire once a year, that may be why you are only able to market to fewer people and why your efforts yield less than mediocre staff. The restaurant industry is different in that it is always moving and talent good or bad is always coming and going. The trick is attracting good talent and getting them to stay.

If you truly want to know how you can hire and recruit restaurant staff, include training in the hiring process.

Keep The Talent Door Open

Look for talent all-year-round and not just when you need a position filled. If you find yourself putting a ridiculous amount of time in finding help, you are likely practicing a hiring policy that needs much improvement. Not only is hiring only on a need-be basis really tough, but the process doesn’t allot for an appropriate decision. You are in a bind. You need help fast. Because of this, you may let somethings slide and you may allow things you normally wouldn’t and worse, accept less than okay assistance. By marketing to talent all-year-round you at least open yourself up to instances where you get an amazing chef to replace your rushed chef that you hired quickly at the beginning of the year.

Your restaurant is your sports car and how you take care of it and what you put into it to allow it to run top-notch will reflect immediately onto you. Even if you do not have positions open, this could change quickly. An employee could get sick. Your chef may quit, and your manager may contract the stomach bug. Whatever it may be, it’s always a good idea to have a good pool to grab from in case there is an instance.

Opportunities to Move Up

Moreover, if you want to know how you can hire and recruit restaurant staff, offer opportunities to move up. The average person who works needs to feel as if they have a purpose when they go to work. Part of this means giving them responsibilities that allow them to feel their particular role matters. Another way is to offer them the chance to become better in their role and get promoted.

If you’re like me, you’ve been in the restaurant world before and you had to start somewhere, right. Starting out as a dishwasher was great, because you had a job, but after a few months, you wanted to become a sous chef or pizza prep cook. The majority of entry-level people who enter the restaurant industry stay because they’ve moved through the motions and positions and are happy that they’ve gone so far.

The question of how you can hire and recruit restaurant staff is always going to be evolving. Luckily if you can setup a few policies, your restaurant will be safer, better, and stronger.

Appreciate Your Team

Thank your staff consistently. If you have a revolving door of talent, it’s likely because you haven’t taken the time to appreciate them and show them you appreciate them consistently. A basic human need is to feel appreciated. You wouldn’t go to work if you were treated unkind, so don’t expect the same from your employees. Speaking words of affirmation costs zero dollars and goes a long way. Start thanking your staff more and show gratitude. Start doing more of this and on a consistent basis. Start humanizing your restaurant and learn about your staff. Do all of the above and you’ll have talent knocking on your door. Guaranteed.


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