How to Recruit the Best Employees for Your Restaurant

A group of employees engaged in lively conversation at a restaurant, creating a vibrant and social atmosphere.
Ayseli İzmen
Ayseli İzmen
June 21, 2022

It is probably the dream of every restaurant owner to put together a team, inseparable from family. Restaurant employee management is one thing, but hiring the right employees who are the best fit for your particular business model, concept, and aura comes first. It is the type of industry where staff turnover can be considerably higher and/or seasonal in some cases.

Just remember that this doesn’t have to be your truth. You can follow a restaurant employment model which makes candidates feel that they’ll be valued as an important part of your team rather than being regarded as a disposable workforce to be worked to your benefit.

As a result, if not done wholeheartedly in the beginning, hiring strategies for restaurants and staff management can consume a rather big chunk of your time. Whether you’re working with a recruitment agency or not, as the owner you have the responsibility to pass on the message of what type of personality and experience levels will best suit to be a part of your team.

One thing is for sure; you want balance, harmony, and happy employees, especially in a restaurant business. This is large because people won’t notice an unhappy office clerk who does background work with minimal customer contact.

Your restaurant guests will, however, feel the vibe and harmony among your team and in your restaurant as soon as they step in. An interesting fact is that if there’s a dispute or tension within your team, guests will unconsciously but immediately soak up that energy and start complaining about the service or food. Once one table starts complaining, it goes around like a virus and you find yourself with a restaurant full of complaints when there’s in fact no technical reason for any of it.

Let’s take a look at some helpful recommendations to help you opt for the best-suited team for your restaurant.

The Job Description

The job description of a sous Chef will be different from that of the waiters. It is however the first message you give out to the universe to find and filter the best suitable team members. It’s never a good idea to write short descriptions, you should therefore mention as much as you can including daily routines, working hours, the type of personality who will be a great fit for the frequency of your restaurant, as well as the guest segment you are catering for. Extras that can be mentioned in a restaurant job ad are benefits, and there’ll be an in-depth background and reference check.

The Final Interview

Depending on the impact of the role advertised, it is advised that restaurant owners do the final interview personally or meet with the favorite candidate voted by their managers in person before they start the job, to personally welcome them to the fam. A five-minute welcome and comforting meeting will go a long way if retaining valuable employees for many years are of importance to you.

Creativity and Social Impact

Not applicable at all times or in all restaurants but quite possible to implement is to give a chance to disadvantaged people in your team. Some restaurants have a full team of persons with mild to severe disabilities, others have just the cashier in a wheelchair. In some countries, hiring persons with a disability or individuals from a disadvantaged group may even result in extra tax benefits or subsidies for your business.

It is for sure an added value for your restaurant to shine while presenting a wonderful best practice to competitors and an extra reason for guests to choose your burger over next door.

If you are able to create direct social impact without spending time and other resources on a CSR project, why not choose the path less traveled?

The Happiness Index

Restaurants have a fast-paced and highly physical environment to work in. It is common to see stressed-out Chefs, head waiters, and managers keep changing jobs until they find their place. As an extremely energy-consuming line of work, restaurant staff usually burn out faster than those who work in other industries.

As a result of people’s search for happiness and harmony along with a great career opportunity, you may attract amazing talent and dedicated team members if they get the right vibe from your restaurant. Remember that people always have a choice in life.

It is therefore to your advantage to check the happiness index of your team from time to time. See if they are satisfied or not, and get them to talk during staff meetings where they feel free and heard to raise any concerns or suggestions for improvement. Listen to what they have to say. This way, you can attract and keep top talent and dedicated employees.

Support Your Restaurant Staff with Tech

To find and keep great team members, you’ve also got to support them. If there’s any way that can make life easier in any area of your operations, it is your duty as a restaurant owner to at least consider these options.

You may not be able to afford the latest dough mixer every six months. Still, you can make life much easier and more organized for employees by implementing a restaurant management software or system.

FineDine is a great example of an end-to-end restaurant management system that integrates digital menus, QR menus, online orders, table orders, digital payments & checkouts in the same place so everything stays in control. Don’t forget that you have to research the new assisting technologies to prove to your staff that you care.