If you’re a restaurant owner, finding the right employees might be one of the biggest challenges you face. It’s not enough to have a great menu, a great wine list or a great location. You also need to recruit top-notch people you can trust to do the best job possible.
Unfortunately, many restaurants fail because they don’t know how to hire the right people or where to find them. Since we specialize in restaurant recruitment strategies at Talroo, we’ve written a comprehensive guide on this topic.
In this article, we’re going to give you an easy step-by-step recruitment plan and show you how to find the best employees for your restaurant.
1. When to Start Recruiting for Your Restaurant Business
Whether you’re planning to start a new restaurant, grow an existing one or just open a new location, it’s critical to think about how you want to grow your business. The first step of the restaurant recruitment process is hiring the correct number of employees needed to start your business.
Get this number by dividing the total square footage of your restaurant by the number of tables you plan to have. For example, if you want to open a 4,000 square-foot restaurant with a 5- person dining team, you need to recruit 4 employees. If you’re opening a new restaurant concept, you’d divide the number of square feet by the number of seats.
You may want to consider looking for employees even if your restaurant is not going to open for a couple of months. If your business is seasonal, hire early to ensure that your restaurant is ready for the high season.
If you’re not satisfied with the quality your staff provides, it’s time to expand your staff to better manage the workload. You could be missing out on several potential customers because your restaurant isn’t offering a great dining experience.
2. How to Attract Quality Candidates for Your Restaurant
Once you know the approximate number of employees you need to hire, it’s time to find them. Your staff will depend on your needs, including size and service style. Consult with your restaurant’s management to figure out how to improve customer experience.
Your culture and brand identity will influence how you recruit for your restaurant. For example, new restaurant concepts and existing restaurants don’t need the same type of staff.
If your restaurant focuses on healthy eating, specialized chefs are key. If you’re planning to open a restaurant with casual service, you need to hire people who can take care of customers and serve them quickly. Advertise for workers who are comfortable with the restaurant’s dress code and culture.
Ultimately, being very specific when describing your restaurant’s culture and brand identity is key to attracting quality candidates. A potential candidate needs to understand the company values. Later, we will discuss how to write compelling job ads to help find employees that best fit your company.
3. Where to Hire Restaurant Staff
There are several places where you can find candidates. Each of these channels has different advantages and costs involved. The first place to look for restaurant staff is locally. For example, you could recruit by running newspaper ads or post on bulletin boards.
You can also find restaurant staff by networking at food festivals and events, or your local professional organizations.
If you’re not finding the right people in your area, consider recruiting online. Online restaurant recruitment is not only one of the restaurant recruiting trends, but one of the best recruiting tools.
Online recruiting is a great way to find employees. You can also use online platforms to recruit staff from across the country by posting on websites like online job boards.
Hiring via Social Media
Social media has proven to be a successful way of reaching out to candidates when it comes to restaurant staffing. You can use it to your advantage by joining social media groups and communities in the restaurant business. This allows you to connect with those who may be interested in working for you.
For younger staff, look for candidates who are more likely to use Instagram and TikTok. Remember, online groups and pages are a good way to connect with people who share your passions and create a relevant community around your restaurant business. It is an effective way to get recommendations, share job ads and find people who fit your needs.
Consider hiring online from companies that specialize in recruiting restaurant staff. For example, if you’re looking for chefs, you could search for recruiting companies that specialize in hiring chefs. If you’re looking for restaurant managers, you could search for recruiting companies that specialize in hiring restaurant managers. These companies specialize in finding staff for restaurants and usually have a database of people who are looking for a job.
Hiring via Referral
You can also recruit through friends and family. Ask for referrals from friends and family who are currently working at your restaurant. If you are just about to start your business, you may be able to get good employees by hiring people you know. Working with close friends and relatives has its pros and cons, but you may get significant support from hiring capable, motivated and reliable people you trust.
4. How to Optimize Your Job Ad for Restaurant Recruitment
If you want to attract quality restaurant employees, you need to know how to stand out from the competition. If you’re not offering anything special to attract employees, you’re going to have a hard time finding quality candidates.
The first step to attracting quality employees is to create a compelling job ad and be able to effectively communicate what you’re looking for.
To start, write a job ad that’s clear and concise. You don’t want to miss out on a good candidate because your job ad is too long or too vague. You should also make sure that you’re targeting the right location for your job ad.
If you’re recruiting for a specific position, the ad should clearly state the qualifications and job responsibilities. Include the characteristics and qualities you’re looking for, along with the must-have qualifications.
The title you choose for your job posting is just as important as the job description itself. Choose a title that’s relevant to your job, as it will attract the right people and make the job seeker want to read more about the role. Then, highlight the unique benefits and perks you offer, along with an overview of your company. Communicate your restaurant culture and values.
Finally, make sure your job ad is easily searchable by potential candidates. You can do this by using words and terms job seekers may use and can identify with. Stick with expressions that are common to the restaurant industry and use keywords related to the position itself. Over time, keep improving your job ads with better headlines, job titles and more compelling descriptions.
5. How to Choose Your Staff
If you’re hiring for a specific position, you may want to go through a series of interviews to make sure you find the best person for the job. The purpose of the interview is to get to know the candidate and determine whether they’re a good fit for the position. If you’re looking for a specific type of person, you may want to pre-screen to narrow down the number people you interview.
Remember to be clear about what you’re looking for in a candidate. You shouldn’t just ask people to come in for an interview if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Ask yourself some questions to help you understand what you need in an employee. Then, write down a list of questions to ask in the interview.
Make sure to hire people who are passionate about what they do. You can’t expect your employees to have that spark if they don’t find some degree of job satisfaction. When you’re hiring, look for people who share your business values.
If your restaurant is focused on healthy eating, look for candidates who are willing to work hard and follow the restaurant’s nutrition guidelines. Hire candidates who are interested in your restaurant’s mission and culture.
Look for people who are eager to work and learn. This may be the most important characteristic of all when it comes to looking for candidates. It’s good practice to look for people with a positive attitude who want to grow and get better at what they do.
Ultimately, the best candidates are the ones who have the right personal qualities for the job, regardless of titles and qualifications. People who have great attitudes and are self-motivated can receive training; it’s more difficult to train highly skilled people who lack these traits.
6. How to Onboard Your Newest Recruit
When you build your restaurant recruitment plan for new employees, it’s also important to create a clear onboarding process. This process will help you manage training and ensure that your new employees can meet your restaurant’s expectations.
Onboarding involves getting employees familiar with your restaurant procedures and helping them to adjust to the team workflow. The objective of having a good onboarding process is to give them a thorough understanding of the company’s culture and procedures.
If you’re hiring a chef, make sure that your new chef understands the menu you’re serving. This is important because they will be responsible for creating new menu items for your restaurant. If you’re hiring a general manager, they should understand the menu, the restaurant’s operating procedures and the company goals.
Your onboarding process should focus on an initial orientation and practice to make sure your new team member can hit the ground running. Give employees the training they need to ensure they’re meeting your restaurant’s quality standards. Clearly explain your restaurant’s policies and procedures with checklists, while also communicating your restaurant’s guidelines and best practices. Provide further hands-on training and mentorship opportunities. Finally, always provide constructive feedback and allow your new talent room for improvements. This sets them up, and ultimately your business, for success.