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Restaurant hiring guide for the busy Restaurateur

In this restaurant hiring guide, we will help you determine the best qualities and traits for the right positions at your restaurant.

When running a restaurant you know the importance of hiring right. With the right staff, you can create an experience for your customers that builds loyalty and trust.

The wrong customer interactions can have a negative effect on your restaurant despite having great food, especially if they leave a bad review.

All employees at your restaurant can help contribute to creating a great experience for your customers.

Hiring the right people for your restaurant can be tough and an even tougher challenge to find the right employees that stay around in a high turnover industry.

Restaurant Hiring
Restaurant Hiring

3 steps to a better restaurant hiring process

  1. Helping job searchers know your restaurant is a great place to work

  2. Attracting the right employees with quality job postings

  3. A hiring process that limits turnover

Helping job searchers know why your restaurant is a great place to work

Technology has improved how restaurants hire and recruit. Technology can also make it easier for your next employees to find out what positions you're hiring for and exactly what you're looking for before even applying.

Your website as a starting point

Your website is a great first starting point to let people know that you're hiring and for what positions. It's also a great way for your future employees to get to know more about your restaurant and that you care about your customers.

What should your restaurant website include?

  • Contact information is always important

  • A current menu that’s easy to navigate

  • Images of your food

  • Images of your restaurants front and backend

  • Online ordering and reservations

  • Ensure your website and restaurant theme match

  • Responsive layout with a focus on user experience

  • An about section to learn about your story

  • Calendar listing all upcoming events

  • Links to social media and review sites

If your website offers online ordering and reservations, this shows prospective employees that your company is modern and has the tools needed to take care of their customers.

If your website is outdated and reflects the restaurant poorly, you're probably not going to get a lot of customers or applicants.

Your website is also a great way to post information related to the positions you're hiring for. This can help candidates know that you are the right fit for them as well.

  • Job descriptions and expectations

  • What’s it like to work at your restaurant

  • Benefits, wages, and incentives

  • Employee perks

Social Media

Social media is a great way to share news about your restaurant, updates, and specials. It’s also a powerful way to let people know that you're hiring and how to get in touch with you.

  • Posts can be shared with friends and family looking for a job

  • Easily get in front of a large audience

  • Improves your social media presence and engagement

“73% of millennials found their last job through social media.” (Capterra)

“79% of job applicants use social media in their job search.” (Glassdoor)

“80% of employers say social recruiting helps them find passive candidates.” (Betterteam)

Recruitment sites

Recruitment sites are also another great way to find employees who are actively seeking employment.

Here is a list of some popular recruitment sites you can check out.

American Culinary Federation is also a great networking opportunity to get in touch with new and graduating students who are ready to work.

Attracting the right employees with quality job postings

Hiring quality versus quantity is a struggle that managers face in all industries. When you post a job you might feel like you want to interview as many applicants as possible to find the right next hire.

This process can be timely and tedious and can oftentimes lead to making a quick hiring decision without reviewing all the qualified candidates.

When looking to hire your next employee you must spend the required time finding the right candidate to avoid a potential loss for your restaurant.

Studies show that the cost of employee turnover can be staggering which is why hiring is one of the most important decisions you will make.

Take a look at these quick ideas to help improve your turnover and hiring:

  • Whenever possible, conduct exit interviews

  • Analyze management

  • Recognize top employees

  • When it comes to pay, do your research

  • Be conscious of hours

  • Offer development opportunities

  • Know your numbers

Take a look at your job listing to make sure it’s detailed enough to help candidates know if they are the right fit for the position. This alone can weed out quite a lot of potentially unqualified candidates alone.

Does the description of the job explain the day-to-day activities and primary responsibilities?

Do you list the type of qualifications you are looking for or the level of experience?

It’s also important to include a section about your company culture to let candidates know what they can expect outside their typical day-to-day routines.

Attracting quality employees starts with being attracted to your restaurant, culture, and the people they are working for.

Asking the right questions is also important when you are looking to bring on your next hire.

  • “What’s your approach to dealing with a rude customer?”

  • “How long does it take to cook a burger to medium-rare?”

  • “What does great service mean to you?”

Asking questions related to the role you are hiring for can help you get a better understanding of the candidate’s level of experience and if they will be right for the position.

  • Pay attention to tone and mannerisms.

  • Do they seem easy to work with?

  • Are they confident with their answers?

A hiring process that limits turnover

After marketing your restaurant as a great place to work and developing a list of qualified applicants, you can assess and discover the best candidates for the position.

Remember that the goal when making your hiring decision is to avoid turnover.

Interviews are crucial when hiring restaurant employees

A qualified candidate with a long list of skills does not necessarily mean that they'll be friendly, outgoing, or a great host.

You may find that a candidate with a great attitude and a go-getter mentality would be perfect as your next bartender.

You never know if someone is actually a good fit for the position until you meet them and might find that they are better suited for a position they may not have applied for.

Review your interview process

It's always important to make sure you're asking the right questions for the job. It's normal to ask general questions such as who they are, what motivates them, and why they think they'll be great for the position, but you want to make sure that your questions are relevant to the position you're hiring for.

If you’re hiring a server, ask about multitasking, customer interaction, and menu memorization.

If you’re hiring a chef, ask about preparation, working under pressure, and the importance of food quality.

Another way that you can determine if the candidate would be a great fit for the position would be some light role-playing to see how they would handle certain situations on the spot.

Here are some example questions you can ask to help

  • Tell me about yourself

  • How do you handle difficult customer situations?

  • What do you think about/like about our restaurant?

  • How do you handle making mistakes on the job?

  • What are the most important skills someone in this role should have?

  • When was a time when you went out of your way to delight a guest or co-worker?

Restaurant Hiring Guide Final Thoughts

Your employees are the first thing your customers see and regardless of how great your food is, they can make or break the customer experience.

It's always important to remember to hire for attitude just as much as hiring for skill in the service industry.


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