When I received the email from the owner who was having problems hiring qualified servers I began trembling with flash backs of days past. Only for me, it wasn’t just servers that concerned me. I had problems hiring servers, kitchen help and management.
But guess what? Everyone does. Staffing is the primary obstacle is the road to making money and operating a smooth and successful eatery.
The writer claimed that no matter how well his staff interviewed new hires they always left after a few months and the process had to begin again.He as sure, he aid that not evey owner had tis problem. He actually thought he was the only onwer who faced this dilemma and wanted to know the secret. Which I hesitantly shared. There is no secret. If there were, there would be no bad or inconsistent service. All prepared restaurant food would be served in a professional manner and there would be no unhappy customers.
Yet the industry isn’t made that way. As long as people look at the business as a stepping stone to a profession while attending school or working on the next top selling novel, screenplay, song, or invention, difficulties will continue in the hiring department.
A way to change this is for owners and managers to become more professional and structured in their interview process.
Many owners think that skating around rigid hiring practices will lead to a “family-like” staff that will make the customer feel “at home”. If customers wanted to feel like they were “at home” they probably would stay home instead of going out. Still, not all restaurant owners interview, hire, or fire as they would if they worked for or owned a professional corporation. We all tend to loosen the rules of hiring when we need to fill a section with a server or a position on the line in the kitchen. And, when we do this we lower the standards for the other employees and eventually the customers.
When hiring, don’t be afraid of performing an in depth interview with the potential employee. Ask questions that pertain to judgment, professionalism, and past employment history. Don’t hesitate to delve into an applicant’s background when it comes to finding out why they left their last few jobs.
Check references, do background checks and have another person on your staff interview the candidate to get a second opinion on the person’ personality and how they will fit on the team.
It isn’t easy hiring staff. One of the beautiful things about summer – more people are looking for jobs. You can be a little more selective in your hiring process than you could be in the middle of winter with the abundance of college students beating the streets for income.
Most importantly, don’t look at the summer temp as a three month hire. You could be staring your future manager in the eyes and not even know it.