For most of us, summer, according to the calendar doesn’t begin for another three days. However, for many of the temporary summer help you have hired, haphazardly trained and placed on the dining room floor or behind the saut? station, summer is almost over.
The newbies have tasted the tremendous flavor of summertime cash and although you think their thoughts are on Mr. and Mrs. Corson on house table 23, Brad is really thinking of how many more shifts he will need to work before darting to
Indeed, summer help, or temporary employees often do not have the passion for the people that help pay their hourly wage due to wandering minds and summer filled thoughts. We have all gone through it as summer help employees, now we need to remember that we are going to go through it again, from the other side of the line, and, all of that money we made as youngsters we may be losing, because of them, during the dog days of summer.
I am not saying that summer employees equal the plague. But I am saying that they need special attention and training if they are going to continuosly rise to the standards you have set for your full time employees.
It is only human nature – teen age human nature- to be thinking about life after the work months of summer. And, it is apparent in numerous eateries around the country that the summer help invasion has begun.
Last week alone, in
And, I am sure that if we all searched our dining rooms it would be obvious that service, although possibly a bit friendlier and more chipper, had fallen a few notches on the oh so professional bar.
As owners we have a few options in the way we deal with the summer help situation. We can overstaff the dining room so the sections are smaller, thereby not overloading someone new to the organization.
We can train more proficiently and continue to train as the months progress. This will take some help from the tenured employees who will need to watch out for the newer waiters and bussers. Or, we can completely ignore what is happening to our regular customers, live with the temporary inefficiency and wonder why, in the fall, fewer regulars are showing up.
The choice is ours to make. And, hard as we might think we have offered sufficient training we have to remember that the temporary server of today has much less dining experience as the server of last summer or even the summer before.
And finally, one of the most grave mistakes an owner or manager can make is to think, for a nano second the new server has the common sense to do the things that come naturally to the seasoned professional. Remember, their eyes are not on the floor, or the wall, or the dirty table in front of the window. Their vision is on the bathing beauty beaches of the Bermuda, the
We need to teach, instruct, guide, point out, remind, and assist every new hire each day they show up for work. And, if you do your job well, and instruct your managers, shift supervisors and seasoned waiters, bussers, cooks and dishwashers that a new, novice crew is showing up, the task that lies ahead will not seem like a culinary summer camp, but more of an institution of higher, culinary learning.
Well, at least an institution of common sense learning.
Good luck, and by the way, there’s a napkin on the floor in Buffy’s station.