3 Mistakes Most Restaurant Managers Make When Hiring Employees

Are you a restaurant manager who’s been hosting interviews only to find that every lead fizzles out?

There are many reasons an eager hospitality worker may turn away a promising prospect in a time of need, and all of them should be a top priority for any hiring restaurant manager.

Common reasons hiring managers fail when hiring.

While you may get that initial hire, the truth is, they won’t last long, nor will they be the right fit, if you don’t have these fundamental contributions in order:

  • Clear job description
  • Strong employee benefits program
  • Comprehensive onboarding systems.

1 – They didn’t ace the job description.

To lock in your dream hire, you have to market for the employee you want. Targeting people who will be the right fit for your establishment and position is key. Compatibility comes only with clarity; if candidates can’t imagine themselves working within the role because the description isn’t clear, they’ll likely move on to something more secure. That is why locking in an excellent server job description is paramount.

Defining expectations will also ensure that new employees don’t run into any surprises with their responsibilities. Transparency right off the bat will help filter out deal breakers before training resources and time are wasted.

An organized chart of duties (serving, bussing, mixology, etc.), roles, and success criteria will hold everyone accountable, ensuring that needs are being met and reciprocated.

Other elements to include in the job description might be:

  • Culture (values, vibe, reputation)
  • Necessary qualifications/experience (ie, SmartServe)
  • Clientele base (pub, fine dining, etc.)
  • Software used (i.e.: POS systems)
  • Hours (full time/part time, mornings/nights)
  • Training/interview process (duration, pay, second interview, trial shifts, etc.)
  • And next steps (date and initiate to follow up).

Finally, ensure compatibility goes both ways by being as detailed and upfront as possible and allowing for any questions on their end.

2 – They don’t offer an employee benefits program.

These days, people need security. FOH staff do so much for the restaurant; the least managers can do is offer a great employee benefits program. Restaurants have a high turnover; workers feel deeply undervalued. This turnover costs in training and rehiring time.

If you invest in them, they’ll invest in you.

Incentives make workers more devoted and efficient. Some benefits could include:

  • Medical coverage
  • Dental coverage
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement Savings
  • Fitness/Hobby memberships
  • Employment Insurance
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Health insurance
  • House cleaning
  • Vacations
  • Personal wellness programs
  • Bonuses, etc.

The more healthy, secure, and stable your employees are as individuals, the more reliable and helpful they’ll be.

There are plenty of great employees and almost as many great companies offering solid incentives. If you aren’t putting up a comparable offer and proposing a symbiotic relationship, the good quality employees will go elsewhere, leaving you with poor fits. So ask yourself, is the grass greener?

3 – They don’t have good restaurant onboarding systems.

Orientation and integration can be nerve-wracking enough – but if operations aren’t in place to make this process seamless and smooth, it can be downright jarring.

To prevent your new hires from motoring out of there like a dust-clouded cartoon, optimize your organizational skills and leverage the tools and software you need as a hiring restaurant manager.

This means doing diligence with:

  • Interview follow-up scheduling
  • Streamlined employee file (they’re a person, not a number!)
  • Asking them how they prefer to learn
  • Providing a personality and aptitude test so you can get to know their individualized traits and needs
  • Assigning a proficient training buddy
  • Providing logistics (security codes, keys, uniform, employee ID, etc.)
  • Noting their milestones (birthdays, 3-month mark, etc.) to the team
  • Noting accomplishments/improvements to them
  • Make tickets with due date reminders/alarms for goals and tasks that must be completed for both you and the new hire.
  • Check in regularly for feedback
  • Providing software training
  • Providing them with a rough timeline for goal-meeting expectations.

Restaurants without great restaurant hiring and onboarding systems often lose their new hires quickly. Quite commonly, they are also overwhelmed and confused by unfamiliar processes. Businesses might even lose older employees who weren’t initially set up for success in their positions. Poor systems and onboarding impact everyone.

Easing the transition can look like an orientation video, tour, exchange of expectations, practice tests and exercises, team bonding events, shadowing, daily check-ins, etc. They must be introduced to their role and colleagues slowly and gently. Employee referrals (along with referral incentives) are a great way to attract dependable people similar to the ones you already have, who will already know a familiar face in the building.

A great way to retain employees is to provide them with comprehensive onboarding and training while doing regular follow-ups of goals on both ends.

How can technology help with restaurant hiring?

Using restaurant hiring and onboarding software to help you organize your thoughts and goals surrounding recruitment and training is a helpful strategy.

Some programs will even help guide your hire through a self-onboarding process.

They can also help sort through resumes based on criteria, schedule meetings, and highlight focal points.

Some software can even centralize employee referral suggestions while suggesting interview questions and sorting the answers.

Using the software, you can set goals and compare performance against individualized rubrics, so performance can be clearly visualized. There are so many functions that can be delegated to the software, so you can focus on getting to know your new hire and tuning into their needs.

We hope this article helped outline some common mistakes that managers make when looking to hire at their restaurant, happy hiring!

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