The food service industry is almost wholly dependent on human capital. Right from the preparation of food to serving it, your restaurant’s employees are your biggest assets. However, restaurant staffing, that is, hiring and retaining talent remains one of the biggest challenges of running a restaurant. These are the current trends in the hiring practices of the industry.
As a bonus find out how to create a Human Resource structure for your restaurant here.
High competition, low pay, and severe work conditions all contribute towards the high attrition rate in the industry. However, as any successful restaurant owner would tell you, a great restaurant team leads to great customer service. This makes restaurant staff hiring an even more important task. Restaurant staff is the extension of a restaurant brand. Therefore it is important to put in efforts and focus on hiring the right people for your restaurant and then training them well.
This article will serve as your ‘Restaurant Staffing Guide,’ and tell you how to source and hire employees for your restaurant.
Restaurant Staffing 101: How To Staff A Restaurant
There are different channels that you can use to staff your restaurant. Each has different costs, pros and cons involved. Various methods of restaurant staffing are:-
- Hiring through the word of mouth
- Hiring through newspaper ads
- Hiring through social media
- Hiring through referrals
- Hiring through job portals
- Hiring through consultants
Here we have explained in detail how to staff a restaurant through these channels.
1. Hiring Through The Word Of Mouth
The traditional method of restaurant staffing has been through word of mouth. This is especially true in the case of junior employees. In this method of restaurant staff hiring, chefs or other restaurant employees recommend their friends and colleagues with whom they have previously worked. Restaurateurs can also spread the word about the respective openings at their restaurants among their employees and acquaintances.
2. Hiring Through Classified Newspaper Ads
Next channel of hiring on this ‘Restaurant Staffing Guide’ is running classified newspaper ads. Running classified advertisements in newspapers is one of the most effective ways of restaurant staffing. Classified ads work wonders, even for hiring lower level staff such as housekeeping. It is cost effective and also targets the masses. It is important to keep the target audience in mind while sending out an ad. For example, an advertisement in Hindi newspapers is more likely to generate a response, than that in English newspapers. A small 30X40 classified ad may not cost more Rs 4,000 in leading Hindi newspapers.
3. Hiring Through Ads And Posts On Social Media
Social media has emerged as one the most successful ways of reaching out to the masses and has proven to be successful in restaurant staffing. Facebook especially has completed its digital penetration among people of all age group and profiles. There are many thriving communities and groups on Facebook where people of similar interests interact with other. A lot of consultants and restaurant owners are now using these restaurant industries specific groups and pages as a tool to hire employees. It is also easier to recommend and share job vacancies with relevant people.
4. Hiring Through Referrals & Notice Board Bulletin
According to an HR Professional of Lazeez Affair Group, Notice Board bulletins work best. This method of restaurant staffing has worked very well for Lazeez Affair, which employs 150-200 employees. Employees within the same organization often refer their friends and family members as well. Referred candidates usually turn out to be more trustworthy and a better fit than the ones who apply directly. Doing a background check is also important, which can be done easily in case of referral candidates.
It is advisable to run a referral scheme if you have a small outlet. You can pay a commission of Rs 500 or Rs 1000 as an incentive for each hired referral, depending upon the position.
5. Hiring Through Job Portals
There are various portals like Naukri.com, Shine and Times Jobs.com, etc. which can help you in the restaurant staffing. Posting jobs on these websites don’t cost you much. To search their database of the employees, post jobs, and send 1500 emails to the target candidates, it will cost you around Rs 6,000. Then, you need to fill the necessary details related to the job such as position, job description, salary bracket, etc. This makes restaurant staff hiring relatively easy. However, these portals can only help you get the top grade employees like Managers, Accountants, Executive and Sous Chef.
6. Hiring Through Restaurant Recruitment Consultants
Going to recruitment agencies or consultants is usually considered as the final resort for restaurant owners for restaurant staffing. If all fails, you can easily hire a human resource for your restaurant through these. The agency shortlists the candidates, and you can choose the ones suiting your requirements. The consultants also guarantee that the hired employee would work for more than six months once recruited by the restaurant. If they move before the designated time, the agency provides a replacement. However, hiring through recruitment agencies can be expensive as they charge a month’s salary of the hired employee. For example, if you hire one Commi -1 level staff, having a salary of Rs 15,000, then the consultant/agency would charge Rs 15,000 as their fee.
Restaurant staffing is not a cakewalk. Finding employees who are just the right fit for your restaurant in terms of skill and behavior, is a difficult task indeed. Much thought should go into hiring new people, as your employees are the ones who build your brand. It is also far less cheap to retain an old employee than to hire a new one. Find out how to keep your restaurant staff and motivated here.