Complete Staffing Guide to Hire the Best Restaurant Staff in Singapore

Complete Staffing Guide to Hire the Best Restaurant Staff in Singapore

Once you have managed to set up your very own restaurant venture in Singapore, your concern must be to tap all the eligible and qualified restaurant staff in the vicinity who will help you to run your restaurant successfully. However, you must under all circumstances abide by the Singapore Employment Act and have a clear idea of their rights and protection offered to them under various legislations. As a restaurant owner, you should be aware of the multiple factors for hiring the restaurant staff, abiding which you will be able to run your restaurant legally and seamlessly. This article will serve as a complete restaurant staffing guide that will help you in the hiring for your restaurant business.

The main staffing requirements for a restaurant that an employee looks for in Singapore are  

  1. Higher Salary: 75%
  2. Better Benefits: 67%
  3. Career Progression: 67%
  4. Work-Life Balance: 64%
  5. Cultural Fit with the organization: 59%
  6. A company whose values are closer to mine: 37%
  7. Strong Manager: 36%
  8. Better Brand:26%
  9. Better Job Title: 20% 

What You Need to Know for Hiring Restaurant Staff in Singapore

As an employer, unless you can give your restaurant staff the things that they deserve, it will be tough to retain them. Hence, the main things that must be included in your restaurant staffing guide, that will make your hiring and retaining the staff seamless are:

1. Adhere to the Legal Norms

There is a shortage of human resources in Singapore; hence there is stiff competition amongst the restaurants to get the best ones on board. This can be done if you provide your restaurant employees with valuable benefits and abide by the Employment Act.

The Singapore Employment Act is essentially the supreme law of the land that lays down the foundation principles of employment terms and conditions. Since 1st April 2014, the penalty for failure to pay salaries in accordance with the EA was raised.  While a first-time offense will be liable to a fine of between $3,000 and $15,000 and /or 6 months of jail, a repeat offender will be liable to $6,000 and $30,000 and /or 12 months of jail. This is an essential staffing requirement for a restaurant. 

The Employment Act covers all employees, except the following:

  • Managerial & Executive Positions – This means a person who has the direct authority or influence in the hiring, firing, promotion, transfer, reward or discipline of other employees. Primarily the main duties involve the management and running of the business. It is also applicable to professionals who are expected to carry out similar responsibilities as managers or executives. Professionals like lawyers, accountants, dentists, and doctors come under this category.
  • Domestic Workers
  • Sea-men
  • Most of the Government Staff

The Employment Act makes a distinction between employees, categorizing them into:

  • Employees earning less than SGD 2,000 a month
  • Employees earning above SGD 2,000 a month

The key points of the Employment Act of Singapore are:

While the concept of part-time employees is very prevalent in Singapore, there are specific rules that a restaurant owner must ensure to attract that section of the staff that will help you in accelerating your restaurant operations to a great extent. So, as a restaurant owner, you must be aware of who are these part-time employees and what exactly you should offer them so that they select your restaurant over the others in the Singapore market.

  • If an employee works for less than 35 hours a week, then he/she can be claimed as a part-time employee.
  • A contract worker is one who has a fixed-term employment contract or a casual ad hoc relationship. The contract expires at the end of its well-defined term when the specified work is completed.
  • In Singapore, part-timers and contractors are protected almost as well as the permanent full-time employees. Employers and employees have some latitude in negotiating various terms, including the probation of employee, their benefits, their annual leave and the rest days.
  • It is the Singaporean custom there are certain benefits which are exclusively reserved for full-time workers and they are, bonuses, medical coverage, and other perks.

2. Have a Comprehensive Staff Management

Considering the shortage of viable restaurant staff that is a persistent problem in Singapore, you need to be the best restaurant and provide the best environment for your employees. Only this can ensure that they choose you over the other restaurants in the market.

Your first step towards ensuring that, is by providing all the essential incentives that will keep your employees happy. Offer awards like the employee of the month, provide them incentives on the basis of their attendance and performance, occasionally surprise the best performers with coupons and gift vouchers. One of the concepts that are coming up in a big way is allowing the restaurant staff to have a stake in the restaurant business. This is also called as Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs).

Including restaurant employees in the decision-making process is probably one of the most critical aspects of a restaurant staffing guide. You must make them feel needed and feel important, then only will they give in their 100% in delivering the optimum level of customer service. Conduct regular meetings and take their opinion whenever any changes are brought about in your restaurant. Since they are the ones who work on the floor, they will be able to provide you with the most authentic information. Including them in the management will also reduce the scope of internal thefts to a great extent, since, they will feel responsible for the happenings in the restaurant.

Once you do have a restaurant staff management in place, and once your existing staff is happy, it will automatically help your restaurant to rank higher in the choice list for the ones looking for jobs. Manage restaurant staff properly, this will help the employees to stay for longer. 

How to Hire the Best Restaurant Staff

Looking for the platforms where you might get the potential staff and hiring the best restaurant staff for your restaurant is a challenging domain. However, your restaurant staffing guide must include the various channels from where you can source all the likely staff. Below we have listed a few platforms from where you can hire your best staff:

1. Approach Recruiting Agencies

Multiple recruiting agencies help in hiring restaurant staff. Like Randstad, there are numerous recruiting agencies in Singapore from where you can look for to get the best ones on board. One of the positive sides of hiring via recruiting agencies is that your current restaurant staff will have no clue about your plans for hiring a head chef.

2. Take Help From the Internet

You can post an ad on social media sites or the various job portals. Here, people aspiring for restaurant jobs do look for available options, and hence you will have the opportunity to search and filter the right ones from there. If you want to keep your ad anonymous, then post ads as “blind ads”.

You can also post your requirements on the various Facebook groups that exist. Linkedin is also a great medium to look for potential cooks and servers for your restaurants.  

3. Use Word Of Mouth

Word of mouth is one of the easiest ways of spreading the news that you are looking for staff for your restaurant. However, if you want to keep your hunt discreet then this might not be the best way to look for an employee to hire. Many times, your existing employees before leaving your restaurant might have a few recommendations for you. In such a situation, you as a restaurant owner must take these recommendations into consideration, as they will be the best well-wishers for your restaurant and will not recommend anyone unless they are sure about the recommended person’s potential.

4. Run Classified Ads

Posting ads are although a very convenient way of spreading the word that you are hiring an employee for your restaurant, even then it is one of the best ways to attract potential candidates for the post. The reach of a newspaper is enormous. In most situations, the newspaper display advertisement tariff is charged per square centimeter. Minimum size accepted is 4×5, that is, 20 sq cm and the maximum size is a full page which is around 1700 sq cm. Cost per advertisement varies from the size to size. In addition to this, posters on the front page cost higher if compared to the price charged for the ads on the inner pages.

The average annual monthly recruitment rate in 2017 was 2.1% while the average annual resignation rate in 2017 was 1.8% in the Singapore Food Industry. Considering the statistics, it is not very difficult to understand that the area has a high staff attrition rate. One of the only ways to avoid such instances is to have a comprehensive restaurant staffing guide that will help you to hire and retain staff while keeping both the employer and the employee happy. Ensure that you follow all the above-mentioned points, and that will help you build a great restaurant team who will work with even greater vigor.

Rating: 5.0/5. From 2 votes.
Please wait...
Daniel McCarthy is a seasoned restaurant consultant and serves as the Communication Manager at Restroworks, a prominent F&B SaaS company. Drawing from his vast knowledge of leveraging innovative technological solutions, Daniel excels at enhancing restaurant operations and revenue, thereby contributing to the ongoing transformation of the industry.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here