Restaurant Staff Hiring Best Practices For Building A Great Team

Restaurant Staff Hiring Best Practices For Building A Great Team

UAE is an attractive destination when it comes to offering hospitality jobs. According to the reports, UAE ranks third in the world when it comes to job opportunities! This means as a restaurateur you have a pool of people to choose from. However, restaurant staff hiring is a tedious process. You need a team of skilled people to deliver a stellar guest experience to your customers, making it all the more important to focus on your staff hiring. 

Despite the availability of human resources, the restaurant industry has a high turnover rate. While you must try to cultivate an environment so that your restaurant staff stays loyal and dedicated, to reduce the attrition rate, you should also try to ensure that you hire the right people who are in there for the long run.

Having good employees is a clear indication of a good restaurant and the best service; therefore it is essential to hire the best staff, and for that, you need to have certain practices that would help you build a great restaurant team.

Restaurant Staff Hiring – How To Hire The Best Employees

Your restaurant staff is one of the main aspects responsible for making or breaking the reputation of the restaurant. The hiring process consumes a lot of valuable resources, so you want to make sure that it is done the first time itself correctly.

Like any other sector, recruitment and selection process for restaurants is equally tough. These tips would help you hire the right staff who would contribute to the restaurant’s success. 

1. Determining The Requirements

Before you start posting vacancy ads and restaurant hiring process, you need to determine the staff requirement. There is no point in hiring more people than required. You need to analyze the need and talk to various department heads like the manager, sous chef, etc. and ask them if any extra help is needed.

Check your budget and requirements and then go ahead and determine the number of people you can hire and how much you’ll pay them. For instance, the average salary for a Waiter/Waitress in Dubai is AED 24,527 per year.

Some factors that affect the requirements are:

  • The type of restaurant setup that you have – for example, for a fine dining restaurant you generally need highly experienced head chefs but, for a quick-service restaurant, you can hire someone less experienced.
  • The number of tables you have – Number of tables you have and the average turnover helps you determine the number of servers required. You also need to forecast your sales correctly so that you would have a clear idea about the number of people you’d be needing.
  • Your restaurant’s peak hours – Some restaurants are famous for their brunch and have more people coming in during the daytime while some are known for their fantastic nightlife and attract more people during the night. You can have more staff coming to work during peak hours.
  • How long the restaurant has been in business – A new restaurant generally has a low footfall. Therefore it’s not advised to have an army of staff at the beginning itself. You can start by hiring a few, yet skilled staff and then hire more as business picks up.

2. Advertisement

Once you have determined the staff requirements, you need to start advertising to fill out the vacancies at your restaurant. Advertising helps attract potential employees who are looking for a job in the hospitality industry. You can post a detailed ad on various platforms with a proper job description, working hours, etc.

Some of the sources you can use to hire your restaurant staff are:

  • Referral: Your current employees can refer a friend or a family member for the job opening. This is one of the best ways of hiring a new employee because your current employees know how your restaurant functions and would only refer people who they think are worthy of the job post.
  • Posting an ad on your website/social media profile: With people spending most of the time on the internet it is advised to post the vacancy ad on your website or the social media profile. You can create a separate “careers” or “work with us”  page on your website and mention all the necessary details there. You can also give a direct link to the careers page of your website on your social media profiles.
  • Job portals: People actively search for jobs on job portals like LinkedIn, Bayt, Monster Gulf, etc. You cannot miss out on these sites. List the job vacancies on these portals and attract more candidates.
  • Conduct placement drives: You can conduct placement drives at various hospitality schools and colleges. This would help you onboard fresh talent.

Along with all these, you can add a full “contact us” form on your website which people can use to reach out to you regarding any queries related to the job vacancies.

3. Job Interview And Compatibility

Once you have an ample amount of candidates at your doorstep, you can start conducting interviews. When interviewing a person, you need to see if his/her thoughts are compatible with the goals of the restaurant.

Remember, even the most qualified candidate can be arrogant or challenging to work with. You cannot hire someone only on the basis of the experience he/she has.

Check through the previous responsibilities of the candidates. This would help you determine how dedicated the person is towards their work. The best way of identifying a suitable candidate is by checking through their application form which would be filled out neatly, and they often provide a professional and detailed resume.

The whole point of conducting an interview is to get the candidates talking and asking open-ended questions to help you with that. Also, you should avoid asking any personal questions related to race, religion, national background, etc. which might offend the candidate and violate federal or state hiring regulations.

4. Transparency

The phrase “it takes two to tango” rightly fits on the restaurant industry. The candidate, as well as the recruiter, needs to specify their expectations. The recruiter needs to define what he/she is looking for in a candidate and also explicitly mention the job requirements. On the other hand, the candidate needs to commit to the job requirements and indicate if he/she is unable to live up to the requirements.

The restaurant staff hiring process is a time and resource-consuming activity; therefore you should be as transparent as possible. Transparency gives a clear idea to the candidate if he/she would like to work at your restaurant. There is no point in hiring a person who leaves in a month or two and you would end up losing a candidate that could’ve been an asset to your restaurant.

Remember a good candidate has a lot of options to choose from. Being transparent about your expectations would help you lure in the best candidates.  

Your staff is the face of your restaurant; they help build customer relationships. The people you hire decide your restaurant’s fate. Religiously following the points mentioned above would help you hire the right restaurant staff who would help in making your restaurant successful.

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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.


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