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The Perfect Checklist For Hiring Your Restaurant Staff

Any restaurant’s staff is the heartbeat of that establishment. They are responsible for cooking the food, providing customer service, and managing the establishment. Your staff brings orders to the place you have set up. It makes it imperative that you hire the right people to run your restaurant. 

Restaurant staffing is a big concern for owners. There is a high staff turnover rate in the restaurant industry. To avoid the challenges of frequent quitting, hiring and training, you need to get the right people and manage them well to retain them. 

Keep reading to know all about ideal tips on hiring restaurant staff.

Different Types Of Restaurant Staff

The restaurant staff you hire depends on the scale and type of your restaurant business. Most restaurants cross-train their staff to handle multiple roles. Their work schedule is created with different roles each day to avoid repetition and monotony. However, ideally, a restaurant needs to have the following people. 

Front-of-house restaurant staff

Your front-of-house staff is the ones who interact with your customers, take care of their needs and leave a lasting impression on them.

  • Restaurant Manager

Your restaurant manager is responsible for effective and efficient restaurant operations. Managers deal directly with the owner and also interact with customers. Your managers need to have solid organizational skills, people management qualities and be good at crisis management. 

  • Wait Staff

Wait staff seats guests, recommends dishes, responds to inquiries, takes customer orders, conveys orders to the kitchen, and collects payments. Your wait staff needs to be courteous, friendly, and an excellent salesperson to upsell and cross-sell items. 

  • Food Runner

The food runner brings food from the kitchen to the customer’s table. Their work needs to be in sync with the wait staff. 

  • Bus Person

The bus person is responsible for setting and clearing your restaurant tables. They remove dishes and clear the tables. 

  • Bartender 

The bartender primarily makes and serves drinks to the customers. Moreover, they are the ones concocting the delicious potions called cocktails!

How to hire and retain restaurant staff?

Back-of-house restaurant staff

Your back of the house is where the actual work takes place. Back-of-house takes care of cooking, dishes, and inventory.

  • Head Chef

Your head chef is your kitchen leader, leading your kitchen and managing the kitchen staff. Ideally, your head chef should have several years of experience in the industry before you hire them. 

  • Sous Chef

Sous chefs are head chef’s assistants and second in command of the kitchen. They will fill in when the head chef is not available. They need to work well with your head chef and be an experienced cook. 

  • Line Chef

Line chefs are all the other cooks working in the restaurant kitchen. They are responsible for different kitchen stations, depending on the size of the restaurant. 

  • Dishwasher

Dishwashers clean dishes, floors, and restrooms and perform other maintenance jobs. They are the ones responsible for keeping your restaurant clean and attractive.

How to hire and retain restaurant staff?

Where To Find Your Perfect Restaurant Staff?

Once you have clarity about which roles to hire, the next step is finding the right candidate. Keep reading to know where to find them.

Internal or External Referral

Referrals are one of the best ways to hire trustworthy people. It also takes significantly less time to hire a referred candidate. If already own a restaurant, you can ask your current employees for referrals. Ask your circles and network to refer people to you. 

You can offer referral incentives to your current employees, paying the existing employee a certain amount for each referred hire. To know more about staff incentives (how they help and which ones to implement), read our blog here.

Job Sites

Job portals like naukri.com, LinkedIn, etc., can help you with restaurant staffing. For a small fee, you can upload a job posting, get access to their employee database, and send emails to target candidates.

As these portals are typically used for the formal workforce, you will find employees for high-level positions like managers, chefs, accountants, etc.

Social Media

Many employers have started hiring through social media postings. The growth of social media has made it one of the most lucrative platforms for finding suitable candidates. You can post job postings on your social media pages and Facebook restaurant groups and run paid ads.

Hiring Agencies

Human resource agencies are another way you can opt to hire your employees. They will shortlist the candidates for you to select from. These agencies generally guarantee six-months service, or otherwise, they provide a replacement. However, it can be expensive to hire through them as they charge one month’s salary for the hired employee.

What To Look For In Your Prospective Employees?

Once prospective candidates are lined up, here is what you have to look for in them.

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People Skills

Your front-of-the-house staff includes people responsible for greeting and meeting the customers, so you need to look for people with good communication and people skills.

Friendly and Hospitable

You are in the hospitality business, and your staff must understand this; they need to be eager to cater to customers and their needs. You can train them to provide a better hospitality experience to your customers; however, the people you hire must have the required attitude.

Hard Worker

Skills can be taught, but a person must work hard to improve. A restaurant has a hectic and demanding work environment. The person you hire needs to be a dedicated and hardworking employee.


For effective and seamless restaurant management, everyone needs to be in sync. Look for collaborative people who can maintain good coordination with others to smoothly carry out every task, from taking the order to giving the bill.

How to hire and retain restaurant staff?
Read our blog here for tips on hiring front-of-house staff. You can also cross-train your employees.

Which Questions To Ask During An Interview?

How to find out if your prospective candidates have the required skills? Ask these questions.

Front-of-house Staff Questions

Ask your front-of-house staff about their experience in the restaurant industry; since they are the ones dealing with the customer directly, it is good to hire people with prior experience. You can also ask them about their strengths and ability to work under pressure. 

Back-of-house Staff Questions

Since back-of-house restaurants mainly consist of chefs, you must ask them about their formal training and experience. You can also ask them specific questions about cooking, including the process of making a particular drink. Ask them how they would handle negative feedback from a customer. 

Manager Questions

Since your restaurant manager is responsible for all operational aspects, you must understand from them their own organizational and managerial skills. Ask them about their strategy to control costs and boost sales. You can also ask them how they would resolve a conflict with a guest.

How To Onboard Your Selected Employees?

Once you have finalized and hired your staff members, you need to train them. Follow these steps to properly onboard your employees.

Training Program

Design a training and cross-training program for your staff, guiding them through their roles and responsibilities. It will help them understand their job better and, eventually, perform better. 

Cross-training means that all your staff members are comfortable and competent to perform every task in the restaurant. So in case one of your employees is on leave or quits, the other team members can perform the job without any difficulties.

SOPs and Policies

Set defined rules, policies, and standard operating procedures for your staff. The rules and procedures include health & safety regulations, workplace harassment, leave, bonus and increment policies, etc. You can also create a detailed restaurant operations manual covering all essential information and guidelines. 

How to Retain Your Restaurant Staff?

One of the biggest concerns faced by restaurant owners is their low retention rate. Frequently re-hiring employees can burn holes in your pockets. You can implement these strategies to make your employees stay. 

  • Give them different incentives like performance-based incentives, attendance-based incentives, annual bonuses, etc. 
  • Offer your staff paid days off. 
  • Provide them with health insurance. 
  • Organize professional development and skill-building training programs.
The above strategies will make your staff happy and help improve their overall output. Read our blog to learn more about managing your restaurant staff for higher output. 

Restaurant hiring is not a walk in the park. It will take time, energy, sweat, and money from you. However, once you go through the entire process and find the ideal team, your restaurant is on its way to achieving great success. Follow these steps to find your perfect match and keep them happy!

We hope you find this blog helpful. Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter for regular restaurant-related updates! 

Abeera Dubey
Abeera Dubey
Abeera is a freelance content writer at Petpooja.


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