A common concern for all restaurant owners is the hiring and training of their restaurant’s staff and employees. The restaurant staff is the shoulder on which a restaurant’s functioning depends.
Staff hiring should take place as soon as the rough frame of your restaurant is ready. It is a long process and you will also need to look for staff with specific skills according to the requirements of your restaurant. This is because the service provided in a restaurant may make or break a customer’s experience. When people talk about restaurants, food and service are discussed in the same sentence. Therefore, after hiring, training the staff well is equally essential.
Also, don’t forget to check out this webinar on How To Train Your Restaurant’s Staff & Employees here!
1. How to Hire Your Restaurant Staff?
Staff hiring is the first step in the process of setting up a restaurant. The staff and employees are the faces of a restaurant. They are the ones who are the point of contact for all customers and they essentially are responsible for the smooth operations of the restaurants.
However, it is difficult to locate and hire people from scratch. The first question is where will you start looking?
The following points will address those questions:
1.1 Professional & Casual Networks
Reaching out to your networks is a good way to start looking for hires. You can get in touch with both your professional and casual networks for that.
You can ask them to connect you with people who might know where to hire staff from or directly to people looking for jobs.
1.2 Social Media Platforms and Groups
Social media platforms are the fastest way to spread the word. You can write the exact job description of the job opening you are looking to fill and upload it on all social media platforms that you use. You can use employment-oriented platforms such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and TimesAscent or you can also use social networking platforms like Facebook, Instagram etc.
There are also groups on social media platforms which cater to specific fields where you could share the same post might help generate a faster response.
1.3 Placard Outside the Outlet
If you run an existing restaurant and are looking to add more people to your team, then you can make a placard and display it right outside your restaurant. You can also make posters and display them inside your restaurants to make them more noticeable.
Ensure the placard contains all the necessary information like the job title, description, contact details for the interested party to call or reach out etc.
This is the OG method of finding anything, anyone and everything. Word-of-mouth is the simplest way of spreading the word about your requirement. You can talk to any friends, colleagues or acquaintances in the restaurant industry who might know of anyone looking for a job.
You can also talk to the staff at other restaurants and ask them to spread the word among their circles that you are looking to hire people. This is one of the most effective ways of reaching out to people.
1.5 Media Ads
The “To Hire” or “Job Opening” ads that you see in your daily newspapers or pamphlets that accompany your newspapers are called media ads. You can pay a fee in exchange for getting your ad featured in the local newspaper or local channels or even on small billboards.
Media Ads are effective because everyone reads newspapers. Advertising in media also instils a sense of authenticity among job-seekers since they know you have spent money to put the word out and therefore the chances of it being a fraudulent offer are marginally less.
Restaurant consultants these days take care of everything for your restaurant. From setting the theme of the restaurant to deciding the menu to even hiring the entire working staff of your restaurant (from chefs to cleaners), they are on top of the whole operation.
While hiring a restaurant consultant might be a little heavy on the pockets, there is a huge perk to it. You do not have to worry about dealing with any of the staff and even the most difficult employee situation will be handled by the consultant. For all restaurateurs who go through this on a daily basis, you must realise how big of a boon this must be for you!
2. Training of Your Restaurant Staff
You have filled in all the positions. What’s next?
Training the hired! Not everyone you hire will be skilled at their job. In most cases, the staff you have hired will be unskilled workers who would not possess even the most basic presentation and/or conversation skills. Therefore, they need to be trained properly before they can be sent out to serve the customers.
There are various methods of training such as audio, visual, practical etc. Every human responds to a different style of training hence, it is recommended that the training be carried out with a combination of all techniques to ensure maximum output is obtained.
There are two kinds of training that restaurant staff has to undergo:
2.1 Technical Training
Technical training means training your restaurant staff to understand the technical aspects of their job. In a restaurant, it includes everything from learning about the ingredients to handling equipment and crockery to how to serve food to the customers and all the other important tasks.
Each department will have to undergo training for a different skill set and since the staff in the restaurant is limited and will only perform tasks according to their job description, they would need to be properly trained in their respective field.
Technical Training covers:
- How to cook food
- How to present food
- How to handle various equipment
- How to keep the premises hygienic and clean
- How to operate technology like the POS system
2.2 Soft Skill Training
The importance of soft skills has grown in the past decade. Soft skills were given bare minimum importance and that affected the service of the restaurant. This was realised by the people in the restaurant industry and hence for a few years, especially after the pandemic, all types of restaurant outlets have started soft skills training for their staff.
Soft Skill Training covers:
- How to greet and converse with customers
- Body language
- Conflict resolution
- How to work under pressure
- Good memory
3. Who Should Undergo Training
Along with the staff of the restaurant, other people associated with and working with the restaurant should also undergo training to know about the intricacies of the operations of the restaurant industry. This will be a huge help for not only running your restaurant but also helping it to grow and scale constantly.
3.1 Restaurant Owner
The owner or the owner partners of the restaurant are the ones who are in control of the entire restaurant. All the important decisions pertaining to every small and big thing in a restaurant are taken by them.
Even if you have handed off the operations of the restaurant to a restaurant consultant or are just a silent partner, the restaurant industry is such a dynamic market that it is advised to be well-versed with at least the basic knowledge of the industry to be able to take a sound decision in case of emergencies or any contingencies that arise.
The job of the chef is the most important of all: cooking food! The prime reason why a customer visits or does not visit your restaurant. It all depends on how well your chef cooks the food.
However, the job of a chef is not confined to just cooking. It also includes keeping a track of the inventory, training sous chefs and other assistants within the kitchen, maintaining consistencies within the kitchen and much more.
Therefore, it is necessary to train chefs to enhance their skill set and more. The right person to hire for such training would be someone who has graduated from a hospitality school and has a wholesome knowledge of all the aspects of the operations of a restaurant.
The manager of a restaurant is on-site in charge of that restaurant. They are the point of contact (POC) for both the customers as well as the owners.
Any grievances that arise from the side of the customer are addressed and acted upon by the manager and anything that the owner of the restaurant wants to implement at the restaurant, it is the manager they speak to.
The managers need to be trained to be equipped with dealing with any situation that may arise at the restaurant. For any accidents or emergencies, customer complaints, or solving a food crisis at the restaurant, the manager has to be trained to deal with all of them.
3.4 Department Heads
As the name suggests, they are the ones in control of the staff in their respective departments. Hence, they need to undergo training as supervisors as well as should be trained to be equipped with skills which will be of help while supervising their subordinates.
Department heads are in charge of their entire team. So while they may possess the basic leadership skills, there are certain aspects where they will need the training to be aware of how to combat certain situations which arise with employees.
3.5 Training Manager & Professional Trainers
It is equally important that the training manager as well as the professional trainers also stay updated and keep refreshing their training skills. The world is constantly evolving and trends change at the snap of a finger.
In order to ensure that the training you give out is also fresh and relevant to the times, you need to take up courses or watch videos that talk about the current ongoings in the field.
4. Necessary Etiquettes Your Restaurant Staff Should Have
Your staff should have certain skills which are non-negotiable. Etiquettes are one of them.
Etiquettes are the basic manners that your staff should possess and follow while dealing with customers and their co-workers. Sharpening these skills will make you a class apart from other restaurants.
The following is a list of a few necessary etiquettes that your staff should have or should be at once trained in:
- Sharp Technical Skills
- Precision Skills
- Great Soft Skills
- Positive Attitude Towards the Profession
- Positive Attitude Towards Guests
- Team Player
Read this blog to get a detailed description of the essentials for making a restaurant great in customer service through a well-trained restaurant staff.
5. Retraining of Restaurant Staff
All fields require that you keep up with the changing times and stay up to date at all times. The same stands very true in the restaurant industry.
Some consultants advise that brief training should happen on a daily basis before the restaurant opens for business. After the staff has undergone their initial formal training, they should also undergo retraining at regular intervals, sometimes as often as every couple of months.
Retraining helps avoid complacency. When the staff has to do the same work over and over again every day for a longer period of time, the work environment tends to become monotonous. They start ignoring minor as well as major tasks that are crucial for working on a day-to-day basis. It also leads to an increase in staff turnover.
Thus, retraining is a good way to solve a lot of problems related to restaurant staff, operations and working.
6. What They Don’t Teach In Formal Settings
It is recommended that restaurant staff training should be formal training and should be carried out by a formal trainer. Yet, there are a few things that are not taught but are learned on the job. They are:
- Hard Wiredness
- Enjoying the Job
- Leadership Qualities
All the above-mentioned qualities are self-learnt and are acquired only once the workers start working in the restaurant.
Giving training is something that is in the control of the restaurant owner. However, receiving it and using it is in the hands of the trainee. You should be careful of hiring such employees who are enthusiastic and eager to learn. After training your staff, it is also important to ensure that you retain your staff and work hard towards making it possible.
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