Everyone in the restaurant industry will tell you the same thing—a restaurant is nothing without its staff. It doesn’t matter if you’re an executive chef leading several sous chefs or a new restaurant owner just trying to hire the right people. Every team member matters.

Labor management guide

Of course, if you’re the general manager starting the hiring process at a new restaurant, you’re doing a lot more work on your own. You’re writing your own restaurant job descriptions, and posting on restaurant job boards. You have to be your own HR team, often creating your own employee onboarding program for new staff for a restaurant.

That’s why we put together a few tips for the best way to hire new talent in your restaurant. We know you want to find restaurant staff that’ll help you build the dining experience you’ve always wanted. Let SpotOn help you get there.

Restaurant staff hiring and the Great Resignation

Before we tackle how to hire the best restaurant staff, it’s important to first talk about one of the bigger fears managers face when it comes to hiring staff for a new restaurant—the Great Resignation.

The Great Resignation refers to the trend where more and more people are resigning from their jobs due to the shifting workplace dynamics since the COVID pandemic and the quality of their own work life. This doesn’t refer to multiple employees at the same job quitting at the same time over something like an abusive supervisor or other stressful work situation. Rather, it’s a larger phenomenon that spans across a ton of different sectors and disciplines, where goods and services cost more than the work and wages being paid.

According to a study done by the Pew Research Center, most workers are leaving due to low pay, lack of growth opportunities in their job, and feeling disrespected at work. Statista.com reports that nearly 48 million Americans have quit their jobs during the Great Resignation, which outnumbers the resignations reported for 2019. And as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, there are fewer job openings available for those leaving their employers, which might explain why restaurants are short staffed so often.

Keep operations running with Hillary Holmes, even during a staff shortage.

In a recent L.A. Times article, restaurant workers who felt exhausted from working during the pandemic instead opted to find other jobs, sometimes switching to an entirely different industry as well. That leap makes sense, especially with the rising costs of living and the increased costs of running a restaurant as well.

Knowing the reasoning behind the Great Resignation will help you understand why people are looking to work for restaurants in general. Of course, you can always expect teenagers looking for the best-paying jobs in restaurants during the summer. But there are also tons of seasoned workers who aren’t only showing up to get a check and pay the bills.

They love working in the restaurant industry and they want to maintain their careers in that space since there's a ton of growth expected in the food service industry, according to the latest stats released by the National Restaurant Association.

Dedicated staff in the restaurant industry live and breathe hospitality. They’ll always appreciate seeing their hard work pay off in ways that go beyond the paycheck. That’s why it’s so important to bring in the right people. You want your staff to feel like they belong after serving up a delicious meal and reading a precious ‘thank you’ written on their check.

1. Set clear job expectations

A chef preparing burgers at a restaurant counter, ready to serve hungry guests.
Photo by Jesson Mata / Unsplash

With restaurant managers busy worrying about the Great Resignation, everyone else is just wondering if there are any respectable jobs left. You can use this to your advantage by clearly writing out the job expectations throughout the different parts of the onboarding process, such as drafting up a strong employee orientation program for newcomers without a ton of work experience.

Setting clear expectations is especially important when writing up job descriptions on websites on different job board sites. Thanks to websites like Indeed and Glassdoor, younger and seasoned restaurant workers have plenty of access to the best-paying restaurant jobs in their area.

That means they’ll also be able to compare the different responsibilities, pay ranges, and work experience requirements with just a few clicks. And with a growing majority of people applying to jobs on their mobile devices, you’ll need to be as specific to your brand and goals as possible to reach the most number of potential applicants.

2. Recognize different employee experiences

New restaurants can expect a range of applicants who all hail from different working backgrounds. That means it’s important for new restaurants to recognize different employee experiences and what they won’t know going into the job. It’ll help them get more accustomed to the workflow since every restaurant has a different set of expectations, even for the same role at times.

It’s important to recognize these different experiences since younger employees, in particular, are growing more aware of toxic restaurant culture. They often opt for workplaces that respect their own experiences and values. That’s why it’s necessary to keep in mind best practices surrounding diversity and inclusion.

Many different bartenders with drinks surrounding them.
Photo by Taylor Davidson / Unsplash

Of course, sometimes younger employees are simply looking for restaurants with a ‘waiter for hire’ sign posted on the front window. On top of doing the research for job flexibility and diversity, they just want to find the restaurants that hire at 16 years old or even the best restaurants to work for without much experience.

Thankfully, we’ve got a blog that covers how to create an effective employee handbook. Click below to find out more and download a free employee handbook template as an added bonus.

And as we mentioned earlier, you’ve got to be your own human resources department. That means you can’t overwhelm workers with the usual business terms you’d find in corporate company culture. They won’t be familiar with what makes an effective onboarding experience, and so on.

We suggest always having plenty of new hire paperwork on hand, such as W4 forms, I-9 forms, and instructions for direct deposit. That way, they’ll be ready to work on their start date without any added delays or worries.

3. Leverage tech to make the job easier

A small handheld point-of-sale device sits on a menu next to a glass of ice tea.
The Bungalow Kitchen proudly uses the newest SpotOn handheld technology.

Since point-of-sale systems and software play such a large part of any business, the right tech will definitely affect who’s willing to work for your new restaurant.

Both seasoned and staff members with less experience know that technology would change their workflow and stress levels at a job. When restaurant staff see how streamlined their day-to-day operations can become, it’ll be a good way for them to know they won’t be overwhelmed at any point during the work day.

By offering staff different hardware solutions, such as a kitchen display system for back-of-house staff and handheld devices they can take to any table, they’ll be able to shave off a ton of time that would typically take a bit longer than necessary. Alongside hardware solutions, software solutions, such as QR codes, can also relieve some stress for your workers since they enable guests to order on their own mobile devices, coming to a decision at their own pace.

More importantly, you can leverage technology to ensure that your employees have clarity with their scheduling, can easily swap shifts when necessary, and get paid promptly and accurately. SpotOn Teamwork's restaurant scheduling software enables you to do just that, while also saving time, by helping you create data-driven schedules, automate payroll and tip management, and empower your employees with an employee mobile app.

That’s how The Bungalow Kitchen saved 5-7 hours on weekly operations. By implementing SpotOn Restaurant alongside SpotOn Teamwork, they even sped up order times by nearly 10 minutes SpotOn Restaurant alongside SpotOn Teamwork.

With lingering fears about the Great Resignation, and the after-effects of pandemic closures, it’s not easy to open a new restaurant that’ll meet your exact standards. That’s why SpotOn knows how important it is to hire the right staff members whose experience matches their role.

From the first-time servers to veteran cooks, every restaurant staff member brings a specific skill set, so food and drinks are served alongside a memorable customer experience. Let SpotOn help you craft that experience, so you can move forward to the exact restaurant you’ve always wanted.

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