best way to hire restaurant employees

Best Way to Hire Restaurant Employees – Staffing Strategies

In the fiercely competitive restaurant industry, 60% of employers struggle to find talented staff. A reliable, dedicated team is the backbone of every operation. However, the process of finding and keeping top-tier employees is more challenging than ever. Deploying an effective restaurant hiring process can catapult your business into prosperity from mere survival.

To cultivate a workforce that aligns with your brand, maintains high standards of guest service, and boosts revenue, it’s imperative to draw in exceptional restaurant employees. This endeavor involves several critical steps. You must clearly outline each role, assess your staff requirements, instill essential values, design appealing job descriptions, carry out detailed interviews, and ensure a seamless transition for new additions to the team.

Key Takeaways

  • A comprehensive restaurant staff hiring strategy is essential for building a strong team.
  • Clearly define roles, responsibilities, and qualifications for each position.
  • Craft compelling job ads that highlight your brand’s culture and values.
  • Conduct structured interviews to assess candidates’ skills, experience, and attitude.
  • Invest in robust onboarding and ongoing training programs for employee retention.

Define Your Hiring Strategy

Creating a reliable restaurant hiring process is key to forming a strong restaurant team. The best way to hire restaurant employees begins by clearly outlining your staffing needs. This includes the necessary qualifications for every position.

How Many Workers Do You Need?

The amount of staff varies based on your restaurant’s size and theme. Factors such as seating capacity, hours open, and expected guest numbers matter. You’ll decide between needing a full team for around-the-clock service or a smaller group for a less intense schedule.

What Roles Do You Need to Fill?

In a restaurant, you’ll find a range of positions, including servers, hosts, and bartenders up front. In the back, there are chefs, cooks, and dishwashers. Identify the roles critical to your restaurant’s function and success.

Restaurant staff hiring tips

What Are the Requirements for Those Roles?

Each role’s responsibilities and necessary qualifications should be clearly laid out. A general manager might need many years of front-of-house work. However, positions like barback or prep cook might prioritize a great attitude and eagerness to improve. Hiring restaurant staff successfully requires matching skills and personalities appropriately.

  • Identify the skills, experience, and credentials needed for each position.
  • Consider soft skills like teamwork, communication, and problem-solving.
  • Determine if any roles require specific certifications or training.

Before the Interview

Preparation is critical for a successful hiring phase, most notably in the restaurant business. Before meeting candidates, there are vital steps to take. These steps ensure you attract and identify the best fit for your team.

Establish Core Values with Management

It’s crucial to sit down with your management team and outline your restaurant’s core values. Discuss the essential qualities you’re looking for in employees. These criteria should include both technical and soft skills, such as teamwork and communication. It’s all about hiring restaurant staff successfully. A clear grasp of your values guides the restaurant employee recruitment journey.

Post Specific, Informative Job Ads

Create job ads that are detailed and thorough. These ads should cover job duties, work schedule, pay, and perks. Being clear from the start attracts the right candidates while discouraging those who won’t be a good match. Also, ask for professional references to assist with restaurant job candidate screening.

Interview strategies for restaurant jobs

Choose Multiple Managers to Interview Candidates

Opt for two or more managers to sit in on each candidate’s interview. This approach offers a holistic assessment and minimizes the impact of individual biases. It also provides insights into how candidates engage with different personalities, essential in restaurant staff hiring tips.

Develop Interview Questions

Create a standardized set of questions to evaluate each candidate thoroughly. These should touch upon their attitude, past roles, and alignment with your restaurant’s values. Dive into not only their technical skills but their soft skills, problem-solving abilities, and cultural fit as well.

Train Interviewers on Physical Cues

Effective interviewing is about more than the questions you ask. It involves training your team to observe nonverbal cues like expressions and posture. These cues can reveal much about a candidate’s character and attitude, vital in interview strategies for restaurant jobs.

Dress and Prepare Appropriately

As the face of your restaurant during interviews, dressing professionally is a must. Also, reviewing each candidate’s resume beforehand demonstrates respect. This preparedness personalizes the interview, allowing you to focus on their relevant experience and skills.

During the Interview

The interview process plays a key role in restaurant hiring. It helps dive deeper into candidates’ personas. This stage is vital to assess their fit, beyond what’s shown on paper.

Take Notes

Taking detailed notes on each candidate is critical. Record their work experience, skills, and key statements. These notes are crucial for thorough candidate evaluation. They help compare candidates effectively.

Assess Attitude

Technical skills are vital, but attitude is just as important. Observe their non-verbal cues and how they communicate. A positive demeanor and enthusiasm show they may be a good match.

Encourage Questions

It’s important to let candidates pose their own queries. This shows they’re really considering the job. It helps you see if the job meets their career aspirations. Their questions can reveal crucial insights.

Listening well, watching body language, and meaningful dialogue are essential in effective interview strategies for restaurant jobs. This approach ensures a comprehensive evaluation of candidates’ potential impact.

After the Interview

After interviews for your restaurant team, it’s crucial to follow through properly for success. Ensure you hire the right staff and form a cohesive team.

Confirm References

For promising candidates, verifying their professional references is a must. Reach out to two former employers or colleagues. This will offer more insight into the prospective employee’s work ethic, expertise, and general performance. It’s a key step in the restaurant job candidate screening process.

Aim for Balance in DEI Practices

Strive for a team that brings together diverse skills, experiences, backgrounds, and personal attributes. A team like this can serve your customer base better and create a unified, positive workspace. Prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is central to successful staff recruitment.

Consider a New Recruiting Strategy

Experiencing recurrent challenges in finding the right team members necessitates reviewing your recruitment approach. Consider:

  • Promotion from within to encourage growth among your current employees
  • Local job postings to leverage community talent
  • An employee referral program for new applicants
  • Revisiting job criteria or enhancing pay and benefits to attract strong candidates

Moreover, exit interviews with departing staff can highlight improvement areas in your hiring and keeping practices.

Top Ways to Hire Great Restaurant Employees

To attract and hire exceptional restaurant staff, you must first know your needs. Determine the roles and responsibilities before posting job openings. This helps ensure you hire the right employees for smooth operations. Use different sources like job boards, referrals, and social media to access a broad talent pool.

Create job descriptions that showcase your company’s culture, values, and benefits. This approach draws candidates who fit with your restaurant hiring process and vision. Simplify the application with tools like text-to-apply, aiding interested candidates.

Optimize the candidate journey by staying in touch from the application’s start to the final decision. Aim for clear and timely communication. Also, focus on a structured onboarding and continuous training. This ensures your new employees have the right skills and knowledge to excel in their jobs.

Here are some crucial strategies for effective restaurant employee recruitment:

  • Define job roles and responsibilities clearly
  • Use various channels for sourcing, including online boards and social media
  • Craft job descriptions that reflect your company’s culture and values
  • Present competitive compensation and benefits
  • Make the application process simple with tools like text-to-apply
  • Keep communication open and timely with candidates
  • Focus on structured onboarding and continuous training

These restaurant staff hiring tips are key to attracting and hiring superior talent. This will build a strong, dedicated team. The team will ensure an outstanding guest experience and maintain brand consistency with efficient operations.

Top Strategies for Hiring Your Restaurant

Establishing effective hiring methods is key to assembling a robust restaurant team. Adopting appropriate strategies helps in luring and keeping skilled professionals who fit your restaurant’s ethos and principles. Let’s delve into some tried-and-true methods to achieve this goal:

Use Referral Programs

Your staff members play a pivotal role in recruiting new employees. By instituting a referral program, you inspire them to suggest capable candidates who echo your work ethic and values. Prospects recommended by your team are inclined to seamlessly integrate into your restaurant’s culture.

Leverage Technology

Advanced human capital management software can simplify your hiring journey. It offers features such as workforce planning, candidate tracking, and streamlined communication. These tools aim to keep you on track, fostering an effective interaction between hiring personnel and applicants.

Tap into Social Media

Employ social media channels to advertise job roles, accentuate your company culture, and excite future employees. Posting content that shines a light on your restaurant’s ethos, values, and employee testimonials draws in candidates who resonate with your identity. This approach boosts your chances of landing the perfect match.

By actualizing these methods, you can refine your hiring tips and elevate your prospects of forming an ardent, productive team. This team, in turn, is poised to buoy your restaurant towards a path of triumph.

How to Retain Restaurant Workers

Maintaining a strong and dedicated team is crucial for any restaurant’s success. High employee turnover can negatively impact customer service, workflow efficiency, and overall morale. To build a strong restaurant team and retain top talent, it’s essential to implement effective restaurant employee retention tactics.

Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits

One of the main reasons employees quit is to find better financial opportunities. To hire restaurant staff successfully and keep them motivated, pay staff well and offer appealing benefits. This could include:

  • Competitive hourly rates or salaries set by industry norms and local living costs
  • Health insurance, retirement options, and paid leave.
  • Chances for advancement and raises tied to performance

Foster a Positive Work Environment

A positive and supportive work environment can vastly improve employee satisfaction and retention. It’s crucial to build a culture that emphasizes:

  • Open communication and team collaboration
  • Respecting work-life balance and personal time
  • Embracing diversity, inclusivity, and fostering a sense of belonging

Provide Ongoing Training and Development

Supporting your team’s professional growth shows you’re invested in their success and can boost their morale. Offer regular training programs that focus on:

  1. Technical skill development for their specific roles
  2. Enhancing soft skills such as customer service, communication, and leadership
  3. Providing cross-training to experience various parts of the restaurant

By using these restaurant employee retention tactics, you’ll forge a strong restaurant team that’s happy, supported, and driven to help the restaurant succeed for the long term.

Staff Roles and Responsibilities

The best way to hire restaurant employees is by considering your needs, reflecting your establishment’s size and concept. In small eateries, roles like dishwasher, cooks, a chef, and maybe one server are vital. Yet, a larger 100-seat restaurant will require a broader team for efficient operation.

Besides kitchen and service staff, restaurants need roles in operations, management, admin, and communications. Clearly outlining what each role needs is crucial when hiring. For example, a general manager needs deep front-of-house experience. In contrast, barbacks and cashiers should primarily offer a positive outlook and eagerness to learn.

In the restaurant hiring process, evaluating experience, skills, and soft skills is vital, regardless of the position. Customer-facing staff must excel in service and menu knowledge. Those behind the scenes require teamwork and ability to think on their feet. Through comprehensive evaluation, your team can excel in all aspects, paving the way for your restaurant’s triumph.


What is the best way to hire restaurant employees?

The best way to hire in the restaurant world is with a well-thought-out plan. Start by outlining roles, figuring out how many staff you need, and setting core values. Then, write job ads that stand out, do in-depth interviews, and smoothly bring new hires on board.

How do I determine how many workers I need?

Size up your eatery and think about the roles to fill—servers, cooks, and managers. Figure out how many staff you need by looking at peak times, guest numbers, and service standards.

What should I include in job ads for restaurant staff?

Job ads should paint a clear picture of the work, schedule, pay, and perks. Also, list must-have skills and request references. Don’t forget to show off your workplace culture to draw in top candidates.

How can I assess a candidate’s attitude during an interview?

In interviews, watch how candidates act and what their faces tell you. Remember, you can teach skills, but not attitude. A solid resume isn’t enough if they don’t share your work values.

How can I build a balanced, diverse restaurant team?

Focus on mixing skills, backgrounds, and personalities when hiring. A well-rounded team with varied views can make your restaurant run smoother and satisfy more guests.

What are some effective ways to hire great restaurant employees?

Spread the word far and wide, using job boards, referrals, and social media to meet great talent. Make applying easy and pleasant, using tech and your online presence to catch job seekers’ eyes.

How can I retain restaurant workers?

Keep your team by paying well, offering benefits, and chances to grow. Foster a work setting that prizes togetherness, clear talks, and a good life-work harmony. Help them keep learning for their career steps.

What are typical roles and responsibilities in a restaurant?

Up front, servers and host staff need to be great with customers and know the menu by heart. In the kitchen, chefs and their teams rely on teamwork and quick thinking. Pick people with the right experience and skills for these crucial jobs.


  • Sophia alvarez

    Sophia Alvarez brings extensive knowledge in employee management and strategic hiring practices. With over 15 years in HR, she has pioneered innovative approaches to talent acquisition and workforce planning.

    View all posts

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