Building Your Dream Team!
You know your food is good, your kitchen is clean, you have happy customers, you offer great benefits + pay, so WHY isn’t anyone applying?! Why do potential hires ghost you after an interview? Why don’t they even turn up for an interview? Well, you may not even know it, but you could have earned yourself a bad reputation with your staff, and potential new hires. The worst part? You’re probably a great employer but have a tarnished name from a few of those ‘undesirable’ staff members you fired years ago or from shitty managers that treated staff horribly and you didn’t even know about it until it was too late. We hear it all the time;
“you don’t want to work there, the pay sucks” + “the manager is lazy and doesn’t care about their staff” + “it’s a crap work environment”.
We feel for you, we really do!
We consider ourselves to be all-stars at recruiting, conducting interviews, reference checks and revealing a lot about candidates, but we don’t have one of those magic wands and make people apply if they don’t want to - we wish it was that easy! The question here is how you get candidates interested in your job, and how do you get them to join your team and love it? Here’s some four little tips;
Make it a fun.
We all must go to work, and essentially that’s what it is...work! So, some may say, it can’t or shouldn’t be fun. However, it doesn’t hurt to try. If your staff is spending the majority of their days in your restaurant, missing out on family time or studying etc, you can try to make it enjoyable. If you encourage friendships between your staff, continuing education by training them in new skills relating to their position and maybe start offering a family meal before service starts, these are definite selling points. Maybe even throw in a staff day out, or giving someone who is working hard a surprise PTO day. Take the wonderful culture of your restaurant that you share with the guests and bring it all the way to the back (and front) of the house.
Reward the Staff!
When you’re in your restaurant, observe your staff. If you see someone doing something awesome, tell them! Positive reinforcement is super motivating to your staff, some form of positive recognition goes a LONG way. And if you want to really make them smile and work harder, give a bonus. Studies show that when you present a $200 bonus it has a bigger, positive effect on your employee than a $1 an hour raise, and it’s cheaper for you in the long run! We’re not saying that you shouldn’t offer raises, because that is a must - but when you notice people going above and beyond and you make a big deal about it, everyone on your team will start following suit.
Passion > Experience.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen the same post on Job Boards simply stating, “Line Cook needed, send resume”… We just shutter. Put a little effort into it! Mention the type of personality traits you are looking for, passion for food, willingness to learn for example. I would even put these examples over mentioning that you need someone with lots of experience. If you really want someone who will stick around and grow with your company, sometimes it’s better to look at the less experienced candidate who writes a beautiful cover letter telling you how much they want the job and what other skills they bring to the table. Something else to consider here; if you’re looking for a line cook, server, bartender, or some form of entry level position, we actually recommend hiring those with little to no experience because you can train them YOUR WAY. Yeah it’s a little daunting at first and you need a lot of patience, but it will pay-off in the long run. Ever heard that joke - “How many chefs does it take to change a light bulb? 1 to do it, and 4 that will tell you how they done it at their last job”.
Be a Role Model.
Remember the Golden Rule; Treat others as you would like to be treated.
If you walk into the restaurant and do nothing but pick apart every little thing, this is how that staff is going to treat each other, and this is when people tend to walk out in the middle of a service. The best leaders are the ones who can jump in and help and work with their team, as an actual player on the team. The way you treat your guests, with a smile and respect, is how you should treat your staff. The guest’s money pays for your staff’s paychecks, but if you don’t have happy, quality employees, the service and food will suffer + your guests will diminish + and your reputation will be soiled. Therefore, you should pay your staff fairly, treat them with respect and gratuity because when it comes down to it, without them, you have nothing.
Take these tips and put them into action and you will start to see improvements in your staff, the quality of what’s going out to the guests, and genuine smiles on the faces of your customer-facing employees. When your employees enjoy their place of work, they will tell their friends, who tell their friends, and you will start to see an increase in applicants when posting a job, and what’s even better, you will earn longevity from your current staff. This equals less time spent onboarding, training, and struggling with being understaffed.