Finding the right employees is a challenge in any industry, but especially for restaurants. The restaurant industry has a notoriously high turnover rate – over 70%. Every time you have to hire and train a new employee, you’re investing time and money with no promise of a return on that investment. Not to mention, it’s stressful for you and the rest of your staff. Restaurants are a team sport, so whenever there’s a new hire, it affects everyone. 

The best way to stop the revolving door of new hires is to get the right people from the start. It takes more upfront effort, but the rewards are huge and ongoing. Imagine the day when everyone on your staff has been there for at least six months. Everyone knows everything they need to know, everyone tries their best every day, there’s no drama, there are no scheduling issues, and your customers are happier than ever because they consistently get great service. 

Did you get a little misty-eyed? We won’t tell anyone. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

We have five tips to help you hire the best employees for your restaurant.

Get recommendations

Do you have a few employees you wish you could clone? Talk to them about the job opening and ask if they can recommend anyone. Offer them a referral bonus if they bring in an employee and gets hired. Great employees are likely to recommend people who have similar work ethics. The chance of success is much higher with these candidates, but you should still go through the full interview process to ensure they’re the right fit.

Offer competitive pay and/or benefits

No one wants to hear this one, we know, but offering better wages means you’ll get better employees. In a survey of 1,900 restaurant employees, 61% said a pay increase would make them happier. Workers who are paid fairly and treated well don’t mind working hard and have no reason to job hop. If you can’t pay out higher wages right now, consider offering paid vacation time and sick days.

Hire for best culture fit, not for the experience

You can teach someone the skills needed to do well in the restaurant industry. You can’t teach someone to have a great attitude. Pick the right personality for your team and let training do the rest. 

Have strategic interviews

Develop a set of interview questions to use for every candidate, and either begin or end every interview with an open-ended conversation. The questions should reflect the skills and values you’re looking for. This will help you compare candidates more easily. The open-ended conversation should be casual and focus on their life or general opinions, not on work. This will help you weed out bad employees who’ve learned to ace interviews because they’ve had so many. It’s harder to hide potential personality issues when having a regular conversation. 

Try Edizeven

Edizeven’s job platform focuses on connecting restaurants with the best talent. Job seekers using Edizeven are specifically looking for restaurant jobs. This means they are more likely to be a good fit than someone who accidentally stumbled upon a restaurant job ad on a general site like Indeed. We also save you time by doing reference checks to ensure you only get quality candidates.  

Bonus Tip

Hiring the best employees for your restaurant is only one half of the “perfect staff” equation. The other half depends on you and your restaurant’s culture. To keep a great employee, you have to offer a great work environment. For ideas on how what employees are looking for, check out 7Shift’s survey on restaurant employee happiness.

Are you ready to meet your best employees? Create your first free job post today.