Hiring & Employing for Today in Seattle and the Eastside

The theme of my dissertation is an everyday dialogue I am involved in, “there is not very many people out there…let alone good people.” Most of the owners/managers are frustrated because of their situation. “What Should I do? I am lost. Help.”

Here are the things to consider.

Let’s address what you have.
Valuable owners, managers and employees are what turns a restaurant from good to great. Your most important asset is your talented, high-performing employees. Retaining valued employees will definitely impact your success.

How to do this should come naturally. You are in the hospitality business because you care about people. Not only the customers, but more importantly your staff.

Awareness is the first step toward engaging and retaining your greatest asset — your people. Treat them with respect and always show them you care about them. Don’t just say “hi” to them. Take the time to ask them how they are doing. Know their passions and ask them about them. Be real with them.

Reward, recognize and appreciate the staff. Frequent “thank yous” do go a long way. Acknowledge and reward good action publicly.

Make sure you provide your staff with the tools to perform their jobs seamlessly and flawlessly. Whether it is equipment like having enough silverware or water bottles for the tables sounds like common sense but without adequate pars your staff cannot perform their jobs. Marketing and “specials” need to be shared with the staff so that they can answer and deliver these to the guests seamlessly.

Ensure the “benefit” package is competitive to the surrounding area. The perks you offer besides the standard wage, employee meal and possibly health insurance also needs to be competitive. Think of it this way… a happy employee will not leave you.


Writing Your Job Posting:

  • Job Title – name the position you are recruiting for
  • Restaurant Name – Leaving out the name reduces the effectiveness of your ad
  • Job Description – be specific
  • Shifts/Hours – Flexible hours is a plus
  • Minimum Years of Experience
  • Salary
  • Special Requirements – drug testing, bilingual, lift 50 pounds, etc.
  • Enticing Items
  • Room for Upward Mobility
  • Competitive Wages
  • Medical Benefits
  • Discount Programs
  • Vacation
  • Paid Sick Leave
  • Flexible Hours and Days
  • Describe the Restaurant – in a sentence or two
  • Submission Requirements – let the applicant know exactly what you want and how you want it
  • Ask for a cover letter, resume, references, salary history
  • Ability to apply online
  • Spell check, grammar check, punctuation check

Have current staff members post this on their own social media and talk to their friends about coming to work at your establishment. Provide a bonus for staff that do this as an incentive.
Make sure you have a “recruitment” page on your web-site. Your web site needs to not only attract customers, but it will also attract future staff if you can visually make the brand look fun and interesting.

Take time to hire the right person. First and fore most hire the right personality for the position. Avoid hiring experience over a great personality. You can train a person to perform the job. You cannot train a personality.

Orientation and Training
Review your initial orientation and training. You want it to be interactive and informative. This is your opportunity to show your new hire that they made the right decision to work for you. If your orientation and training process is incomplete and not well organized, you will set the tone for mediocrity.

Discuss and quantify expectations. Help them understand how to become better at what they are doing? To become better at anything requires clear expectations, time, patience, coaching and positive reinforcement.

Training is a process. It is not a program. Train yourself and your staff how to be great every shift. Your staff will appreciate this.

Be prepared to teach and coach a new hire that has never worked in a restaurant. Look forward to hiring and training a fast casual employee that has a great personality.

Obviously we live in a growing market place. This is exciting yet challenging and truly requires a more focused awareness towards staff retention and recruitment. It is what it is. It’s not going to get better for you unless you review what we have provided above and implement them. Restaurant Group, Inc. is available to you. After all, we are a consulting company that addresses this challenge every day so we understand it better then most.