Whoever said “winning isn’t everything” never ran a restaurant. A drive down any street in America shows just how fierce the competition is in this industry. These days, it’s not just customers you’re competing for. You’re competing for quality employees, too.

Staffing challenges have always plagued restaurant managers. Isn’t it time you started approaching them differently? Think about it this way — creating and maintaining an excellent team requires the same planning you put into other aspects of restaurant management. Take purchasing, for example. When determining what and when you order inventory, you might make decisions based on volume discounts and, consequently, carry large inventories. Or you might run lean, keeping minimal amounts on hand and using cash flow for other purposes. Whatever the case, you have a purchasing philosophy. You need a staffing philosophy, too.

Create Your Staffing Philosophy

Hiring and maintaining a strong staff is such a challenge for many restaurant managers, it’s hard to resist the urge to hire just anyone. The reality is, you will have to make quick staffing decisions sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle. Create a staffing philosophy that gets to the root of your operational and staffing challenges. Here’s an example: “I will hire only those people who demonstrate a genuine ability to excel in guest service and who possess common sense, communication skills, and integrity.”

A sound philosophy serves as the benchmark against which all staffing decisions should be measured. Think about the type of business you’re in and the guest you want to attract. Ideally, what do you want them to hear during a visit? How do you want them to feel? What do you want them to see? Candidates for your team must fit that bill.

Overcome Staffing Challenges by Becoming the Employer of Choice

Think about what you have to offer that other businesses don’t. Maybe it’s a stronger team environment, more flexible scheduling, or a solid career path. If you really want to become the employer of choice, you may have to change some of your own attitudes as well as policies and procedures. Be creative. Sell yourself and your company to attract people who will work with your staffing philosophy.

Restaurant Service and Sales Training

Once you hire the right people, training is the key to retaining them. The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.