With the labor market growing across all industries, restaurants are feeling the pinch. As more jobs become available outside our industry, the labor pool for restaurant staffing shrinks. So what’s a restaurant manager to do? Many feel like their only option is to fill positions as quickly as possible, with anyone who seems even remotely qualified. But the “any warm body will do” strategy will likely make your staffing situation worse in the long run. As you work to fill open positions and build a strong staff, focus on your long-term staffing needs rather just your short-term requirements.

Restaurant Staffing Tips

Attitude over aptitude. Restaurant managers who put more emphasis on evaluating personality and attitude – rather than just skill levels – during the hiring process will see improvements in the success of their new hires.

Personality profile. Identify what personalities make your business successful, and create a personality profile to help guide your hiring decisions. Look at your current employees for examples, or better yet, ask them to help you identify the traits of a perfect teammate.

Slow and steady wins the race. It’s understandable that you want your new hires on the job quickly. But, when you skimp on a good orientation program, you’re setting employees up to fail. Use online training as part of your new-hire orientation to ensure consistent knowledge across the board.

Remember that training is a process, not an event. Training doesn’t end when orientation is over. All employees should be trained and re-trained as part of an ongoing training program. Use job shadowing and on-the-job training strategies to improve employee confidence.

Your team members are your most important assets. Not only do they perform the tasks that keep your doors open, they have a direct impact on restaurant sales and guest loyalty. When you look at each staff member as an investment in your business – and not just as a warm body punching the time clock – you’ll see a difference in staff morale and retention.