How to find, train & retain restaurant kitchen employees?

Jul 29, 2021

How to find, train & retain restaurant kitchen employees? | Shopurfood

Hiring restaurant staff can be challenging at times. Since after the pandemic restrictions, people are visiting restaurants back again as normal. This led restaurants towards the need of hiring new staff which added a layer of complexity due to Covid-19.

Would you like to know a checklist for restaurant owners of how to hire and train restaurant staff? Here you will find the thumb rule to make this process as simple as icing sugar to muffins.

"When hiring key employees, there are only two qualities to look for: judgement and taste. Almost everything else can be bought by the yard." - John W. Gardner

Owner of small restaurant hiring new employees

Shopurfood provides a comprehensive online ordering system for restaurants to handle multiple tasks which reduces additional staffing. Restaurants can increase their profits and decrease add on expenses with help of such software. Let's dig a little deeper for more insights!

How to hire restaurant staff?

1. Look into bunch of dropped in CVs

"The key for us, number one, has always been hiring very smart people." - Bill Gates, Microsoft

Sometimes the old methods can work like magic potions. Just look for job posting sites, and shortlist CVs that match your restaurant business and people who are geographically close. This is one smart trick that can't be excluded in the hiring staff process.

2. Plan full-time and part-time roles

There are multiple factors to consider here. As wages can vary based on several other factors like town, city, state, or country. You can't find one blanket rule for this. However, you can hire full time or part time staff according to requirements to save your budgets.

3. Canvas your personal networks

A golden opportunity in digital space is spreading word of mouth recommendations. Especially in the restaurant business, hiring staff from your existing employee referrals or recommendation is the pro shortcut to find talent.

4. Post ads on social media

Wondering how to maximize your reach? Imagine, a job seeker is trying to apply to your restaurant but you don't have any options for it. This will end up losing talents, so ensure to list career options separately in your business site and invite applicants across social media.

5. Advertise in local media

Are you tired from your job hunting process? Depending on your restaurant's size, your marketing strategies might vary hugely. You can consider promoting job advertisements in local newspapers, print or other business classifieds. This will surely catch attention from the right applicants.

How to train restaurant staff?

1. Conduct training classes

"Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire someone with his experience?" - Thomas John Watson Sr., IBM

There's no replacement to train your staff to handle online orders, and especially if you're struggling to shortlist employees. You can consider creating a handbook with comprehensive details of your restaurant including how it works, Q&A session and relevant training.

The list of things worth to include in your restaurant handbook as follows:
  • Explain how your restaurant operates
  • The basic Covid-19 safety protocols
  • Your restaurant's unique selling point (USP)
  • The available menu items
  • Staff annual leave, sick leave and complaints details
  • Roles and responsibilities of staff members
  • About online ordering systems, POS systems, last mile delivery services etc
  • First aid and fire safety policies

2. Conduct trial sessions

Taking interviews and hiring staff comes with certain limitations. As you can judge the work skills of a person when you only work with them. In such cases, conduct paid trial sessions for right candidates and quickly hire the one you find better.

3. Be approachable

"Human Resources isn't a thing we do. It's the thing that runs our business." - Steve Wynn

Being approachable for job seekers is one pro technique! Restaurant owners and managers must be open to answer for new staff queries. Remember to keep updating all the information in your handbook and business website.

4. Mistakes do happen

"To err is human, to forgive is divine". Yes, new employees will make mistakes initially which is a part of any business. If you're approachable for new staff, you can avoid these errors to a great extent.

5. Learning continuous

The learning process can either be formal or informal. On a practical note, the staff needs to always stay up to date on menu updates, changes in suppliers and technological improvements which may affect your business goals.

How to retain your restaurant staff?

1. Offer flexibility

Your staff must know that you're flexible and can understand fellow employees. For instance, if your restaurant has a flexible leave policy then staff can be transparent about their leave. Normalizing such flexibility can be beneficial for both staff and restaurant owners.

2. Make workspace fun

How to make a hectic workspace fun & lively? Team bonding plays a vital role in boosting enthusiasm within employees. This will reduce the high stress of employees and help them to handle customers in any situation.

3. Be transparent about tips and time off

"You need to have a collaborative hiring process." - Steve Jobs, Apple

For fairness, ensure to maintain rotational shifts for employees especially in last mile delivery business. You can alternate shifts for staff based on their complexities and busy hours. Like if a team works in busy tables and stations, you can schedule less peak hours once or twice in week alternatively.

4. Keep appreciating efforts

Equally, it's always worthwhile to appreciate employees who work really hard for your company. You can consider an Employee of the Month recognition strategy for this. Businesses can announce this via email or notes by highlighting their achievements.

5. Regularly review staffs

Finally, you can ask employees about their priorities and achievements within the past six months. This helps business owners to stay assured that their goals are achieved. Always review the work of your employees to encourage them to do it faster.

Final Note!

Changing your work culture to boost high retention is a time consuming process but it will pay off later. Don't get frustrated, if you're not able to get high turnover despite all your efforts. Keep incorporating the best ways possible and motivate your restaurant staff. As profits and peace of mind are very important in the workspace, ensure to follow all the tips mentioned above.

Kiruthika Blogger


Kiruthika is a Content writer and blogger at Qono Technologies. Other than her interest in writing, she can be seen listening to songs, reading or traveling.