Running great restaurants is all about people — those you serve, those you employ, and those you give back to within the community. If you get this trifecta right, your chances of success rise astronomically!
Your team – your people – represent you on the front lines. If you’re having “people problems,” it could be due to a whole slew of reasons since there are many pieces to this puzzle. Using appropriate recruiting and hiring strategies is key, though it’s only one small step in creating a solid, problem-free team. Even if the ideal employees are hired, many factors can come into play afterwards, affecting the ability to establish a strong team and culture.
Issues Affecting Your People
In order to properly address staffing issues, you have to first get to the core of the problem and figure out where your people processes are going off track. Identify the issues, correct them, and your restaurant can become the place where people want to work.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some common issues that can lead to people problems:
Ineffective recruiting and hiring. When thinking about who you want as part of your team, consider the following questions:
- What types of positions need filled? Full-time, part-time, hourly or managerial?
- What characteristics are you seeking in candidates?
- Have your past employees demonstrated those characteristics?
- Where are you looking for candidates and placing job ads?
- Are your interview questions digging deep enough?
- Are you checking references?
- Are you being selective or rushing to make a decision?
Being consistently understaffed. Turnover is going to happen, especially given the unique employment situations affecting the restaurant industry. But you have to take a good hard look at the number of hours or shifts your team is working. Picking up a shift or two every few months when people are on vacation isn’t that big of a deal. But if your team is doing this frequently — either because of high turnover or too few people on staff — it’s likely they are overworked and tired. All of which can lead to frustration and even more turnover. If your people are working too much, is it only a temporary problem? If not, do you have a plan to remedy this and relieve the burden on your team?