Beginner's Guide to Restaurant Staffing
Food Guides

Beginner’s Guide to Restaurant Staffing

The biggest challenge in the food industry is hiring staff. The turnover rate in this industry is 66%, which makes it important to optimize the budget for restaurant staffing.

Generally, a huge investment is involved in establishing a restaurant.

When your restaurant is new, you may need experienced and qualified staff to manage the day-to-day operations. 

Don’t worry, we’ll give you a complete briefing about restaurant staffing. 

This article will serve as a guide for restaurant staffing, enlightening you on all the aspects to consider when hiring employees.


The Staff You Need to Hire to Run Your Restaurant

The Staff You Need to Hire to Run Your Restaurant

Hiring in a restaurant involves recruiting several kinds of personnel such as:

  • Managers
  • Servers  
  • Cooks  
  • Bartenders 
  • Dishwashers 
  • Hosts

Each person serves their purpose in the restaurant. 

You may take some time to get fit in the industry if you’re new to the business. The roles will cross each other. 

For example, your manager may serve as the host as well, or servers may double the roles as well. It’s important that you hire people who are willing to be flexible.

Your payroll and that of your manager shouldn’t exceed more than 35% of your total gross sales, else you’d have to increase the sales or cut the cost.

Here is the list of the staff which you need to hire and should consider in your restaurant staffing guide:


#1. Manager


The manager is the most important employee.

He has the responsibility of managing the overall function of the restaurant and hence has to be highly experienced. 

He has to be familiar with suppliers, methods, and local buying sources.

His responsibility involves training the staff and managing them, purchasing food and beverages, handling the suppliers, and tracking inventory. 

Besides, it includes planning and executing marketing strategy, opening and closing the restaurant, managing cash registers. 

The eligibility requirement to qualify as a manager involves a minimum of three years of experience in any restaurant.

It’s generally preferable to recruit a manager who has had experience in working in small restaurants.

 It will ensure that the manager has optimum knowledge of running a non-corporate eatery.

Furthermore, the manager must also possess leadership qualities.

He must be able to supervise personnel in bars, kitchens, restrooms and hospitality entrances.

 Also, he must know how to make customers feel welcomed and comfortable.

They are often found to be overworked due to inane responsibilities, which leads to burnout. 

To avoid making them work around 60 hours a week, give them some time to unwind themselves. 

Also, make sure that you pay them well to compensate for their overwork, or if you can’t offer them a good salary, then try out the profit-sharing arrangement to encourage them.


#2. Chefs


The chef is the main attraction of a restaurant. A chef can either make or break a restaurant’s business.

There are several parameters on which a chef’s salary depends, their experiences, training, location, or benefits offered.

For example, a pastry chef’s salary starts at $28,000 per year which can go up to $60,000 per year, if served as the executive chef.

Before hiring a chef, you must consider certain parameters, such as experience and the culinary experience involved in restaurant staffing.

A top chef can do wonders for your restaurant.


#3. Cooks

Plan out a restaurant staffing strategy based on the type of restaurant you have before hiring any cook.

Initially, you may need three cooks: one part-time and two full-time. 

Full-time cooks work the whole day and part-time cooks work in the evenings, so they can be a great support on weekends, especially during the weekend rush or during slower periods. 

They can assist in simple preparations. The full-time cook can look after the food preparation.

It solely depends on your requirements and the restaurant. 

For example, if you wish to open a fine-dining restaurant, then you’d need a chef rather than a cook.

Or if you want to have an extensive dessert menu, then you might consider hiring a pastry chef rather than a cook.

The salaries of the cooks depend on their culinary experience and your requirements. 

If you have an extensive menu, then you’d require a highly experienced cook.

Restaurant staffing isn’t an easy process. Do research before engaging anyone. 

Customers prefer dining at restaurants where they can expect the best. Hence, you need top-notch chefs and cooks to meet their expectations.


#4. Dishwashers


The job of a dishwasher is to keep the dishes clean.

You may need two dishwashers, one for the morning/afternoon shift and the other for the evening shift.


#5. Serving Staff

Serving Staff

Hiring the right serving staff is as important as hiring the other staff. 

It’s important that servers make a favourable impression on customers.

Hence you require someone who’s good at customer interaction and can do well under pressure.

Servers who can live up to the expectations of customers while keeping a positive demeanour and don’t require much training.


#6. Buspersons


Their responsibility is to set up tables, fill the water after the customers have sat, and then clean their tables. 

The bus persons are assigned different stations.

Hence, they must be well-versed in their jobs.

It includes refilling the water, keeping containers clean, or supporting the other servers.

They work in resonance with servers and often together as a team. You can even hire college students for this post.


#7. Bartenders


If you wish to get a small bar at your restaurant or already have one, then you’ll have to hire one bartender. 

If the bar opens only at night, one bartender isn’t sufficient, you may need a few backups so that if one can’t show up, you have the others. 

At least you need two bartenders to make a profit from this night business.

The job role of a bartender involves ample responsibilities.

It includes preparing mixers and condiments, looking after the liquor repository sheet, and restocking the bar.

Furthermore, if there’s an inventory management system, then they do have to check the metres.


How To Hire The Right Staff For Your Restaurant

How To Hire The Right Staff For Your Restaurant

As employees are assets in any food industry, it’s important to put all efforts into hiring the right employees to grow your restaurant business. 

There are different ways of hiring the right staff for your restaurant.

Based on your restaurant’s type, you can prepare an efficient strategy for restaurant staffing.


#1. Hiring Through Personal Recommendation

This is a simple yet efficient way of hiring the right staff. Restaurant staffing can be done based on personal recommendations from your employees or chefs. 

They can spread the word about the restaurant opening and can recommend a few experienced candidates. This works best for hiring junior employees.


#2 Hiring Through Classified Advertisements

It generally involves running classified advertisements in newspapers. Running classified ads has always been an effective method for mass hiring. 

It’s cost-effective and is best for restaurant staffing. 

Before running any advertisements, keep your target audience in mind.

As most Indians understand Hindi well, consider placing classified ads in Hindi newspapers to reach out to more people.


#3. Hiring Through Posts on Social Media

It’s one of the best-proven methods of Restaurant staffing. You can make the most of these digital platforms to reach out to more people.

Facebook is a great platform to reach out to the masses.

It’s a platform where many communities and groups of different similar interests and age groups interact.

Hence it can be the perfect platform to hire employees.

These days, consultants and restaurant owners use this platform for restaurant staffing.


3 Tips For Building The Best Team 

Here is a compiled list of a few tips to help you flourish in your restaurant business:


#1. Reward Your Staff

When you see an employee working their best, acknowledge their efforts and reward them.

Rewarding boosts dopamine and creates positive reinforcement that brings the best in employees and encourages them to go above and beyond to reach new heights.

A gift card or movie ticket can even bring a smile to your employee’s face.


#2. Don’t Ignore Your Staff’s Opinion

Letting your staff voice their opinion can be a great way to boost audience engagement.

Employees interact more with customers and are more well-versed in dealing with them. 

Hence, chances are that your staff is going to come up with good recommendations and ideas to grow your restaurant business.


#3. Know Your Employees

It’s always better to know your employees to make them feel warm and comfortable. Ask them about their goals, interests, and hobbies. 

This will make them feel like a member or part of the family, rather than solely a dishwasher or server. 


The Takeaway

Restaurant staffing is all about hiring the right person for the right job to run a successful restaurant.

30% of restaurant owners agree that the right staffing can bring success to your restaurant.

Restaurant hiring isn’t a complex process when strategized in the right manner.

Spend decent time researching and strategizing to hire the right people for your restaurant.

Be selective while looking for the right staff as it can either make or break your business.

Beginner's Guide to Restaurant Staffing

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