Front-of-house restaurant jobs are customer-facing and are the primary people interacting with your guests. In order to do their job most efficiently, servers and hostesses alike need to feel valued by your organization as well as part of your team. They should encompass your business’s brand and mission, bringing it to life for all who enter your restaurant.
Front of house staff members include:
Although brand and mission vary considerably from restaurant to restaurant, requiring a unique list of traits and skills for employees at any given franchise, there are some core qualities all front-of-house staff should have including:
There are four major forces making hiring quality restaurant staff difficult in 2022:
There are a number of core business initiatives, ranging from branding strategy to refining the interview process, which standout restaurants are using today to become industry leaders. Read on to learn more about what you can do at your restaurant to hire and retain top-tier front of house staff.
Learn more about how your tech stack can help you address labor challenges in the following webinar:
Throughout your hiring process be sure to have a clear picture of what the perfect applicant would be. Continually record a list of traits from your top performing employees to build your job description and interview questions around.
With the millennial-dominant workforce, company culture is more important than ever. To set yourself up for a smooth hiring process make sure you have created an inclusive culture with clear delegation of projects and sense of empowerment. Be sure to list your company overview, company culture and any incentives on your website and social media pages.
Make note of your company’s lived mission statement and values. The key to great hiring is keeping these elements in mind and vetting for them through the hiring process.
Make sure you are currently using incentives to reward employees for enacting your mission. Since your managers will likely be the leaders for your front-of-house staff, make sure you’re investing in managerial training so leadership knows how to create a sense of empowerment and drive others to enact the company values.
What to include in your job description:
Tips for job description copywriting:
Once your job description is perfected it's imperative to communicate your opening with talent that would be ideal for the role.
Be sure to post the opening on:
Communicate your job opening to:
As well, encourage your current staff to refer potential candidates. You can do this by setting up an employee referral incentive program. Employees hired through these programs on average produce 25% more profit than employees hired through other means.
Lastly, consider using the “second interview” method for referrals. You can encourage candidates to bring along a second person who could be interested in the company for subsequent interview rounds or shadowing. Since interviewees will likely want to impress their potential employers, most of the accomplices are impressive. Some great hires have been made through this process.
The interview process is all about vetting talent and providing information about your workplace culture.
The most important aspect of the interview is to ask engaging questions that allow you to see unique skills and traits that make this person a good fit for your restaurant in particular. For example, Tacombi, a Mexican taco restaurant in New York, asks questions to determine warmth, professionalism and work ethic.
Gianpaolo Paterlini, partner and wine director at 1760 says, “When we hire people, it has absolutely nothing to do with experience or skill; it’s strictly about personality.” Any skills gaps can be filled through training. “I ask them simple questions like what their favorite dish is and why,” he says. “I don’t care what dish they describe. I just want to know if they can convey a dish or drink with some emotion and if it feels authentic.”
Pay attention not only to verb answers but also body language. Are they making good eye contact? Are they engaging? Do they seem open and friendly?
Consider using the following questions to get to know your candidates:
As always, be sure to ask candidates if they have any questions for you or the other interviewers.
Here are some additional tips for the interview process:
When making the offer it is appropriate to do this over the phone. Go over:
Ask if they have any questions moving forward.
Hiring front-of-house staff is critical to any restaurant’s success. It’s important to try to match hiring needs with current demands.
Once you’ve got the right team members selected for the job, quickly train them on an intuitive point of sale (POS) system for restaurants!
Find out how Revel Systems® can help you get your staff up-and-running quickly through our iPad-based platform. Contact us today for a free demo.