Time is not an abundant asset for small restaurant owners, especially when it comes to the process of hiring a new staff member. With restaurant staff retention rates hovering at near 25% for two years, and an additional 1.6 million restaurant jobs expected to be created by 2028, hiring and staff management is going to continue to present a challenge. Small restaurants staff requirements are particularly affected by these challenges, as these owners lack the time and bandwidth for filling open positions and training new staff.
With a small space and limited staff to work with, time and resources must be used effectively in every area of the business. Versatility is the key in everything you do and must translate into how you use your valuable time, including when looking to add or replace staff. You must get more bang for your minutes, which translates into you developing a concise hiring plan that makes targeting the perfect candidate an efficient, rewarding experience. What should you look for in a candidate when you have to make a staffing change, that will not soak up valuable resources throughout the process?
Put Versatility At The Top of Your Small Restaurant Staff Requirements
You are most likely one of the 90% of restaurant owners that have five or fewer staff on hand. And like most small restaurants out there, the limited staff will mean limited space as well. This also means that you and your smaller staff must accomplish more per production minute than a bigger operation, making efficiency and versatility two important attributes to possess for achieving long-lasting success. With this in mind, have you created a wishlist of attributes and skills to seek out in a candidate during the hiring process?
Putting together a list of small restaurant staff requirements that must be filled by everyone is a great place to start. From this, you can generate the questions and key identification points so that you can properly gauge whether or not a potential hire has these already or is easily trainable. While we all want to find the perfect candidate, Monster.com reported that only 1.5% of candidates in its massive database of job seekers perfectly matched a position. What this means for you is to go one step further in putting your list together and prioritize the importance of each one.
Case Study: How One Small Café Went About Hiring
Let’s look at an example of this. Candidate “A” has two years of mixed skill experience working for a coffee shop/café near a suburban neighborhood. “A” is a great counter, hostess, and barista, and has experience managing the operation for short periods of time. “A” has written on the application that they are team-driven, states that this line of work fits their personality perfectly and is willing to learn. “A” has never worked in a kitchen, or bused a table, but has helped with inventory on a regular basis, and her interview was spectacular.
Candidate “B” has worked in the restaurant industry for seven years, starting as a host/hostess and working their way up to become the lead on the wait staff. “B” has experience supervising a moderate number of waitstaff and tables, was promoted due to their successful customer interactions, and seemingly has handled increasing responsibilities, such as bartending, well. “B” stated on the application that teamwork is a key to success, but says nothing about willingness to learn, as “A” mentioned, nor mentions why they have been in this industry for this length of time. “B” has conducted light inventory work and has also never performed any kitchen duties, and also had an incredible interview.
Which candidate would you choose, based on the criteria and skill prioritization you have created? Both candidates have good experience levels and have been successful in working with customers. Neither candidate has worked in a kitchen, so training will be required for whoever is selected. Both are team-focused, have management and inventory experience, and both have exhibited some level of flexibility if one reads between the lines, and both gave amazing interviews. So, who is the lucky hire?
The subject of the case study ultimately chose candidate “A” over candidate “B”, but why? According to the case study, there were two key differences between the candidates. First, only “A” mentioned a willingness to learn new skills as well as why they were in this industry. And while “B” had much more experience than “A”, the subject felt that “A”’s experience in multiple aspects of a smaller operation made them better suited to handle the ebbs and flows that impact small restaurant staff requirements without reinforcements. While “B” could certainly handle these as well, the case subject felt that “B” would need more help to lean on and was not as experienced with multi-tasking in a smaller environment.
Your staff must be interchangeable throughout the many roles that must be filled in your daily operations. They must readily switch from counter to cook; from barista to hostess and do so with ease while maintaining a positive attitude. Attitudes must be positive under pressure and stay team-focused. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? What if there were a way to leverage an innovative technical solution to make this easier?
Leveraging Technology To Help Maximize Your Staff’s Talent
Running around like mad throughout the day does not have to be the norm. There are innovative technical solutions out there that can help you manage much of your day-to-day workload and small restaurant staff requirements, allowing you to focus on customer-facing and business-building tasks. Many of today’s POS solutions can provide a multi-faceted system that manages a wide range of duties while gathering data for later analysis.
Staff scheduling, transaction analysis, and customer rewards are just a small sample of what an updated POS solution can provide. Many of these come with apps, allowing you to manage and monitor your restaurant from your phone or tablet. This also allows staff to easily submit timesheets and handle payment, work availability, and block out time for training. This keeps the doors of cooperative communication wide open, and greatly reduces the staff management load on you.
Inventory management and sales reporting abilities within a modern POS system will present you with opportunities for improvement thanks to deepened data analysis and easy to read and easy to generate reporting. This serves to help you reduce product leakage, modify your menu to match the changing tastes of your customers, and greatly increases the accuracy of orders. The increased efficiencies and reduced small restaurant staff requirements make it easier for your staff to maintain positive smiles, and definitely gains the notice of your customer base. Getting there the right way, while challenging, can be made simpler with the right help.
Seeking Outside Expertise for Your Small Restaurant Staff Requirements
It is hard for a restaurant owner to take a neutral, high-level look into the inner workings of their operation. Hiring the right people depends on having this view, and often is why a candidate does not work out. Enlisting the help of an outside partner that has a vast array of technical and soft-skill experiences can be game-changing for the small restaurant owner looking to improve staff and customer retention.
Leveraging cutting-edge technology in your small restaurant allows you to become more involved in the soft-skill aspects of your operations. Your small restaurant staff requirements become simplified thanks to implementing an intuitive and flexible POS solution. Flexibility and versatility is the name of the game, and talech is ready to help modernize your business operations through the utilization of a modern point of sale system. Contact us today for a free demo and more information on how to bring cutting-edge technology to your customers.