Hiring Help for the Holidays in Your Restaurant

Posted on September 26, 2017 by Michelle Locke

Next week is the first week of October and that means the Holidays are rapidly approaching. The Holidays can be a busy time of the year for restaurants—not just because of the volume of guests, holiday dinners, and special occasions, but also because your employees are busy too.

They might ask for more time off than usual; they might need to leave exactly when their shift ends; and they might be more stressed than usual.

( Speaking of how stressful the holidays can be, click here to read our management tips.)

If you know you’re going to need more help during the holidays to account for all these issues, we have some tips to help you make better choices and hire the best employees to help you during the holidays.

1. Hire for Personality

Sometimes when hiring, it’s easy to just choose the person with the most experience. But sometimes the most experienced candidate isn’t the best fit in your restaurant. While hiring for personality can be tricky, especially if you need someone to step into a role quickly, it will be more beneficial in the long run: you may end up with the perfect employee for the entire year, instead of just a quick fix during a busy season.

( Click here to read about keeping customers & employees safe during the holidays.)

When hiring for personality, here are a few questions to ask:
  • When you make a mistake, how do you respond? Are you willing to admit you were wrong?
  • When it comes to your coworkers, if you don’t get along with someone, can you look past that to get the job done?
  • If a customer becomes aggressive, what would you do?

2. Make Training Expectations Clear

When you’re interviewing potential candidates, we fully believe in making your training process clear from the beginning. This ensures that your new hires know exactly what kind of training to expect—and how they need to work hard to get up to speed. Especially if you choose a new hire with perhaps less experience, but the perfect employee to fit in your restaurant—they’ll know what tests to expect, which days they’ll be shadowing a server or host, and what exactly you need from them to succeed. Setting these expectations upfront ensures that no one gets left behind.

( Click here to check out our holidays & your restaurant infographic.)

3. Make the Schedule Clear

Let’s say you’re hiring someone to fill in last minute shifts and to act, essentially, as back up to your servers, bartenders, hosts, and bussers. That’s a big commitment and it requires a very particular schedule. When interviewing, make it clear that this will be a position with a high level of responsibility—you’ll be depending on them to do their best, to not ask for shifts off out of the blue, and to occasionally stay late.

( Click here to read about making the most of the holidays.)

Again, making these expectations clear up front allows you to weed out those who aren’t necessarily sold on the schedule—and those who are willing to take it on. Someone with a high level of commitment—such as a student or parent—won’t necessarily be able to commit to a hectic schedule. But making these expectations clear gives them the freedom to choose beforehand.