A complete restaurant hiring strategy puts stars in both front and the back-of-house roles.
Some candidates are inherently shy, work best alone, and don’t need to engage in small talk to get the job done. Others are naturally gregarious, thriving when they interact with other people. All can be star performers if your job descriptions highlight the key competencies and personality traits that complement each role.
In the Hospitality industry, the talent you hire for customer-facing roles will be markedly different than those behind the scenes. Here are a few things to keep in mind when navigating your talent acquisition and workforce strategy.
First impressions matter with front-of-house roles, so hire accordingly
You want to wow your customer. Whether you’re a casual fine dining restaurant or a brick and mortar retail outlet, the experience begins the moment someone walks in. The star performers who appear ‘on stage’ are the ones who entertain, enlighten and energize the audience. You need to hire a host, sommelier or server who’s capable of (and driven by) lively conversation with guests. If your cashiers and restaurant floor staff are grunting or sighing instead of asking how someone’s day is going, your brand is going to take a hit.
Do you remember the last time you had an amazing dining experience, one where you were treated like royalty? Think about your best personal experiences, and you’ll know which type of employees you want up front creating memorable impressions with your customers. To hire the best people for your restaurant, try new tactics like having two managers interview candidates. Train them on identifying positive cues such as good eye contact, friendly smiles and engaging interaction. Are you ready to recruit the best for these critical roles?
Behind-the-scenes roles impact customer experience more than you think
While the front-of-house performers often get all the glory, there are other key positions that have an immediate impact on your customer experience. These roles are crucial to the success of your brand and restaurant, so your back-of-house people need to be stars in their own right.
For example, dishwashers need to direct a steady flow of clean dishes, sparkly glasses and immaculate cutlery. If that meal isn’t cooked to perfection or doesn’t taste right, it’s a lost opportunity to wow your guests (and may be a brand detractor). Every part of the dining experience can influence whether you go back or support a competitor next time. One Harvard study finds that if you increase repeat visits by 5%, you have the potential to increase profits by 25-95%.
Don’t neglect your back-of-house team. Their skills and personality traits should differ from your front-of-house employees.
Use assessment tools to find the best fit for each role
Take time to create benchmarks for your ideal front- and back-of-house candidates. Model these archetypes after your top performers in both areas. Along with hard skills, psychometric assessments can test applicants’ interests, disposition, and soft skills so you can get a good picture of that person’s likely character in a role.
Creating a process that compares and measures candidates against your ideal employees will help you make better hiring decisions and leads to longer retention. At Mindfield, we thrive on helping clients find the best front- and back-of-house employees to delight customers and keep them coming back.
Mindfield is a Recruitment Outsourcing solutions provider that partners with companies to create powerful hourly workforces. Our solutions combine a recruitment team, simple to use technology and a data-driven hiring strategy that promises to improve the quality of your hourly workforce. This approach focuses on tying business outcomes such as sales performance, tenure, and engagement to the selection, hiring and measurement of quality candidates.