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The Winning Strategy: Attracting and Retaining Top Talent for Your Restaurant – A Four-Step Approach

hiring leadership turnover May 24, 2023

No more despairing over an understaffed restaurant. It's time to dust off your note-taking skills because we're diving into a four-step game plan to draw the crème de la crème to your restaurant, starting immediately.

If your restaurant mirrors many others in your local scene, finding reliable staff is no small feat. Some eateries are barely scraping by without a team. It's astounding! Are they alive? Can they converse? If the answer is yes, then they're on board. But these fresh recruits often stick around only briefly before setting off, triggering a repeating cycle of worry.

If this resonates, if you're desperate for a reliable team, and if your staff changes more often than the seasons, then a new strategy to banish this frantic turmoil is necessary.

Before we delve into the plan, if this post aids you in any way, kindly consider subscribing or share it with someone who may benefit from its insights. Now, let's discuss our current predicament and find a way out.

Step 1: Adopt a Fresh Mindset

Solving our staffing woes begins with an inward journey: altering our mindset. This might sound deceptively simple, but it's the foundational stone upon which all other steps rely. You might have heard about the "war for talent." Let me tell you; it's more of a war with talent.

We're often our greatest adversaries in this industry, yet we also hold the potential to be our own saviors. Discard the age-old adage, "Treat people as you want to be treated." Most people don't treat themselves too kindly, so our objective is to treat our staff even better than we treat ourselves. This means internalizing the essence of hospitality.

We're curators of memorable experiences for others. Let's extend the same warmth and enthusiasm we show our patrons to our team. Genuine appreciation and respect for our staff can create miracles.

Step 2: Proactive Recruitment

Unearthing top-tier talent demands active recruitment. Notice the emphasis on "active". Publishing a dull job listing and playing the waiting game is a passive tactic that rarely bears fruit. Instead, we should be on the offense, taking our recruitment strategy to the talent pool. Relying on serendipity for star performers to discover us is a wasted opportunity.

We must scan resumes on platforms like Indeed and LinkedIn and initiate conversations with potential candidates. Do not fear rejection; it's merely a step in the process. Take the initiative, communicate, and show genuine interest in their capabilities.

Allocate at least an hour a week to proactive recruitment in your area.

Step 3: Scout for Personality, Not Just Skills

During the hiring process, we sometimes over-emphasize experience while undervaluing the importance of personality. While experience is certainly crucial for specific roles, personality should carry substantial weight in our hiring decisions.

To gain insights into a candidate's personality, we need to pose incisive questions probing their character. For instance, we could ask about common misconceptions people harbor about them or their reaction to a scenario involving theft.

These queries reveal their values and attitudes. If a candidate seems promising in terms of personality, complement it with a behavioral assessment to gain a better understanding of their leadership style, communication skills, and response to feedback.

Step 4: Position Yourself as the Employer of Choice

If your restaurant or bar isn't attracting top talent, perhaps they don't perceive you as a worthy employer. Perception is key. To transform this perception and entice high-quality talent, it's essential to position yourself as the employer of choice.

This involves marketing your restaurant as an appealing workplace. While you may already be promoting to your customers, it's equally significant to advertise to your prospective staff. Incorporate images and videos on your social media platforms that capture your team enjoying their work at your restaurant.

Share their narratives and testimonials explaining why they chose to work there. Promoting your team experience helps you stand out, solidifying your reputation as the preferred employer in your market.

Keep in mind, your team's well-being is just as important as your patrons'. It creates a domino effect fostering a culture that curates an exceptional experience. Prioritize your team's contentment and development, and in turn, they will ensure your customers' satisfaction.

In Conclusion

Recruitment should be a continuous effort, not a seasonal chore. To assemble a high-performance team, you need to perpetually be recruiting, marketing, training, and learning.

Keep your recruitment and marketing initiatives energized and operative all year round. Maintain your restaurant's presence in the minds of potential talent by constantly projecting it as a fantastic place to work.

If you're considering revamping your hiring process and elevating your restaurant to the next level, consider joining Restaurant Masterminds, my premier group accountability coaching program designed for independent restaurants. With access to our comprehensive online training library, you can start earning more while working less in your restaurant.

No longer should you settle for a mediocre team. Join restaurants from across the globe that are mastering the art of working on their business, not just in it.

Visit to sign up today.

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