Meet Your Restaurant Staffing Needs Before You Open
Regardless of how nice your restaurant dining room looks, or how great the food tastes, if you are short staffed you will run into problems when you open your doors. That is why it is important for you to plan ahead and make sure that your staffing needs are met before you open. Unless you have previous restaurant experience, you may not know how to determine your staffing needs, or know how to go about the hiring process. Here are some tips that can help you get started with staffing your restaurant.
Determine Staffing Needs
Before you can effectively hire staff, you must first determine which positions you will do by yourself, and which will need to be filled. Knowing the details about your operation will help you determine what positions are available. Take into account the many specific aspects of your operation in order to help you determine staffing:
Specifics of Your Restaurant
Know the specific qualities of your restaurant. What type of restaurant do you have? Is it a pancake house, a fast food chain, or one that serves fine cuisine? How will the food be served? Will it be buffet style, casual or fine dining? Each of these styles requires different staffing. You will also need to determine the type of food you will be serving, and the type of preparation involved. A fine dining establishment will have different staffing positions than a fast food chain. Finally, the size of your establishment will help determine the number of staff you will need. Many tables and chairs in a sit down establishment will require more servers; whereas the same amount of tables and chairs at a food bar would require fewer servers.
There are many jobs to fill in a restaurant. Once you have determined the type of establishment you are, and your size, you can figure out which positions to fill. The most common positions in a restaurant include: the executive chef, restaurant manager, bartender, cooks, wait staff, host, dishwashers and maintenance staff. Depending on the size, style and other factors discussed earlier, you can determine how many staff members you will need to fill each position. It is a good idea to over-hire in the beginning to account for the high turnover rate in the restaurant industry.
Once you have determined your staffing requirements, you can then assign work schedules that make sense and that leave you with adequate staff when you need it, and not vice versa. So, if you are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will need to schedule all three shifts. Or, if you are open for lunch and dinner, you will need to schedule for those shifts. If you are operating a new business, it will take some time to find the proper balance between over and under staffing.
Some general staffing guidelines for staff scheduling are to make predictions as to when more or fewer staff will be needed. This information accumulates over time and you will become more and more able to predict the times when you will receive the most customers. At those times you want more staff. Likewise at slower times you will want fewer staff.
Employees also expect to have staggered shifts that overlap during slow and busy times so everyone can benefit from the extra tips during high traffic times, and the slower workload during quieter times
It is also important to be flexible when creating employee schedules to accommodate the needs of your staff. People may want to work extra shifts; people may need time off to study for big exams; moms may need to take off to care of sick kids, etc. The more varied a staff you can hire, the easier it will be to accommodate everyone. If possible, rather than hire all students, or all working mothers, try a mix of people. Being able to be flexible can help you schedule your staff with greater ease.
Time to Hire
The first thing to do when hiring, is to hire the most critical positions first. In a fine food establishment this may be the chef, and restaurant manager. In a cafe or diner, it may be the kitchen manager, it all depends on the type of restaurant you are running. These employees can then help with the process of hiring others.
Over time you will get a better handle on what the staffing needs of your restaurant are and how to best schedule employees But after reading this article, you can get a good start on having a great opening day in your restaurant.