You’ll need to manage employee turnover, temporary staffing, and other challenges when you run a restaurant.

How you find, interview, hire, and train temporary restaurant staff will determine their quality and success in the role. This guide will help you ensure that the temporary restaurant staff you hire are a great fit for your company and have a positive time working with them.

Restaurant staffing statistics

It’s always been difficult to staff and manage restaurants, but it has become more difficult now that the industry is recovering from COVID-19. Here are some alarming statistics:

  • Restaurant turnover rates are still high. They hover around 94%, even after they have slowed down from a high of 130.7%.
  • Indirect and direct costs of losing a frontline employee average $5,864. Losing a manager costs about three times as much.
  • Sixty-two percent of operators in the food service sector say their staffing levels currently are below normal and that staff training is a major challenge.

Owners and operators are likely to continue struggling with the staffing of front-of-house, kitchen, and management positions in restaurants. Hiring temporary restaurant staff may provide some relief to restaurant recruitment and staffing issues.

The pros and cons of temporary restaurant staff

Temporary restaurant staffing is the hiring of restaurant employees for a limited time. Temporary workers are often hired in hospitality to help support permanent staff, to cover staff absences, or to assist with special events. A ski lodge may need to hire additional staff during peak winter months, or a restaurant might need to cover an employee who has been injured or is taking time off to attend to a family crisis.

As with everything in life, temporary restaurant staffing has its pros and cons.

The pros of hiring temporary staff for restaurants include

  • You can tap into a flexible pool of labor as required.
  • Temporary workers are not required to receive expensive benefits like paid leave or health insurance.
  • Outsource your temporary restaurant staffing to a restaurant recruitment agency (a good option for short-term and last-minute staffing requirements)

Cons of temporary restaurant staffing

  • Temporary workers might not show the same level of care and attention towards your guests as permanent employees.
  • You could pay a lot of money to a restaurant recruitment agency.
  • Even temporary workers need to be trained on your workflows, procedures, and processes.

When you are already in the thick of things, training temporary staff may seem like an impossible task. It’s even worse when your restaurant POS system isn’t integrated with your payment system or optimized for your workflows.

A POS system that is easy to use and intuitive can make a big difference in getting staff ready for service. Brodie Somerville, owner and head chef of Maynard, located in Montreal’s Plateau district, saved more than two hours per day by using Lightspeed’s integrated payment and delivery integrations.

How to attract the best restaurant candidates

Let’s first discuss how to attract the best candidates.

It is best to start the search for temp staffing in restaurants as early as possible. The candidates for temporary positions see it as quick. They won’t look for brief positions months in advance because they aren’t invested. You should start your search at least a few months before the position is needed.

Create a killer job advertisement.

To attract the most qualified candidates to your temporary position, you need to create a powerful job advertisement. You can then filter the candidates and decide which ones are going to make it through to the interview stage.

A good job description must be both honest and accurate. The job description should clearly communicate the role and its responsibilities, as well as the length of the contract. The job description should be detailed enough to let potential candidates know exactly what they can expect. However, it shouldn’t be too long. These are the essentials you need to include in your job posting:

  • Your establishment in a few sentences, highlighting its uniqueness
  • Four sentences maximum to describe the role
  • List the daily responsibilities of the position (bullet points make it easier to scan).
  • List of required and bonus skills
  • The candidate’s resume can be sent via email or a link.
  • Your job description should be honest and clear. It helps candidates make informed decisions, increasing your pool of potential hires.

Mention if you have the option of being hired for a full-time position after your contract ends. Some candidates see a temporary position as a stepping stone to a permanent role.

Post your job ads.

Post your job advertisement on sites relevant to the position. Start with the following:

  • Monster
  • Hired
  • Seasonal Employment
  • Poached

Why not let your fans know that you are hiring? Your biggest fans may be interested, or they might know someone else who is. Your followers will spread the word if you make your posts easily shareable.

Employees are a great source of referrals.

Good employees are able to refer other good employees. Ask your employees to share their contacts with you if they have any qualified people who might be interested.

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