How important is your staff to your restaurant? To a large degree your staff "is" your restaurant. The quality of the interaction of the staff with your guests is just one of many areas your people can either make or break your business.
Your staff not only has a lot to do with the success of your restaurant but the quality of your life too. Dealing with people can be agony or ecstasy, the source of your greatest frustrations or your most gratifying accomplishments.
Besides providing you with many useful ideas and resources that deal with the routine and administrative functions of staffing the restaurant, it's our goal to enhance your ability to effectively interact, direct and work with people. Most of us never got any good people training along the way. Like Bill Marvin, the Restaurant Doctor says, "when we go into management positions we're just expected to understand what people are all about, it's like, you are one, so well you should know."
The problem is that most of us don't intuitively know what makes people tick and as a result get involved in all sorts of counterproductive and self-defeating approaches in managing and dealing with people.
In the past, some operators got away with having a people skills deficit because they were used to having a constant source of disposable labor. If an employee didn't work out, you could count on plenty of other applicants eager to jump on board. As you know those days are gone, and today the reality is that you need good people more than they need you.
This section will give you practical ideas to get more applicants, do a better job of selecting good people to join your team and how to maintain a productive, enjoyable working environment so people will want to stay and not leave you for a quarter more an hour.
If Staffing Issues Are Keeping You Awake at Night, You're Not Alone
We asked our members several questions about their employee hiring/retention issues and almost 700 responded. They recapped their labor situation and the problems they experience trying to maintain a quality staff. We hope you can glean a few useful ideas to help you tackle your labor challenges with renewed energy.
WEBCAST: Change Your Culture or Die!
In this program, RestaurantOwner.com's Jim Laube shows you why culture has such a profound impact on everything that takes place in your restaurant and how to begin to forge a new, stronger culture literally overnight by making just a few simple, yet powerful steps.
Moving Up:Turning a Line Cook Into a Sous-Chef
The position of sous-chef or assistant kitchen manager is one of the most important slots for a restaurateur to have to fill. Here we look at the kind of skills you should be developing in your cooks to step into this role.
DOWNLOAD: QSR Training Manual Templates
Having comprehensive, easy-to-understand training manuals for every position in your QSR is vital for new employees to learn to perform their jobs the "right way." Use these templates as a guide to create your own detailed training manuals for cashier/counter, drive-thru, lobby, prep cook, line cook, expediter
DOWNLOAD: Speed Interview Rating Form
A spin off on speed dating, speed interviewing is a series of short, individual conversations between a job candidate and some of the restaurant's hourly team members. Giving a candidate the chance to speak with employees is a smart way to test for likeability and compatibility from a perspective an owner or manager might miss.
How to Cope With Minimum-Wage Increases
All but five states have an established minimum wage above the federal level, which was increased to $7.25 in 2009, with recent legislative proposals to increase this to $10.10 per hour. These increases hit restaurateurs particularly hard. How should you manage these ever-rising labor costs?
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Labor Schedule Template
The Restaurant Schedule Template is a Microsoft Excel® workbook consisting of a simple to use set of spreadsheets designed to reduce the time it takes to prepare staffing schedules. User defined descriptions, designed to eliminate typing of repetitive data, can be entered as needed for up to 20 different departments, 50 shifts, and 100 employees.
The Characteristics and Traits of Top-Performing Restaurant Managers
A manager exists to build profitable sales, and everything a manager does should be targeted to that objective. Still, there's no set personality that characterizes a good manager; one top performer might be totally outgoing and effervescent while another may be quiet and reserved. Both personalities could perform exceptionally well, but there are some core qualities that top managers share. Explore here what defines the best and brightest.
DOWNLOAD: Interview Rating Sheet
The Interview Rating Sheet helps you determine the candidate's suitability for the position as you conduct the interview. Use this form to help in the evaluation process when hiring new employees.
How to Reward Staff for Outstanding Behavior Without Breaking the Bank
In a business in which service consistency and quality can make or break you, high-quality employees may well be a restaurant's most valuable feature. And in a business in which margins are tight and you have to watch every penny, rewarding top performers isn't always easy. The good news is operators needn't break the bank to accomplish this.
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Training Manual Templates
Having comprehensive, easy-to-understand training manuals for every position in your restaurant is vital for new employees to learn to perform their jobs the "right way." Use these templates as a guide to create your own detailed restaurant training manuals for server, bartender, busser, prep cook, line cook, dishwasher . . .
How to Toss the Help Wanted Sign
Finding good restaurant employees has always been a challenge; however, as the economy heats up it could become even more daunting to find high-quality employees. This article explores 14 ways to assist you in sourcing and retaining great hires by implementing standard, consistent and simple hiring steps.
Success Focus Video: Rules of the Game
To create and maintain a positive working environment, successful companies have what some call their rules of the game. These rules spell out very simply What's acceptable and what's not. What's expected of everyone. No organization or team has ever achieved excellence while tolerating mediocrity, unproductive behavior and a lack of teamwork. To be effective, your rules of the game need to be enforced consistently, no exceptions, every day.
Success Focus Video: Watch This Before You Hire Any Manager or Chef
Past performance is always the best predictor of future performance. Never forget this undeniable truth especially when making hiring decisions that can determine your restaurant's success or failure. We're referring specifically to hiring a manager or chef, the most crucial positions in any restaurant.
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Mission Statement Worksheet
The right mission statement, properly used, can be one of the most powerful ingredients in creating and sustaining success. For many companies it's an invaluable tool in providing direction, focus and consistency throughout their organization. Use this worksheet for crafting or improving your mission.
Survey: Employee Selection & Hiring
This survey will show you what other independent restaurants are doing to successfully find, select and hire hourly employees. Some of the responses are unconventional and reflect a high degree of creativity. Learning what's working for other independent restaurant operations should give you many valuable ideas to improve your own recruiting and hiring systems.
Twelve Steps to Get New Restaurant Managers Off To a Great Start
Make your first-time manager read this! Your first management position sets the stage and becomes the springboard for your entire career. Whether you want to be a general manager one day, own your own restaurant, move to another position or just want to be the best in your profession, it is wise to reflect upon where this promotion fits within your long term career plans and how to make the most of it.