August 14 2019 – Robert Fiumara
5 Tips to Keep in Mind When Hiring Servers
Keeping a restaurant staffed with reliable, enthusiastic servers is a challenge for any business owner. If you are about to start the hiring process to find more servers, you can secure top talent and save your business unnecessary overspending on hiring, training, and onboarding by keeping the following tips in mind.
Advertise for the Job in the Right Places
Are you sure your job postings are appearing in the right channels? Finding the right talent means more than just a post in the local paper. List your server positions on job search boards, especially those focused on the service industry where you are more likely to encounter applicants who truly want to work for you. Social media job postings and job fairs at local events can be more successful than traditional “help wanted” ads.
Notice a Strong Resume
When job applicants submit resumes, they are essentially putting their strongest foot forward. Does an applicant’s resume convey professionalism, attention to detail, and dedication? Look beyond listed credentials and accomplishments and look for qualities that show personability, flexibility, and ability to handle pressure in a fast-paced work environment. An applicant with minimal work history (or even no work history) could end up being a better fit for your restaurant than a server with ten years of experience in different types of restaurants.
Role Play During the Interview
If you are going to hire a server, you want some idea of how he or she will interact with your customers, and you need to get a feel for how much experience the applicant has in the restaurant business. Consider making waiting on a table part of the interview process; you could have your applicant run through how he or she would serve a table if hired. Consider roleplay for various scenarios that could take place in your restaurant, such as handling a spill, fixing an order error for a customer, and handling a large to-go order.
Look for Someone Who Resonates With Your Restaurant's Values
An applicant may have a stellar work history, professional personal presentation, and a strong customer service-oriented mindset, but his or her interpersonal skills may be lacking. On the other hand, you could find an applicant who seems eager to work and then complains about having responsibilities once hired. Ultimately, it is almost always better to opt for applicants who seem genuinely interested in working for you over those who may have more polished resumes.
Use the Right Interview Questions
Instead of following the typical route of asking a server applicant how he or she would handle specific situations in the restaurant, update your interview questions. For example, asking an open-ended question about how the applicant would handle hosting a party at his or her home over a holiday weekend could probably lead to a better understanding of the applicant’s approach to hospitality.
If you are starting a new round of hiring or opening a restaurant for the first time, Fiumara Apparel can help outfit your new team with stellar culinary uniforms tailored to your specifications. Start thinking of ways to adapt your interview process and contact Fiumara Apparel to learn more about our server clothing, custom embroidery, and other services.