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Introducing new employees to your restaurant

Introducing new staff to the team.

If you are running a restaurant or café I am sure you know what it’s like to have staff members who just don’t seem to conform to your rules, regulations and procedures. This can be draining on time and resources so it’s important to have a process in place for hiring restaurant staff. Basically, you need to get it right from the beginning.

The approach to hiring restaurant staff can have a direct impact on levels of restaurant employee turnover.

I would say that 9 times out of 10, problems with staff originate in their initial introduction to the job. A new employee’s first days on the job are very important; they are your opportunity to establish what you expect and to clarify any issues around how you run your business.

Your employment manual and introductory employment letter come in to play here. They are the most effective way to get your message across. You must always check that they have been read, and keep a signed copy on file.

Larger hospitality companies use manuals and set procedures when hiring restaurant staff, as they cannot afford to have them wandering around in the wilderness, hoping that someone will come along and tell them what their job description is. Now maybe as a smaller hospitality business you feel that you don’t need all these set rules – lines drawn in the sand regulations – but you are wrong.

When hiring restaurant staff it is essential to have clear procedures in place.

If you have standards that you want enforced in your business, even something as simple as footwear or long hair being kept hygienic (tied back); it is much easier to get this message across in document form from the beginning than to have to address it later. The formal approach will make a longer lasting impression and reduce the need for awkward confrontations, which in turn will probably reduce costly and time consuming restaurant employee turnover.

Just a word about employees’ appearance: Having your staff looking professional can be an ongoing struggle, and some cafes do not seem to care how their staff looks; they can have a ring in their nose, stud in their lip, midriff exposed, scruffy hair and no sign of a uniform.

Now I am not a prude, and in my opinion I am not behind the times, but this kind of image is not for hospitality (the food and beverage industry).

So, getting back to hiring restaurant staff and the first day on the job for your new employee; having set guidelines documented in a manual will make it clear to your employee what is expected. If these rules are not being adhered to then you can take them back to the page in the manual and find out what was not understood.

Your manual can cover any aspects of your business that you want; from rules of employment, staff meals, roistering, work safety, fire drills and so on.

It makes sense to use your manual as a tool in your business for getting the message across and while it does take some time to develop, it is time saved in the long run.

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