Restore Your Staffing Quickly, Effectively

Smooth out your restaurant’s restart by putting care into rehiring.
Chef cooking meat in three pans

When the COVID-19 shutdown ends, restaurant operators will look to bring back their best employees and replace staffers who won’t be returning. Here are ways to get your labor force up and running quickly. 

Bring back your star players

  • Develop a call-back plan so employees know you want them back on the team.  
  • Hire the right number of people. Anticipate your labor needs as business may be slow to ramp back up. 

Recruit new employees

Putting out help-wanted signs will not be enough. 

  • Leverage technology. Get candidates to apply quickly via their phone. 
  • Post jobs on your operation’s social media pages and website. 
  • College/community-college websites. Most will let you post jobs at no charge. 
  • Work with a third-party recruiter. Resources, such as TraitSet, can place, update and manage job postings, ensuring search-engine priority for your jobs.
  • Start a referral program. If an employee refers someone and that recruit stays for a specific amount of time the employee receives a referral bonus. 
  • Market your cleaning and safety procedures to illustrate care for employees and increase confidence in your operation. 

Respond quickly and virtually

  • Speed matters. Respond quickly as people will be looking for instant communication. 
  • To speed up the interview process, email the interview questions in advance and connect through a video format such as Facetime or Zoom.


The better you prepare your staff, the smoother your operation will run.

  • Build a plan on how you will communicate with your employees on schedules and operational updates. This could be done through an employee-only Facebook page or group emails. 
  • Conduct restart training and orientation for all employees. What business formats are changing? What does the new menu look like? What are your new expectations? 
  • Review training manuals, side work and detail cleaning lists to ensure they are up to date. Revise with needed changes.  
  • Make sure all employees understand your policies and procedures.
  • Cross-train so people can jump into different positions as needed. 

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