Tame the Tasks of Hiring and Onboarding

By managing the process, you get new restaurant workers up and running.
A restaurant server discusses menu items with a customer

The labor crisis has restaurants desperate to find willing workers. As operators fill roles, they can avoid more headaches knowing how to manage hiring and onboarding.

By focusing on two areas—new-hire paperwork and employee onboarding—you minimize the pain and give yourself more time to focus on running the business while finding people to work in it. 

Paperwork comes first

Life’s not like the movies. You don’t yank down the “Help Wanted” sign, toss an apron to the new hire and move on. Every new employee requires paperwork. You want to:

  • Start an employee file
    • Signed policy sheets
    • Emergency contacts
  • Manage legal paperwork
    • I-9 documents
    • Tax-withholding forms
  • Handle individual matters
    • Payroll bank deposit forms
    • Healthcare coverage

Third-party providers can simplify things. They are equipped to manage paperwork digitally, empowering employees to update information themselves, keeping your files in compliance and saving you and your managers time.

Onboarding creates unity

The next important step is onboarding. This process helps make sure employees are customer-ready. Statistics show 70% of restaurant employees want hands-on training from managers. Start by:

  • Reviewing the employee handbook.
  • Introducing your leadership team. 
  • Introducing all products: menu items, wine, cocktails, coffee, etc.
  • Explaining service standards in detail.

Include specialized training for kitchen staff and front-of-house staff to go over things like the point-of-sale (POS) system, clocking in/out and equipment usage. These need to become routine.

Why does it matter?

When employees know your expectations, you set them up for success. Gauge their performance to maximize skills and productivity. Consider:

  • Customizing metrics for each role (line cook, servers, bartenders, etc.).
  • Creating standardized and graded measures (quizzes or verbal tests) to promote accountability and evaluate each new staff member

Remember, satisfied workers are less likely to leave, and that reduces the costly cycle of turnover. Employee longevity builds a stronger team, a safer workplace and customer loyalty.

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