Restaurant Staffing: Staffing Must-Knows

Marketing 14 minute read 31st October 2023

Investing in restaurant staffing is the one thing you can’t compromise on. Restaurant employees are the backbone of the hospitality industry, and staffing is the responsibility of the restaurant manager and owner. You’ll need to ensure you have the ideal candidates who you are happy to represent your restaurant and brand image. Whether you hire a head chef, pot wash, or house staff, all your staff are essential. You also need to ensure you have a brilliant staffing rota and as low as possible staff turnover rate. It is a lot - and that’s why you must learn about staffing.

In this guide, we will cover everything from why staffing matters to whether or not you should use agencies. Restaurants rely entirely on their staff, often more than retail or hotel industries. Staff lead the whole guest process for most restaurant business plans, so you must hone your staffing skills. Sit tight for a thorough introduction to one of the most essential skills in the hospitality industry. You’ll learn about the demands of staffing your restaurant and how you can rise to the occasion. Let’s get started.

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Why Does Restaurant Staffing Matter?

So, why does restaurant staffing matter? Staffing dictates your business success in the hospitality industry. House staff manage everything from cooking to welcoming guests and taking orders. And staffing involves three main things: hiring staff, scheduling rotas, and managing staff.

You need to complete each of these three main tasks to perfection if you want restaurant success. You must hire staff that are ideal candidates for your business, plus schedule rotas to prevent burnout of restaurant employees. Finally, you must manage staff effectively to retain staff, keep staff satisfaction high, maintain positive customer experiences, and reduce turnover.

There is a direct correlation between how good you are at staffing and how your business performs. It dictates your customers’ experience and, eventually, your overall profit. If you want to run your restaurant to the best of its potential, staffing your restaurant really matters.

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Why Are Restaurants Short Staffed?

A significant question in the hospitality industry is, ‘Why are restaurants short-staffed’? It is a valid question, but equally quite loaded with a few different influencing factors. The restaurant industry is currently undergoing an understaffing crisis. This means that business owners need to be extra proactive - these are the factors you need to understand.

  • The restaurant industry has a notoriously high turnover rate.

First, know that the restaurant industry has (and likely always will) have a high turnover rate. This is partly due to who the industry attracts, which we will cover below. But it is also because of frequent burnout due to unsociable work hours. The industry is demanding, and the constantly high turnover rate reflects this.

  • A current restaurant worker shortage

As we mentioned, there is a current restaurant worker shortage. This happens for many reasons, including the rising cost of living, making typically low-paying jobs less attractive. Acknowledge the wider patterns that are influencing worker shortages.

  • The restaurant industry relies on teenagers.

Finally, it is essential to note an industry trend of reliance on teenagers for house staff. The US restaurant industry, in particular, relies on teenagers - who naturally move on to different careers. Diversifying the ages and types of employees you choose in the hiring process is essential.

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Should You Use a Restaurant Staffing Agency?

Everyone knows that hiring staff is demanding. What about if you don’t feel confident or comfortable handling that part of staffing? Or if you want to combat high staff turnover with more regular hiring? At this point of thinking, it’s essential to ask: should you use a restaurant staffing agency?

A restaurant staffing agency is an effective way to relieve yourself of hiring pressure. Agencies have a long list of restaurant employees who work on a contract basis. This means you can easily pick up extra staff if you are disappointed or experience a business boom. The agency usually takes a commission, with a few additional costs to factor in. However, it is worth the trade-off if you need help managing the hiring and scheduling aspect of staffing.

We recommend weighing the benefits versus risks if you are interested in this trade-off. The risks are mostly just cost-related. It’s also a risk when choosing an agency; you rely on them to screen staff and maintain staff quality standards. To overcome this, research the agencies closely beforehand. Then check out these top benefits.

Top 3 Benefits of Restaurant Staffing Agencies

Let’s quickly check out the top three benefits of restaurant staffing agencies. Now that you understand how staffing agencies work, we can look more closely at the benefits.

  • Saves your time

Restaurant staffing agencies are brilliant for saving your time. It eliminates the hassle of hiring, which is ridiculously time-consuming. Forget about advertising, reading resumes, and hosting interviews.

  • They can save money.

Restaurant staffing agencies can save you money. Hiring takes time, which costs you money as it takes away your working hours. It also avoids you needing to pay people for trials and paying for poor quality staff service.

  • It gives you confidence in staffing.

The right staffing agency will provide you with confidence in your staffing approach. This is vital for restaurant owners with less experience, as staffing impacts business success closely.

How To Determine Staffing Needs for Restaurants

When looking at your staffing requirements, how do you decide what you need? The main question is how to determine staffing needs for restaurants. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can follow to identify your business needs. Just answer these questions.

  1. What are your business goals? What do you envision for your business? And what do you need to do to get there? If you want a Michelin-starred restaurant, it’s worth investing in staff training and staff with more experience. If you want a fun cafe, you can hire staff with less experience as long as you have excellent management.
  2. What are your current turnover rates? Are you currently turning over more staff than you are keeping? Firstly, if this is the case, you should evaluate why this is to address underlying issues. Secondly, if you have a high turnover rate, you should invest in an agency to avoid frequent hiring drains.
  3. Consider the economy and community. What could impact your business on the broader economy and community? If you’re experiencing a customer drop due to competitors opening in your area, you likely need marketing, not more staffing.

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Signs Your Restaurant Staffing Schedule Is Working

Finally, what are signs that your restaurant staffing schedule is working? What are some positive signs that signal success? These are the top three signs that you should keep an eye out for.

  • You have a motivated team.

A motivated team is a team that values extrinsic and intrinsic rewards and feels happy showing up to work. If you have an excellent staffing approach, you will have passionate staff who feel comfortable at work. And if you want to encourage this further, staff incentives are a brilliant way to help build team motivation.

  • You have a low turnover rate.

The average staff turnover rate for restaurants is nearly 80%, which is very high. If you can get your turnover rate substantially below this, it is a good sign your staffing is working. A low turnover rate signals job satisfaction.

  • Your customer feedback is glowing.

Glowing customer feedback is gold when it comes to signs your staffing schedule is working. The last thing you want is those reviews saying, ‘food took ages, but the business looked understaffed’. Good customer feedback means good staffing.

Final Thoughts: How Important Is Effectively Staffing Your Restaurant

Just how important is effectively staffing your restaurant? In short, extremely. If you approach staffing proactively, you can avoid burning staff out, being short of staff, and positively impacting customer experience. We all know how vital positive customer experience is, so you must take it seriously. And the most effective way to do this is by caring about your staffing skills. If you don’t, there are hundreds of positives for investing in staffing and hundreds of risks.

So, where exactly does Beambox come in? One way you can passively build your business while you actively manage things like staffing is with WiFi marketing. WiFi marketing utilizes your restaurant’s WiFi to collect contact details for marketing campaigns. Guests input their details into a captive portal form to use your WiFi. These details automatically funnel into your marketing database for future marketing use. It is minimal effort and maximum reward.

Software like Beambox’s WiFi platform transforms your relationship with business growth. There’s so much requiring active management in the restaurant industry that you should embrace passive strategies as much as possible. Start your Beambox free trial today. Get your restaurant staffing on track, and then get easier business growth strategies.

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