3 Steps to Hire Better Restaurant Employees​

You read it right. Today we are going to see how to hire good quality employees. Or improving the employees you already have.

These steps can also be applied in any industry. Not only restaurants. If there’s one thing business owners love to complain about, it’s their employees. So many of our clients and other business owners that we’ve spoken with always say the following thing:

“my employees are idiots”


“they can’t get anything done right!”

“If only they could follow some simple instructions, I could afford to take some time off!”

“or I can go and work on some other things I need to work on, instead of always having to be here.”

Well, we hate to break it you. But here’s the reality:

Your employees aren’t idiots. It’s you.

You’re not hiring the right employees. You’re not setting them up the systems for them to achieve the success they need.

Well, not to worry. We are going to show you a tested system on attracting and hiring quality people for your business.

Really quick. Before we get into those steps, write down the 5 most important things you look for in an employee for your business.

Whatever position you recently hired for or any position that comes to mind.

Go through the list and see how many hard skills you’ve written as opposed to soft skills.

Chances are that you’ve got mostly soft skills like honesty, punctuality, or neat and orderly.

You see, most of the time we look for ‘good’ people when hiring.

But a lot of times when we run ads, we are looking for a good cook or a great accountant, rather than a good person that we can make a good cook or accountant.

See, if you have a good cook but they’re not honest or irresponsible or can’t get to work on time, or there’s always chaos in their lives, you’re never going to retrain that or you could but it’s going to take way more time.

Step 1 Hire on Soft Skills

So, the 1st step is hire on the soft skills.

Find people that are good people that fit the criteria that you need.

Find the people who are honest, that have integrity and can show up on time. And teach them the skills. Develop systems. Develop procedures to teach them the skills they need.

Now you’re still going to need some general skills. But go back and read the ads you’ve been putting online. Chances are you’re listing things that are hard skills that you need.

There was a guy who had a HVAC business who never had any problems with his employees. What was his secret sauce to hiring?

He doesn’t look for HVAC techs. See, everyone else was looking for licensed or experienced hvac techs.

Then, the chances are if someone is an experienced hvac tech, and doesn’t have a job. It’s probably because they had some issue in their last job. Either in their soft skills or their hard skills. And so, they got fired or they’re looking for a new place to work. That’s how another company ends up with such a person.

That’s probably what’s happening to you.

So, this guy says that’s not how he hires. “I hire for honesty, integrity and the way that I find that is, I tell everybody that I meet, I tell my customers, we have surveys on my website, anywhere there’s an interaction, I say, ‘do you know any men or women between 18 to 25 who are really honest and hard working, coz I’m looking for people like that. If they’re not making enough money or if they aren’t happy with their career, could you have them come talk to me?”

So, he was getting a flood of people who never even thought about a career in HVAC, but they were honest people.

The point is, he took those people and got them trained and they became very loyal employees.

So the 1st step is start looking for softer skills.
Start looking for the skills that are most important. Not necessarily the hard skills.

Step 2 Always be Interviewing

Now, you may think interviews take a long time because you’re doing them one on one.

But what we are suggesting is you do group interviews.

You can post online or have ads running or you bump into someone who had a great personality. You should always have interviews at least once or twice a month. Even if you don’t have any openings.

Now, we’re not going into the specifics of group interviews in this post.

But should always invite people into your company. It shouldn’t waste a lot of your time. If they show up, great. If they didn’t, that’s also fine.

Some people will impress you, some won’t. But the point is every time you’ll be interview 2 to 3 people even if you don’t have positions.

But guess what? Sometimes people are fantastic and you will find positions for them, because people will always be changing in your business.

Thing is there will always be employee turnover. At least this way you’ll have a steady flow of people coming in.

Step 3 Have an Epic Onboarding Process.

Once you find these people, you better be able to onboard them: 
And get the information from your head into them

Part of your success in your business is going to come down to how quickly and how effectively you get a new employee up to speed.

Now we can put together all the processes and procedures to keep the employees longer in your business.

The better your business is the more systems you have and the smoother your operations are.

Your employees will stay longer. But remember that the nature of the restaurant businesses is that people are going to come and go. You are going to have a lot of staff turnover.

Now, you can complain about it or you can do something about it.

Remember this, you can have money or you can have excuses. You can’t have both. So, pick one, right now.

You can come up with all the excuses in the world as to why hiring on soft skills won’t work. Why doing group interviews won’t work. As to why systems aren’t right for your business.

You can say this post is too long. You can say we’re full of it. You can come up with all the excuses in the world.

But you can have excuses. OR you can have money.

The reality is people are going to turnover in your restaurant. There’s not much you can do about it. But the one thing you can do about it is create a great, fast, efficient onboarding process to take an employee from ground zero to fully trained and competent in their position as fast, and as simply, and as effectively, and as efficiently as possible.

So to recap,
We’re going to go back and hire people on soft skills.
We’re going to be always interviewing
And have an epic onboarding process.

We hope you enjoyed this post and hope this helps you out in your business.

Ant & Bee Stories can help you create a solid Onboarding Process so your employees stay longer and new hires are upto speed quickly. Contact us for more details.

The Powerless Business Owner

The powerless business owner

Dan is the owner of Foodie, a successful restaurant. He loves what he does and has a great team. It’s like a big family. Except for one employee, John.
If Dan is the father of the family, John’s the mother. Employee of the month for the past 6 months. The customers love him. He’s also able to whip the other employees into action. Very charismatic fellow, this John.
There’s one problem though. One a few occasions, John had blocked some of Dan’s ideas to implement in the restaurant.
Dan wanted to install fingerprint readers, so payroll could be streamlined. But John, pulling the strings of the rest of the team, vetoed it.
Another time, Dan wanted to restructure the shifts of the staff. That was shot down also.
The restaurant wasn’t as lively if John decided to take a day off.
Dan felt like he was at the mercy of John.
A few of Dan’s friends had suggested Michael, a consultant, as a solution to be free of John.
Michael was brought in to turn foodie into a systems-dependent restaurant (i.e., create an Operations Manual). And free Dan from John’s mercy.
So, Michael got to work. He observed and documented all the tasks and procedures of the restaurant.
Then he created the systems each of these tasks fit into.
After that, he created job roles and responsibilities and assigned the tasks and procedures to each role. This way, everyone was clear on Who does What, When, and How.
Finally, Michael created a company structure to give an idea of who reports to whom and who’s responsible for what.
Michael also trained Dan on how to use the Operations Manual and also showed Dan how to train his staff using this.
Dan then hired a new employee, Sam, and got to work on training the entire staff.
Little by little, John began losing his grip on the other employees, since everyone was being trained to a standard. Things would be the same, even if John threatened to leave, or take some of the employees with him.
A few months later, John was still there. But thanks to the Operations Manual Dan was able to get back control of his restaurant.
Dan can now, using his Operations Manual, make sure that the standards of his restaurant don’t drop should anyone decide to leave. He can also copy paste everything to a new outlet, running just like the original.
He could even sell (or franchise) the business, if he wishes.

Is your business dependent on you?


Huzeifah is the CEO of a packaging business. His father, Imtiyaz, started this business when Huzeifah was just a small boy. A few years ago, his father put Huzeifah in charge of the business.

There were around 40 employees working for them. They owned a store, a back office, and a few warehouses.

Huzeifah wants to build on the success so far. For the past 40 years his father did well, starting off from a humble shop in Pettah, to what they had now, but the business stayed just that: a business.

In this Era, where technology kept disrupting established businesses, Huzeifah knew that a business either adapted with the times or got left back, or worse, became redundant.

Not only was the business behind in terms of innovation, it was yet to function efficiently – like a company.

The staff, knowing that it was a ‘family’ business, treated their employment like working with a kade mudalali. No one came to work dressed like a professional. Some wore sandals on rainy days.

Samples and inventory were strewn about the office like they were expected to vanish magically. Finding out exactly, or reliably, how much stock they had at a given time was a guessing game.

Human Resources was only about paying employee salaries.

Orders and shipments were handled by Huzeifah and Imtiyaz, alone. Finding new customers were also their responsibility. Making sure payments were made and received on time, were also their responsibility.

In short, father and son were basically doing every job (title) you could think of except that of the ‘CEO’ – mapping out and guiding the business ahead.

This meant that both Huzeifah and his father were basically working IN the business, putting out operational fires and trying their best to make sure that there’s a business at the end of the day.

While this was the case, Huzeifah still had dreams for the business, and where he wanted to take it. This started with restructuring the business into a company.

He needed to systemize the operations of the business so that his 40 or so employees are doing what they were hired to do, leaving him the time and energy to work ON the business.

Using his contacts, he was able to find a management consulting firm to come in and do just that.

The 1st thing that was implemented, was the HR system. Immediately, Huzeifah began to see a noticeable difference in his staff and overall productivity. People came to work on time, dressed professionally, and followed protocol for things like applying for leave.

Next, Operations and Finance were mapped out and redesigned to reduce inefficiencies and improve workflow speed. Now, finding out how much stock was in inventory was only matter of a few seconds. The existing employees were reassigned to new roles and given clear specific responsibilities. In addition, each department had a large flowchart mapping out the processes each role was responsible for and who they were accountable to. This meant that finger pointing fell to an all-time low and task completion was at an all-time high.

Huzeifah, nor Imtiyaz, didn’t need to worry about accounts receivables or payables, anymore. Accounts reconciliation was done then and there, and they could easily stay on top of things using their ERP software provided by the consulting firm.

They had regular meetings with the respective heads of each department to keep them abreast of how the company was doing. Not that they needed to, but this reminded their employees that they still had to report to them.

In just 10 months, the entire business was systemized and an Operations Manual drafted, and they were trained on how to train their employees to run the systems.

Towards the end, both Huzeifah and Imtiyaz found the experience of not having much to do at office a little strange. But they soon got over that, and focused all their energies on growing and expanding their company.

Ant & Bee Stories can help you to create a systems-dependent business, which includes an Operations Manual. Check out how we do this. Or Contact us if you want it already.