retaining restaurant employees

Retaining Restaurant Employees

By: Rob Dallaire & Ric Gordon: October 3, 2018

Finding, hiring and retaining restaurant employees & managers is a growing concern for many restaurant companies. “The biggest challenge in the industry is going to be the war for talent,” Darden CEO and President Gene Lee said in an earnings call with analysts late last month. The winning brands will focus on investing in team members and proper staffing levels. 

On the hourly side of the equation, the restaurant industry faces a widening gap between the number of young workers and the number of jobs it is creating, according to the NRA Education Foundation. “In the next 10 years, we are going to create 1.6 million additional restaurant jobs in this industry,” says Rob Gifford, NRAEF executive VP. And yet, the population we are dependent upon to fill those jobs historically will decline by 1.3 million.

So, if you think the fight for talent is bad now, it’s only going to get worse. There are many qualified candidates in the market today who do not look like the “Ideal Candidate Profile” that you or your company would normally consider. However, if you believe in your company’s training, development and culture processes, then shouldn’t it be possible for these types of candidates to thrive within your organization and become rising stars?

Know Your Role

What roles do your recruiter or HR manager play when it comes to recruitment? Are your recruiters qualifying candidates deeper into the process, or are they sometimes eliminating perfectly qualified candidates because they’re holding out for that perfect candidate? Do you think it’s their responsibility to get qualified candidates through to the 2nd interview in front of the field operators they’d be working with? Remember not all candidates are good at phone interviews…

Bird In The Hand Theory

Timing is of the utmost importance to both your company and the candidates you’re interviewing during the recruitment process. While it is ideal to find the perfect applicant for your restaurant, when you’re understaffed, sometimes you don’t have the luxury of being able to wait around for that perfect candidate to come knocking. While operators are delaying the hiring process in an attempt to find the absolute perfect candidate, they are letting a handful of great candidates go along the way. Often times, this becomes a double-edged sword for operators as they end up having to settle for a below average candidate due to time constraints or other pressures.   

What are your thoughts?

Should your company be able to depend on its training and development programs to turn good candidates into great employees, or is it worth waiting around for the perfect candidate to come along? Have you had success converting good candidates into great employees, or have you found that hiring ideal candidates is worth the wait? Please let us know your thoughts on this topic, both from an operator and a recruiter standpoint, by commenting below and/or replying to our post on LinkedIn!

We can help!

Let our Hospitality and Restaurant recruiting specialist Rob Dallaire help you manage your recruitment process and needs. Since 2005, Rob has personally placed over 650 restaurant and hospitality management professionals with top hospitality companies across the country. Learn more about how we can help your company by contacting us today!