29 January 2024

10 Awesome Tips for Hiring Exceptional Restaurant Waitstaff

By Ronald Smith

Looking to hire outstanding waitstaff for your restaurant? Well, you’ve come to the right place! I’m here to share some top-notch tips that’ll make the hiring process a breeze. Ready? Let’s dive in!

1. Clear Job Description

When you’re creating a job ad, be crystal clear about the expectations and responsibilities for waitstaff. This helps potential candidates understand what you’re looking for and shows you’re serious about finding the best fit.

2. Focus on Experience

Experience is vital in the restaurant industry. Look for candidates who have previous work in customer service or food service. They’ll bring valuable skills and familiarity with the fast-paced environment.

3. Stellar Communication Skills

Effective communication is key in any successful restaurant. Make sure your candidates can confidently interact with customers, take orders, and work well as a team. Clear communication is the secret ingredient to a smooth-running establishment!

4. Winning Attitude

Positive attitudes are contagious and create an incredible dining experience. Seek out individuals who have a friendly demeanor, a can-do spirit, and a genuine passion for delivering exceptional customer service. A smiling face goes a long way!

5. Adaptability is Key

Working in a restaurant can be unpredictable, so find individuals who can handle shifting demands and remain cool under pressure. Flexibility and adaptability are crucial qualities for waitstaff who can handle any curveball thrown their way.

6. Team Players Unite

Teamwork is essential for efficiency and success. Look for candidates who thrive in a collaborative environment and enjoy working alongside their colleagues. A strong team dynamic ensures a seamless dining experience for your customers.

7. Attention to Detail

Great waitstaff pay attention to the small stuff. Seek out candidates who are detail-oriented and take pride in delivering accurate orders, spotless tables, and a clean and organized work area. It’s the little things that make a big difference!

8. Time Management Skills

In the restaurant world, time is of the essence. Look for candidates who can handle multiple tasks simultaneously, prioritize effectively, and keep things running smoothly. Time management skills are the secret ingredient to a well-oiled operation.

9. Problem-Solvers

Every now and then, issues may arise. That’s why it’s important to hire problem-solvers who can think on their feet and find quick and efficient solutions. Look for candidates who remain calm and composed, even in the face of unexpected challenges.

10. The Wow Factor

Finally, seek out candidates who have that special something – the wow factor. These individuals go above and beyond, leaving your customers in awe. Whether it’s their charisma, creativity, or incredible work ethic, they’ll elevate your restaurant to new heights!

So there you have it – my top 10 tips for hiring exceptional waitstaff. Remember, finding the right team members is crucial in creating a memorable dining experience. Good luck with your hiring process, and I hope these tips help you find the perfect candidates! Bon app├ętit!

10 Awesome Tips for Hiring Exceptional Restaurant Waitstaff

When I’m running a restaurant, I rely on my wait staff to connect directly with my customers. They create great experiences and connections that keep people coming back again and again. So when it’s time to hire those workers, I don’t just pick the first few applications that come in.

How I Can Hire Good Wait Staff

In order to get the best out of my wait staff, I need to hire people who fit with my company culture and vision. Here are some tips on how I can hire good wait staff for my restaurant.

Highlight Personality in the Job Description

When it comes to hiring wait staff, the most important thing you need to consider is their personality. So, it’s crucial to mention this in the job description, whether you’re advertising online or with signs in your local area. By adding some humor and emphasizing the qualities of being outgoing, friendly, and personable, you’ll attract applicants who will be a perfect fit for the role.

Prioritize Reliability Instead of Specific Experience

When I’m going through resumes or applications, it’s tempting to just choose the people who have the most experience in a similar job. But even though experience is important, I shouldn’t overlook other potential applicants. Some people may have experience in different industries, but they’ve still been able to hold down a job and show leadership and customer service skills. These people could bring a lot of value to our restaurant.

First Impressions Matter

When we’re interviewing people, their first impression is really important. After all, these are the same people who will have to make a great first impression on our customers. So we need to pay attention to how applicants present themselves – their appearance, how they introduce themselves, and their overall attitude and behavior.

In a recent phone interview with USamerica.US, Dean Small, the founder and managing partner of SYNERGY Restaurant Consultants, shared an important insight about hiring staff members, particularly servers. He emphasized the significance of looking for individuals who possess a certain quality – heart. I asked myself, what does he mean by heart? And then it hit me. Dean is referring to finding someone that I, as a restaurant owner, would genuinely enjoy sitting down and having a meal with. These are the individuals who interact directly with my customers, serving as the face of my business and showcasing what our brand stands for.

Get to Know Them Personally

You know what’s a good idea? Getting to know applicants on a personal level, or at least as much as you can during an interview. How about asking them some personal questions, like their favorite books or movies? And, of course, what they do for fun. Now, this doesn’t mean you should hire people based solely on their taste in books. It’s just a way to get them talking about something they enjoy. This can lead to a natural back-and-forth conversation that gives you a glimpse of their true personality.

Find Leadership Qualities

Leadership qualities are important for servers, too. After all, they often have to take initiative and make decisions on their own when it comes to serving customers. So, why not ask them about times when they had to show initiative in their past jobs or make quick decisions?

Pose Hypothetical Situations

Here’s another way you can figure out if someone has good leadership skills and can handle tough situations: give them some made-up scenarios and ask how they would deal with them. For example, you could ask, What would you do if a customer wants to return their meal after eating most of it? If they give you a good answer and explain it well, then they should be able to handle difficult situations when they arise.

Imagine You’re the Customer

When interviewing potential employees, you can ask them to show how they would greet customers or read a list of specials. This allows you to imagine yourself as the customer and determine if they can make a great first impression and be friendly. Even if you skip this step, make sure to put yourself in the customer’s shoes during the conversation. Do you enjoy talking to this person? How would you feel if they served you a meal?

The Importance of Eye Contact

Eye contact is another crucial aspect of providing friendly service. A good candidate should be able to maintain consistent eye contact and smile throughout the interview. If they struggle with this, it’s likely they won’t be able to do it while serving customers either.

When someone lacks motivation and can’t make eye contact with a genuine smile, it can be worrying for restaurant owners. I know this because I have experience in the industry.

Let’s Hear from Them

It’s important to give applicants a chance to show their true selves by allowing them to speak freely, without a specific prompt. A simple way to do this is by asking if they have any questions for you at the end of the interview. This helps to gauge their level of engagement and confidence, and they might surprise you with creative and thought-provoking questions about the job or its requirements.

Prioritize Training

When it comes to hiring wait staff for your restaurant, it’s important to prioritize proper training. This is what allows you to bring in individuals with great personalities, even if they don’t have much experience in the restaurant industry. By doing so, you can find people who truly fit well with your business and then teach them the specific processes that are important for their daily work.

The truth is, you can always teach someone the specific skills and techniques needed to do the job. Training is key. However, if someone isn’t genuinely nice and friendly, you won’t be presenting your best self to your customers. That’s why it’s crucial to focus on a person’s personality first and then provide them with the necessary training once they’ve been hired.