Top 10 Traits of a Quality Restaurant Hire

 

Learn more about hiring top-notch summer employees on Fast Casual.

It’s About Who You Hire This Summer, Not How Many

When it comes to hiring, the restaurant industry continues to outpace many other industries. According to the National Restaurant Association’s chief economist Bruce Grindy, job growth is projected to outpace the overall economy in 2016.

And if we see a repeat of last year’s numbers, restaurants will hire more than 500,000 people for summer employment alone.

The summer we have on the horizon certainly looks promising—the economy is good and gas prices are down, which means restaurants are in for a strong season. In fact, all but two U.S. states are expected to benefit from tourism and consumer’s pent-up demand for restaurants.

If summer is peak season for your restaurant, then your managers are already in full staff-up mode. NOW HIRING sign on the door. List of confirmed re-hires from last year. Open positions posted online, and a fresh stack of applications in hand.

Seasoned managers know the drill. They look at last year’s sales and check the local event calendar to determine how many new hires they’ll need for the upcoming summer.

But having enough people on the floor isn’t the only thing that matters. To have a successful summer, you need the right people on the floor. Since the two biggest KPIs in restaurants are guest experience and sales, managers need to consider guest focus and sales ability every time they hire.

According to research of more than 500,000 job applicants, here are the most important traits to look for as you staff up your front and back of house:

  1. Sociability
  2. Accommodation to Others
  3. Frustration Tolerance
  4. Drive & Energy
  5. Integrity
  6. Multi-tasking
  7. Persuasiveness
  8. Pride in Work
  9. Teamwork
  10. Safety

Many of these traits are difficult to gauge in an interview. After all, serious candidates will know what managers are looking for and show up ready to present their “best self.” With several positions to fill, managers don’t have time to dig past the surface.

Rapid, one-off hiring like this works to fill the ranks, but it doesn’t help to get the right people on the floor. Managers are having to guess about job fit, which means they might be hiring the kind of people who won’t last the entire summer.

To slow the cycle of hire-train-repeat, especially during peak season, many restaurants have turned to technology to improve the process. As one HR spokesperson from Chili’s says:

“We like to give our managers as many tools as we possibly can to make sure we’re hiring the right folks who create the right experience for our guests.”

Which makes sense—because determining quality of talent shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of the hiring manager. Using technology, restaurants can transform hiring into something that’s scalable and objective.

Why head into summer any other way? Just as you portion for food prep, you’ll become much more efficient and keep costs down when you use tools to target the top 10 traits of a quality restaurant hire.