How to Hire Smartly for your Restaurant

Running a restaurant smoothly needs skills, team work and efficiency. To achieve these goals and run a restaurant smoothly, it is important to hire the right people. If you are an experience restaurant owner, you might already be experienced with smart hiring and effective ways of staffing. However, if you have just started a new restaurant or if you believe that your restaurant operations could run more smoothly if you hire the right people, then this article is for you.

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Before hiring, it is important to know who to hire and how to hire managers, waiters, bus-persons, and bartenders, cooks, hosting staff, valet and more. To find out how to hire the right staff for your restaurant and what skills they need to have, please read below.


Before hiring you need to analyze your staffing needs. In the above paragraph, we mentioned that you could need a manager, waiters/servers, bus-person, hosting staff, etc., but who you need and how you need to hire them also depends on your staffing needs. It depends on the size of your restaurant, the number of customers you have, the number of customers you could potentially have and how your staffing needs could change. To plan effectively, you need to understand your staffing needs. Each person in your restaurant serves a specific function and fulfilling each function contributes to the operations of the restaurant. It is also important to understand that some of the staff members may also serve a double function. For example, you manager could also host and your waiters/servers could also clean tables.

If you are a small restaurant owner who is also going to manage the restaurant, you could divide the functions amongst yourself and your family, like some traditional family owned restaurant but if you are planning to run a large-scale restaurant, you will need to hire according to your restaurant functions, use the following as a guide to hire for fulfilling different functions of a restaurant.


If you are not going to be managing your restaurant yourself, you will need to hire a manager. Your manager is your most important employee specifically if you plan for the manager to run the restaurant with you. When you are hiring a manager, you will need to ensure that he/she has the following qualities:

  • At least 2-3 years of experience
  • Good communication skills
  • Familiar with purchasing and supplying resources.
  • Ability to multitask
  • Leadership skills

When you are hiring a manager, you need to make sure you are hiring someone who understands the theme of your restaurant. For example, if you are running a fine dining restaurant, then you will need to hire someone who has prior experience of working in fine dining restaurants. Whereas, if you are running a small café, you could also hire someone who has prior experience of just overlooking and managing a small team of 5-6 people. Therefore, it is important to first assess how many people your manager is going to be managing, what kind of tasks he will be performing and then create a skill list of your desired candidate. An important thing to remember is that your manager will be the backbone of your restaurant, so you will need to design an attractive salary package for him/her to be motivated and work effectively.


Your chef could make all the difference in the success of your restaurant. The taste of your food will depend on the chef you hire. If you have the resources, you could hire a famous chef, which would be great for your marketing and will help you attract customers just when you started. According to the type of restaurant you are running, you will need to decide a specialty of your restaurant and hire a specialty chef.

Along with chefs, you might also need to hire cooks. If you want to run a fine dining restaurant, then it is better only hire chefs but if you are running a small-scale restaurant, you could hire cooks. Hiring cooks would be less expensive than hiring chefs. While hiring cooks, you will also need to assess the scale of the restaurant and depending on that, you might need to hire more than one cook.


A mistake you could make in hiring staff i.e. dishwashers is hiring full time employees for part time work. Depending on the needs of your restaurant, you could hire part-time dishwashers or dishwashers for different shifts. This should help you cut down on extra costs that you would be paying if you hire full-time dishwashers.

Serving Staff

Your waiters are going to be your serving staff. When hiring the serving staff, you need to make sure that your serving staff is professional and amicable. Your restaurant’s rating and customer experience is going to depend highly on how your servers interact with your customers.

A mistake some restaurant owners make is hiring inexperienced servers for a new restaurant. It is better to hire experienced servers when opening a new restaurant, or at least create a mix of experience and inexperienced staff so that new servers can be trained by the old staff.

When hiring servers, you need to make sure that they have a friendly attitude, amicable towards the customers, and can work under pressure. Moreover, while interviewing servers, you could assess their skills by giving them some tricky situations i.e. if a customer is rude and how they would deal with it to make sure you are hiring the right people for your restaurant.

Other Staff

The most important part of your staff are your cooks, servers, dishwashers, and your manager. However, if you are running a big scale restaurant with a bar and different specialties, then you will need other staff, such as bartenders, hosts, and valet parkers etc. When you are hiring for your restaurant, you need to keep in mind that you need to hire people with the right attitude. Your investment on your restaurant you need to make sure that the people you are hiring are trained and can adapt to different situations. Restaurants needs to be run smoothly to generate revenue but there are several things that could go wrong in a day, so the key to remember is to hire staff who are solution orientated and in case of emergency or demanding situations, so they can come up with quick and effective solutions.


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