What Kind of Staff Do You Need in Order to Run a Successful Restaurant?
Running a successful restaurant is not a walk in the park and, as a matter of fact, most people are aware of this actually with little to no misconceptions are interpreted. Perhaps only to those who know very little about the restaurant business, but basically almost every person on earth is on the same page when it comes to building a restaurant business. Managers, cooks, servers, buspersons, dishwashers, hosts and bartenders are among the people you need to hire for your restaurant staff. Running a restaurant from the get go will actually be challenging and you will see some of the duties of your staff will cross over from one category to another. You will be able to organize your restaurant soon, but while you’re still trying to figure things out, you will need a staff that’s ready and willing to go the extra mile in their duties and responsibilities.
Hiring a restaurant manager is the first thing to consider before opening up a restaurant, and that’s because the manager is the one person in your staff who will help you with 50% or more of the job. Sometimes they even do 110% of the tasks if you decide to stay in the sidelines and only collect your profit and positive reviews of your restaurant and not dip your hand in it like most restaurateurs do. The manager’s job will include,
- Be able to open and close the restaurant with little to no problems (or smoothly preferably)
- Has at least good knowledge on purchasing food, beverages and other things needed in the kitchen
- Knows how to use the cash registry and do simple accounting tasks
- Track the restaurant’s inventory
- Train and manage staff
- Communicate with suppliers well
- Develop and implement a marketing strategy, and
- Be able to handle other duties when the occasion calls for it
If you’re just starting out in the restaurant business, then it’s best to hire a manager with a background in small restaurants. From there the restaurant manager will learn how to develop their character as well as leadership skills. Besides possessing good qualities as a leader your manager must also learn how to do more than the responsibilities mentioned above. He or she must have people skills or what we refer to as good public relations skills which is basically customer service done proactively. Therefore they must also possess the ability to supervise personnel in the kitchen, hospitality entrance, lounge and restrooms, service area, bar, and he/she must be someone who can make customers feel welcome and comfortable.
Normally managers work more than 40 hours a week; however, it’s not a good idea to stretch their working hours, because they’re only human beings also. No amount of incentive will make up for the stress they’ll get from working too much hours, so it’s best to keep them within their optimal performance only.
There are actually 12 different kinds of chefs that works in the kitchen of a restaurant, but you’ll probably only need to know about 2 or 3 of them as these will also be the people you’ll hire in your restaurant. If you’re only starting out working on a limited budget, then you’ll probably only need an Executive Chef (Chef de Cuisine). Of course, if you’re financially prepared to run a restaurant, then you could also hire a Sous Chef which is the right hand of the Executive Chef as well as a Pastry Chef (Patissier) who will be very helpful in creating the desserts for your menu. The best thing about having a chef in the house, especially one that has been trained at an accredited culinary school, is that it’s like hiring an artist. They don’t just cook food; they make art in every delicacy they cook and they help put your restaurant on the map by building up its reputation. The only downside to hiring a chef is that they most likely part ways with you to run their own restaurants and they are expensive to keep.
In order to run a successful restaurant business you need to have a couple of cooks that can handle the job during rush hours and slow days. Preferably you’ll need 3 cooks in the kitchen. Two of the cooks will work fulltime while the third one will be on part-time basis. Why? Well, the 2 fulltime cooks will handle everyday cooking and work under normal table orders demand from hungry customers, while the part-time cook will help during peak hours, such as weekend rushes, and can work as a line cook, doing simple preparation, during slower periods.
Remember to hire your cooks based on the kind of restaurant concept that you’ve created. Cooks will be a big help for your chefs, especially when your restaurant is growing steadily also, as an unintended benefit – the recruited cooks might get inspiration from your chef and get into culinary studies themselves. Who wouldn’t be proud of that achievement even though you only played a small part in it?
Although dishwashing is a simple job for anyone, it is still important to keep those dinner plates clean and ready for the next round of meals which incoming customers will want. You’ll also need 2 – 3 dishwashers, but put them all on part-time commitment or keep 1 on fulltime and the other 2 can come in during the lunch or dinner shifts. You can hire high school or college students who are looking for small jobs with good pay.
The serving staff or waitstaff are very important if you are to run a successful restaurant business, and that’s because they play certain managerial roles and they’re also your mobile customer service people in the dining hall. Customer retention depends a lot on your waitstaff, so if they make a good impression on your customers, then you can be sure that there’s a good chance that those customers will return for more. As hard as it is to believe, your menu is only the second most important thing that your customers’ value – how you treat them is what will leave the most lasting impression on them.
Your serving staff must have a pleasing personality, courteous and be able to work under pressure. You may want to hire fulltimers and part-timers for this role, because you will need the waitstaff during peak hours or if you’ll provide catering service to a big crowd. Also most people who work on this position do not plan on staying as a waitstaff for long, so they might leave any time and it may not be a good thing to keep them as a fulltime employee with benefits.
The restaurant host, the guy who greets guests at the entrance and shows them to their table, is another customer service personnel that does customer service proactively like the waitstaff. The waitstaff and the hosting staff work hand-in-hand during peak hours, but during slow days, then you can let your part-time employees take a break. The people you will put in host staff positions have to be people-oriented and organized individuals. They must also have pleasing personalities as their job requires them to deal with people all the time
The buspersons works closely with the waitstaff and the hosting staff as the dining hall is their responsibility; however, buspersons have a different kind of responsibility than their co-workers do. Specifically they are post on specific stations across the dining hall to refill water glasses, clean condiment containers, clearing the tables, making them ready for the next guests to arrive and other similar tasks. Just like your waitstaff or service staff, it may be best to hire buspersons for part-time positions only (preferably also students who are looking to fill their resume with some work experience). Don’t try to give them too much pay though, because they’re the ones that get the most tips from customers.
Lastly you’ll also need bartenders, especially if you open at nights between 5pm and 11pm, but customers also come in at lunch time and want something to drink. So you may need to hire more than 2 bartenders to attend to your bar. The bartender also needs to check the liquor requisition sheet and the liquor inventory and restock the bar. They are also responsible for preparing the condiments and mixers for the entire day as well as ordering supplies. They must also possess the skills on how to pour regular, well-known drinks as well as special requests, be able to multi-task and do small talk to individual customers. Be sure to hire the right person for the job and preferably you hire someone who has previous experience as a bartender.