14 Things to Consider While Hiring The Best Wait Staff For Your Restaurant

It takes a lot more than just good food to make a good restaurant. A good restaurant is defined by the overall customer experience, which is heavily dependent upon the staff and service. The team plays an integral part in building the right image of a restaurant. 

The service industry thrives upon people and experiences. Hiring the right staff is crucial for a restaurant. The wait staff is the first point of contact with your restaurant with the customers and the bridge between the kitchen and dining experience. The wait staff at a restaurant should be well-trained to handle myriad situations because not all customers are going easy to deal with and tricky situations are bound to happen. Since the wait staff is going to be the forerunner when it comes to communicating with the customer grievances, it should be hired after meticulous planning and thinking.

These tips will help you in hiring the right wait staff for your restaurant:

  1. Defining the job role: Define the job role as accurately as possible. A well-defined job role helps in inviting the best suitable applications which help in clearing the clutter of ineligible candidates.
  2. Past Experience: As clichéd as this may sound, employers tend to overlook this aspect while hiring the wait staff. The wait staff is as essential as your chef and manager. Invite applications from candidates who have held a similar position and have demonstrated their experience and expertise.
  3. Ability to learn: It can be challenging to find candidates with appropriate experience while hiring for an entry-level restaurant due to various reasons. In such scenarios, it is always advisable to hire candidates who are quick learners. 
  4. Background check: Crosscheck the information provided by the candidates with their previous employer. The reason for a switch in a job shouldn’t be due to a conflict in the last post. You wouldn’t want to hire a wait staff that would cause trouble with the customers.
  5. Check the temperament: Temperament plays an essential role while serving customers. You wouldn’t want to have someone in your team who has a bad temper, is impolite, or is impatient. You can test the temperament of the candidate through various tests and getting their response on certain scenarios.
  6. Ability to push sales: Ever been to a restaurant and ended up ordering what the server suggested? Many times, isn’t it? This is what pushing sale in a restaurant means. The wait staff should have excellent convincing skills to push sales for food items with the highest profit margins.
  7. Knowledge of food: Trying new things has become a trend, and customers like to experiment with the food choices offered at a restaurant. However, before doing that, they might want to know what the dish is about – how it is prepared, the ingredients et al. The wait staff should be aware of the cooking method and ingredients of the dishes listed in the menu.
  8. Interpersonal skills: Interpersonal skills of the wait staff is what matters the most. It is a plus to hire someone who is natural and doesn’t need training or learning how to deal with customers.
  9. Pleasing personality: You wouldn’t like your customers to be served and attended by a grumpy person. Hire a candidate with a pleasant personality. Having someone who comes across easy to approach and friendly can be an excellent way to connect with the customers.
  10. Attitude: The attitude of the candidate is as crucial as his experience or even more important than knowledge. A person with an unacceptable attitude would be of no good to the restaurant despite relevant experience. 
  11. Proximity to the restaurant: As odd as this may sound, but it is always a good idea to hire someone who lives nearby your restaurant. The vicinity of the location can result in a high turnover ratio. 
  12. Relevant expertise: More often than not, to fill in the gaps, employers end-up hiring candidates with experience in the same industry but overlook the relevant experience. For example, a candidate who has worked as a support staff might not be able to perform his duties as a server very well
  13. Employee expectations: The best candidate is the one that is on the same page as the employer when it comes to expectations from the job. Employers often don’t pay heed to the employee’s expectation from the job. It would be good to talk and discuss the candidate’s expectations of your organisation.
  14. Presence of mind: The essential trait to look out for a while hiring the wait staff is the presence of mind. No matter how many mock situations you create to train the team, there will always be something different in the store while dealing with the customers. A candidate with a sharp presence of mind will be well equipped to deal with any unforeseen situations.

Considering these things while hiring the wait staff can help you in hiring precisely what you are looking for. However, this is not an all-inclusive list. The service industry is all about people, and there’s nothing as volatile and unexpected as people. The right wait staff candidate is someone who can deal with people with politeness and patience. 

Use a platform like InstaHire that is dedicated for the hiring needs of the hospitality industry. With InstaHire, you can hire the right candidates for your restaurant quickly and easily.