Hire an all star crew, and keep ‘em happy.

(That’s every restaurateur dream, right?)

Restaurant seasonality and staff turnover has always been something restaurateurs battle with each year. Those running the show know the challenges of seasonal businesses including the struggles of how to deal with peak seasons, and lulls. Common sense tells us to load up on staff quickly, when peak season comes around, but it’s much easier said than done.

The tricky part is, how do you hire a crew that can work well together for 70+ hours a week, keep your guests coming back, continue to work hard throughout the busy season, and after all that, still be happy to come in smiling each day? In this week’s edition of Whiteboard Wednesday we dive into the three characters that you’ll find when hiring, and how to make sure they’re going to be happy from start to finish. Or even better, come back each season!

 

Video Transcript:

Hey guys! I’m Nikki from Upserve, and I’m here to talk to you about seasonal hiring. I’ve been a veteran of this seasonal industry for 8 exciting years.

Running a seasonal restaurant comes with it’s unique strains and struggles – one of the biggest, hiring.

With the change of the season comes new guests, new dishes, and most importantly new staff. Here are some insights on how to hire the best people for the season, and how to keep them happy.

There are 2 huge things to consider #1. What type of talent do we need? And #2, how to create a team that will enjoy working long hours together?

It is important to understand the motives of seasonal employees. Certain motives will be better for your restaurant’s success than others.

Let’s break it down into three people that you will run into when making a seasonal hire.

charcuterie board with glass of wine

Seasonality is one food trend you can put your money behind - seasonal menus see 26% more orders, after all. Learn the ins and outs.

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1. “That College Kid That Needs Money.” This type of candidate will pick up any shift and will be one of the hardest workers on your team. Just prepare for them to leave before labor day.

2. “The Seasonal Celebrity Shifter” This guy moves around the country picking up the coolest shifts in the most exoctic locations. He will be on The Hamptons in the summer, and either Miami or Colorado in the winter. He knows how to make money – and he knows how to work. Won’t need much training, and will add a flare to your staff.

3. “The First Timers” Oh yeah. We were all one of these back in the day. These guys come in while their mom watches cheerfully from the car. They are in high school and trying to pick up their first job. They will take some training, but remember, these guys are an investment. They will pay off if you train them and treat them right – hopefully bringing them back every summer.

The restaurant industry is stressful enough, then factor in seasonality in a tourist driven area and you’ve got your work cut out for you when it comes to building your team.

To get the most out of your seasonal hires it is important to create a team oriented staff.

Why not start the season off right? Do you have a local vineyard that supplies wine to your restaurant? Take your entire crew one Tuesday to visit it! Not only will they learn about each other – making the work environment even more productive, but they will learn about the product that they are selling too.

This is a Win / win situation: The vineyard will be happy that they are getting free marketing and
may even refer their guests to your spot after a tour or tasting.

When making seasonal hires, think about it like staffing a team. There will be MVP’s and benchwarmers, it’s all about creating an environment so that they can play well together.

Loved the video, but need more? We’ve got you covered. Check out this guide to seasonality, and this article on tackling the challenges of owning a seasonal restaurant.

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Hannah can be found riding the slopes of New Hampshire by winter and riding the waves of Rhode Island by summer. In order to satisfy a constant sweet tooth, you can find her bouncing between Ellie's Bakery and Pastiche, both in Providence, RI.