Using an employment agency to recruit your restaurant staff is a popular, effective solution to what can be a bit of a head ache.
However, employment agencies can also be rather expensive and, at a time when all there seems to be is money going out and very little coming in, paying for recruitment at the start of launching your restaurant business may seem like an unnecessary expense.
Rather than just assume you are going to use an employment agency for all your staff requirements, why not see what you can do on your own first. There are a number of different ways that you can find good people for the various roles in your restaurant and only once you have exhausted those should you approach an employment agency.
Catering StaffThe quality of your catering staff will make a big difference to your restaurant. Although going out to dinner is so much more than just what is on your plate – it’s the occasion, what you are wearing, who you are with and the fact that you don’t have to wash up! – You do still need to make sure that you are offering good food, well cooked.
In order to consistently offer well cooked food, you need to have a good chef. Not only that, but he or she will also need to have an adequate team to cover the kitchen on their days off. If you are the chef, you will still need to recruit catering staff – sous chefs and commis chefs, perhaps a couple of kitchen porters. Even the smallest restaurant will require a chef, a commis and a kitchen porter – also known as a pot washer!
A good place to find catering staff without the expense of an employment agency is to go to your local catering college and speak to the tutors. They will know which of their students shows the most potential and who is looking for work.
Seasonal StaffMost restaurants will need temporary staff at certain times of the year – such as in the summer if you are a seaside resort restaurant or at Christmas if you offer office parties throughout December.
The best way to handle these fluctuations is to have a bank of people that you can call upon at short notice. Ask friends and family for recommendations of daughters, sons, nieces and nephews. 'A’ Level students are often keen to earn some money at holiday time, although they may not be old enough to serve alcohol.
Waiting StaffIn order to run a successful restaurant you will need to have plenty of waiting staff. It is very frustrating to be paying for a meal out and spend half the evening trying to catch the attention of the over-worked waitress.
If you find that you are regularly understaffed, you could perhaps negotiate a favourable rate with a local employment agency. Let them know that you will want to be able to call on them at short notice and, while it may cost you a little more per hour, as well as a fee, it is certainly better than loosing customers because you are under staffed.