When your restaurant’s busy season gets a little too busy, sometimes the only way to get through it successfully is to hire additional help. Instead of stretching your regular staff too thin—which can cause tension, increased accidents, and overall displeasure in the workplace— consider hiring an extra few hands to make everyone’s lives easier. Before you dive in and start randomly hiring, take a look at our top tips for hiring seasonal restaurant staff!
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring Seasonal Help
Now while hiring seasonal restaurant staff might be the best solution for your thin staffing problem, it isn’t always. To determine if you should employ seasonal restaurant staff, ask yourself these questions:
Is This Really a Busy Season?
Sometimes a “busy season” isn’t really busy season. Instead, it’s a steady increase in restaurant traffic and sales. While this is excellent news for your business, it does mean that seasonal hires aren’t going to solve your issues. You would be better off hiring more staff that can fulfill your needs year-round.
Do I Have Time to Train New Staff?
If it is indeed a busy season, you might not have the time to help your current employees, let alone train new ones. Training new employees can be extremely time-consuming. Plus, training employees that will be with you for just a short while makes the task even less appealing. It’s an important task nonetheless, as each one of your employees (both short and long term) represents your business to the customer. So any temporary staff will need to complete proper training.
Do I Understand the Legalities?
Each state has its own set of laws regarding seasonal employees and their benefits. While some states allow seasonal employees to collect unemployment benefits after their term is over, other states do not. Additionally, not all insurance companies cover seasonal employees under their policies. Check with both your state and your insurance company to determine if hiring seasonal restaurant employees is the best option for your business.
Do I Need Seasonal or Part-Time Employees?
While they may seem similar, seasonal and part-time employees are actually two very different types of hires. Seasonal employees have a set end date based on the length of a restaurant’s busy season. On the other hand, part-time employees have a set of maximum hours they can work each week. Before hiring any seasonal employees, as opposed to part-time workers, confirm that they’re the type of hire you require.
How to Hire the Right Seasonal Employees
Once you’ve determined that hiring seasonal employees is the right choice for your business, make sure you hire the right people for the job. Because seasonal employees will only work for your restaurant for a few months, you don’t want to waste time interviewing, hiring, and training someone who won’t work out. This makes the process of hiring seasonal employees even more tricky! To make sure your hiring process goes smoothly, follow our tips below:
1. Create a Clear Job Description
Some people are excited about seasonal work, while others would prefer a more long-term gig. That’s why it’s crucial you’re clear in your job description that the position is for seasonal work. Include the ideal start date and estimated end date of the job, along with the typical title, duties, and description of the job duties—just as you would in a full-time or part-time job description.
2. Target the Right Audience
As you may know, high school and college students love seasonal work during the summer and holidays. Because of that, consider advertising your open positions in publications and websites that students frequent. If students aren’t the right candidates for your position, consider looking for teachers or retirees, as both groups also frequently look for seasonal work.
3. Get Referrals from Your Current Staff
Just as you might with any open position, ask your employees if they have friends or family members who would be interested in seasonal restaurant work. Of course, you should only ask employees with a strong work ethic, and those you find enjoyable to work with. More than likely, their friends and family members will have similar personalities and traits.
4. Hire Early
You don’t want to be stuck in the busy season without your needed help, so it’s better to start looking for seasonal employees sooner rather than later. While every job market is different, it’s a good idea to start looking for seasonal restaurant help a few months before the start of the busy season. This will leave you with plenty of time to interview and hire the right candidates.
5. Find the Right Employees
Don’t hire people you wouldn’t normally hire for a full-time position! You want to keep your standards for seasonal employees just as high as you would for your typical year-round employees. Look for the same trustworthiness, work ethic, positivity, and talent that you would search for in a year-round employee to ensure that the candidate would be a good fit seasonally, or full-time, if a position becomes available. It’ll be a lot quicker to hire a full-time employee from a group of qualified seasonal workers than it would be to start from scratch.
Get Food & Alcohol Safety Training for Seasonal Employees
Now you may have found the right seasonal employees, but do they have the training and certifications needed to work in a restaurant in your state legally? If they don’t, consider recommending our Food Safety and Alcohol Safety Training courses. Not only are they online and easily accessible, but they also meet all state requirements for those in the foodservice industries.