How To Hire Your First Employees While Running Your Startup Restaurant

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How To Hire Your First Employees While Running Your Startup Restaurant

Hiring your first employees is a good sign your startup is gaining traction. However, it’s also a stressful and time-consuming responsibility.

It would be foolish to try to launch your restaurant without adequate staff!

Most restaurants  have a set of staff  that is required. You need to always hire those that are properly qualified in positions were it is expected.

What Positions Do You Need In Your Restaurant?

Describe The Positions & Responsabilities

What Are The Needed Qualification For The Positions?

The first thing I suggest is laying down a description of each position you need to fill. You have to be 100% sure that the job responsibilities and duties are properly outlined. Never make the employees guess about responsibilities, they need to be clear. This includes all the required credentials like clean driving record or a valid driver’s license.

If you want to run a restaurant, you can’t expect to stay in business very long if you try to design the kitchen and dining room, market the restaurant, order and buy the food, keep the books, do the prep work, cook, wait tables and wash dishes all by yourself.busy-business-owner

The first couple of people you bring on board will contribute to a significant portion of your startup’s reputation. If you choose the right people, you’ll get good results. But if you don’t, the wrong early startup employees can sink your business.

The questions startups typically deal with are whom to hire, when and where to find good candidates.

Here are some basics to guide you through this process of hiring your first employees.

Who to Hire

What position you fill first will depend on your set of skills as the owner. You must narrow your staffing plan to a handful of people who can help you deliver the restaurants food and service to your ideal customer.

Hire for potential, not just evidence of their past success.

Look for someone who has a strong interest or passion similar to yours, if the person is excellent at what he or she has done before even if that’s a variety of things that’s a good sign. Unlocking someone’s potential will truly help them excel at your restaurant.

Have them demonstrate their skills! Many people know just how to answer interview questions, in short, it’s easy to BS. The best way is to have him or her complete a task for you—for example, if you’re hiring them as a prep cook, ask them to show their chef knife skill by julienne some vegetables. Give them little direction to see how they tackle the task, without guidance. The results will be telling, and those that clearly don’t have knife skills will be exposed rather quickly.

Consider every employee a member of your team. Choose someone who’ll dedicate their time to making your vision a reality, including learning alongside you, with others and experiencing the ups and downs of your venture.

Your first hires are a huge step in the life of your restaurant. Take the time to do things the right way, and you’ll make sure that your first employee will be there for the long haul and be one of one of the best assets that happen to your restaurant in its early days.

When to Hire

Hire someone as soon as you know that you need them and can afford them, even if it’s tight at first.

For some restaurants, employees are a necessity right at the start- it’s impossible to run a popular restaurant or even a small coffee house single-handedly. The extra energy that another person gives in brainpower and sheer legwork is totally worth it. Things that would otherwise take you 12-14 hours will be doable in a 6-8 hour day. Your to-do list isn’t just your list anymore.

Don’t be reluctant to hire! You will end up kicking yourself later when you realize how much you could have been getting done.

Where to Find Employees

An entrepreneur’s best bet for finding employees usually is networking.

Start-ups typically find their first 10 or 15 employees the following way.

Ask for referrals from your friends, colleagues, advisers, such as your accountant, or attorney. If a colleague recommends somebody, they’ve done some of your interviewing work already.

New hires can also widen your employee pool! If an employee recommends someone, there’s a much higher likelihood that person will work out. Why? In most cases an employee is going to recommend only someone he or she thinks will be successful, to avoid ruining their reputation.

At some point, you may want to consider niche online job boards. Big job boards like, while they have advantages, can bring a ridiculous amount resumes. Smaller niche sites zero in on applicants to those just your industry or area.

Employment agencies and headhunters can help you find employees from entry-level to executive.

One important component I’d like to mention before I close this post is Train Train Train your employees!

All your employees have to be trained properly. A failure to do this will lead to many problems in the future.

Let’s be real, everyone who works in any foodservice setting is really in the customer service business.

If your customer has just one negative experience with the people who serve, prepare, or deliver their food, they will probably never come back to your place of business.

They will most likely tell their friends bad things about you, post negative reviews about you online, and take other steps that damage your ability to attract new customers.

Hiring Your First Employees While Running Your Startup Restaurant can be a daunting task if you need advice can coach you through the process.

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One Comment on “How To Hire Your First Employees While Running Your Startup Restaurant”

  1. Great points here Chef! We are in the entertainment business, not just “the food business”. Your people representing you are the most important aspect of your service…
    “Geat service can make up for a bad meal, but there is no excuse for Bad Service!”

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