patio staff

5 tips to attract and hire the best talent for your patio

By Matt Parkin

As the warmer weather approaches, restaurants are gearing up for the busy patio season. However, finding and hiring qualified staff to meet the increased demand can be a challenging task. In this article, we will discuss five effective staffing strategies to help your restaurant attract and hire the best talent for the patio season.

1.   Include wages in job postings

Studies show that including wages in job postings is the number one way for employers to improve their candidate experience. Potential candidates often prioritize compensation when considering job opportunities, and providing transparent information about wages in your job postings can help you attract more qualified candidates. Clearly stating the hourly wage or salary range in your job postings can save time for both you and the candidates, as it sets expectations from the outset, ensuring that only candidates who are interested in the offered compensation will apply. This can lead to a higher quality of applicants who are genuinely interested in the job, reducing the number of irrelevant applications.

2.   Provide scheduling flexibility

In today’s fast-paced world, candidates appreciate flexibility in the interview process. Providing options for interview location and timing can make it easier for potential candidates to attend interviews and demonstrate their skills and qualifications. Consider offering remote or virtual interviews for candidates who may have scheduling constraints or are located far from your restaurant. This can widen your candidate pool and attract talent that may not have otherwise applied due to logistical challenges. Additionally, offering interviews during non-traditional business hours, such as evenings or weekends, can accommodate candidates with other commitments and increase your chances of hiring the best fit for your restaurant.

3.   Reduce response times

In a competitive job market, time is of the essence. According to reports, candidates tend to accept the first job offer they receive, so delaying your response can mean losing top talent to other opportunities. Aim to respond to candidates within 24 hours of receiving their application or completing an interview. Even if you’re unable to make a hiring decision within that window, acknowledging their application or interview and providing an estimated timeline for a decision can go a long way in maintaining candidate interest and engagement. Prompt communication shows respect for their time and effort, and it can positively impact your restaurant’s reputation as an employer of choice.

4.   Shorten job descriptions

Job descriptions that are too lengthy or complex can be overwhelming for candidates and may deter them from applying. Keep job descriptions under a 90-second read, highlighting the most important qualifications and responsibilities. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may not be familiar to all candidates. Use bullet points and clear headings to break up the information and make it easily scannable. Focus on what’s in it for the candidate, rather than the tasks they’ll be completing.

In this example, flexible scheduling and a willingness to learn are highlighted as the first few bullets for this dishwasher posting.

  • Offering flexible scheduling and 50 per cent off your menu favourites on shift.
  • Looking for candidates eager to learn the process of operating a kitchen.

Conversely, this company focuses on the tasks of the role at the top of the posting, making it less likely for a candidate to stop scrolling.

  • To provide all areas of the kitchen with clean, sanitized dishware on a timely basis.
  • To maintain the dish area in a good state of organization and repair.

Clarity and simplicity in job descriptions can help candidates quickly understand the job requirements and determine if they are a good fit for the role.

5.   Start early

Patio season is almost here! Don’t wait until the last minute to start your hiring process.  Strong candidates are likely to be in high demand, and starting early can give you a competitive edge. Begin advertising job openings and accepting applications ahead of the warm weather to allow ample time for candidate screening, interviews, and onboarding. A proactive approach to hiring can help you identify and secure top talent before they are scooped up by other employers. Additionally, starting early can help you better plan your staffing needs and ensure that you have sufficient staff in place to handle the increased demand during the patio season.

Matt Parkin is the Business Development Lead at FindWRK. He helps employers quickly connect with hourly employees without needing a job posting.