Restaurant owners have a lot of responsibilities. Consequently, important aspects of hiring and managing employees often get lost in the shuffle. However, anyone working in hospitality can tell you that their business relies on employees who enjoy their work and provide excellent customer service. In the process of recruiting and directing workers, there are some common mistakes owners make that will sabotage even the most well-managed restaurants.

Unclear job descriptions

When businesses need to hire new employees, it can be difficult to pinpoint the specifics of every role. At the same time, not giving a clear job description will hinder employee success because there’s no way to reach a positive outcome. Every job description needs to clearly state the position, responsibilities, goals, processes, and specific tasks. It also should explain how the role contributes to the overall well-being of the restaurant.


Though rewarding, restaurant work is not always appealing. Owners may be tempted to hype up the role description in order to attract potential workers. But in reality, this does more harm than good. Transparency is needed regarding the physical requirements and difficult hours. Instead of intentionally misleading potential new hires, discuss their concerns during the interview and place an emphasis on career development.

Transparency is needed regarding the physical requirements and difficult hours.

Insufficient compensation

All restaurant employees are hourly or salaried workers, regardless of who relies on tips and who doesn’t. Employers need to offer at least market-rate compensation in order to stay competitive. Failure to do this will result in high turnover when employees leave for better-paying jobs. Investing a little more in worker salaries will decrease that turnover and attract the best hires.

Lack of internal promotions

External candidates are usually considered for management positions instead of regular employees. However, promoting someone from within the business can have unexpected benefits. It gives the employer firsthand knowledge of the person’s job performance before committing to the promotion, and it offers insight on how they will do in the management role. This kind of recognition also encourages loyalty from the staff.

This kind of recognition also encourages loyalty from the staff.

Improper onboarding of new hires

Training is just as important, if not more so, than the hiring and interview processes. Without that training, workers can’t to do their jobs properly and contribute to the success of the restaurant. After the initial training period, it’s important to provide regular feedback on employee performance, set aside additional training days, and require job shadowing for new recruits. This will help improve employee performance as well as decrease worker anxiety.

Inflexible schedules

One of the biggest hurdles faced by restaurant employees is the way scheduling is handled. Inflexible schedules make it tough for employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance, a necessity for any successful staff member. This can lead to employee burnout and dissatisfaction, which may ultimately lead them to find a job with more agreeable hours.

 This can lead to employee burnout and dissatisfaction.

While it will be impossible to accommodate all scheduling needs, it’s important that every employee’s requests are at the very least taken into consideration, and granted when possible.

Lack of staff appreciation

Employee appreciation is a must, regardless of the work environment. The hospitality industry is seeing a rise in turnover rates, so it’s more important than ever that employers show their gratitude towards their staff. A simple thank you can go a long way in decreasing turnover and improving employee morale.

It’s inevitable that as a manager or owner, mistakes will be made. But, by taking into account the hardships faced by employees as well as the benefits that can make a positive impact on their work experiences, these mistakes will be fewer and further between.

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