How to Write a Job Listing That Attracts Stellar Professionals

How to Write a Job Listing That Attracts Stellar Professionals

The job listing is the first step towards getting that truly stellar employee. It lets the right people know what you are looking for and lets the wrong people know to keep looking. On top of this, you want to write the job listing in a way that gets qualified people excited about working for you. Below are listed a few tips for attracting your dream candidate through the job listing.

Tip 1: Read other job postings from a job seeker’s perspective

Before writing your job listing read through your competition’s and imagine what about these posts would attract you if you were looking for the job on offer. What sort of keywords would a sous chef or server use to find a posting? What is the competition offering that a FOH employee might like? This will help you not only see what you are up against, but also what will make you attractive to job candidates.

Weave in adjectives and a bit of your restaurant’s philosophy.

Tip 2: Write a concise and interesting description of the position

Include a short description of the tasks your future employee will be performing. Your star candidate wants to know beforehand if your BOH position involves dish-washing or inventory tracking. They need a concise and clear idea of the basic position and job duties. If you’re stuck, use our job description templates to get started.

This does not mean you put up a boring run down of every task and relationship involved. You want to explain why your restaurant is a great place to work as well as what they can expect once there. Weave in adjectives and a bit of your restaurant’s philosophy into your job description. Just keep the core duties clear.

Tip 3: Write a catchy but descriptive headline

A headline saying, “Big Bucks In Restaurant Biz!!!” makes people think you are a scam, and a headline saying, “Waitress Wanted” makes people’s eyes glaze. What’s more, neither of those headlines explain why someone should work at your restaurant in particular.

Try thinking of a unique feature of the job that a promising candidate might find intriguing. “Server Position Open – Flexible Hours In Busy Restaurant” would catch an applicant’s eye. “Chef Wanted for New Restaurant. Join Us On The Ground Floor” sounds fun to a dedicated chef looking to expand horizons.

Pro-tip: Skip the exclamation marks, too. The words ‘competitive pay’ and ‘fast-paced restaurant’ are eye-catching enough without them.

Tip 4: Describe your restaurant’s work environment

Job seekers want to know what restaurant they will be working in. Include the address and name of the restaurant in your posting, even if you want them to send their application somewhere else. List what type of food you serve and the general atmosphere. This lets the applicants know what sort of environment they will be working in. Especially if you are FOH, this can be a deal-breaker.

The restaurant business is fast-paced and constantly changing so give yourself some wiggle room.

Tip 5: Stay flexible

The restaurant business is fast-paced and constantly changing. You will want to give yourself some wiggle room when it comes listing benefits and job duties so that you aren’t locked into something you can’t do. Acknowledge up front that while you listed the core duties in the posting, there will be other tasks involved.

Instead of naming the hourly wage, offer a range of wages or simply say that you offer competitive compensation. Naming a specific benefit package can discourage potential applicants from applying for jobs that don’t carry the particular benefit they are looking for. Not mentioning that extra jobs may crop up sets you up to argue with the employee over their prescribed duties.

Tip 6: List specific qualifications

It is a hassle to wade through applications from job seekers who are manifestly unqualified for the job. Unfortunately, qualifications are not always obvious, so you will have to spell them out. If you want your chef to have had experience before applying for your job, say something along the lines of “Needs at least 1 year of experience to qualify.”

Be careful to keep to qualifications strictly job-related or you will open a can of legal worms; writing that you will only accept women for your FOH jobs or that you won’t hire anyone over 50 opens you up to lawsuits over discrimination. If you have a job that requires particular physical abilities, list only those essential abilities. Saying that the job requires lifting 20 pounds is an honest description; saying that someone needs to be able-bodied leaves room for interpretation, which is never good.

Have a few people read over your listing before you post it.

When your listing is complete, have a few people read it over before you post it. Having a few eyeballs on your listing will catch spelling errors and parts that are muddled so you can make the listing as clear as possible. The job listing is a vital first step in staffing your restaurant with the people it deserves. Following these tips will make sure your job post is the best it can be.

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Should You Work Full-Time or Part-Time in the Hospitality Industry?

Should You Work Full-Time or Part-Time in the Hospitality Industry?

Gone are the days when the hospitality industry was regarded as a rung in the ladder as you climb to a “real career”. Tending bar or waiting tables is no longer the limbo between jobs that twenty and thirty-somethings are sentenced to just to make ends meet. Kitchens are no longer staffed by ex-cons or high school dropouts. Mom and Dad can’t complain that you need to get a “real job” anymore!

This is due, in part, to the rise of the foodie culture and changing attitudes towards the foodservice industry. Celebrity chefs, celebrity bartenders, and celebrity restaurateurs have also fed the shift. We’ve accepted that making it in the industry somewhat parallels success as an actor or recording artist. However, there’s a greater chance of finding success in hospitality because you’re in full control of the outcome.

It’s not just about learning customer service skills anymore.

In the industry, you’ll learn business theory while gaining sales prowess and leadership skills. Add the “on the job”, practical skills you’ll pick up in the kitchen and behind the bar, then factor in the charisma you’ll develop in the front of the house and you’ve got a pretty solid foundation for a lasting career.

All of these can be developed over time. And none of them have to do with luck or your personal image. You don’t even have to drop a ton of money at some fancy school of business. Take that, Wharton and M.I.T.!

So, should you work full-time or part-time?

The answer is…. always opt for full-time. Here’s why:

1. Benefits

These come in many forms. Restaurateurs know rock star employees put a lot of time and effort into work so they’re willing to offer benefits to those who earn them. Some no longer require you to work the traditional 40 hours to qualify.

There are the other smaller perks, too, such as FREE FOOD (yeah. we thought we’d shout that one out)! And, although not as important as it used to be, you still have the opportunity to take home cash at the end of each shift.

2. On the Job education

You don’t need years of expensive schooling. You can start making money almost immediately and learn the business from the ground up.

Each and every one of the skills we’ve listed above can be learned and perfected while working. In fact, they HAVE to be because whether you’re in the front of the house or the back, your money and your work reputation depends on it.

3. Flexible schedules

There’s real life going on outside of work and the service industry takes that into account. With a flexible schedule, you can still achieve financial goals without feeling bad about taking a week (or weekend) off to live your life.

Also, you won’t find yourself taking work home and you won’t get calls from the boss or clients at all times of the day. Once your shift is over…it’s out of sight, out of mind.

This is a social industry that touches people from all walks of life.

4. Networking opportunities to last a lifetime

This is a social industry that touches everyone from all walks of life. You’ll meet every type; from celebrities to corporate big wigs to up and comers you may take for granted at first.

You never know just how important a connection made at work will turn out to be down the road.

5. Accepting of all points of view

The service industry has always been a haven for those who feel they don’t fit into society’s square pegs. It’s also been a welcoming starting point for immigrants, some of who’ve stayed in the business and found enormous success.

No matter what your lifestyle, beliefs, or circumstances are, the service industry will reward you on equal footing with everyone else as long as you’re willing to work hard.

And things are only getting better.

There have been myths and nightmares of what life in the industry can be like. You’ve heard of the unhealthy lifestyles, the long hours for little pay, and the horror stories of irate customers. But, with the cultural shift towards acceptance of the foodservice industry as a legitimate professional career, business owners and patrons are more educated than in the past, so these myths are disappearing.

All of that signals endless future opportunities for you.

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5 Ways to Help Your Restaurant Survive The First Five Years

5 Ways to Help Your Restaurant Survive The First Five Years

An Ohio State University study found that 60% of restaurants don’t make it a full year in business, and a whopping 80% fail before they reach their fifth birthday. The odds for new restaurants aren’t great. But, the reward for those who are able to dig their heels in and endure, is great. So, what can be done to give your restaurant the best possible chance at success? Below we outline five priorities to keep in mind as you navigate the first five years of business.

1. Be flexible even if it makes you uncomfortable

Most restaurants don’t happen overnight. Instead, they happen after many months and likely many years of dreaming. Those dreams become plans that are specific and personal. But, reality and planning don’t always mesh, and when they don’t flexibility is key.

For instance, a menu item you’ve always done the same way may need to be revamped when a specialty shop featuring a dozen versions opens up down the block. This can be an issue in any aspect of the business… far beyond the menu.

Whatever it may be, one thing is certain: businesses that fail to adjust also fail to survive.

2. Have patience and faith in your staff

It’s a mistake to believe that every employee you hire will have the same vision and skills that you do. Not only has it been proven that having a flexible boss makes for healthier employees, but it also ensures you don’t miss untapped potential.

See your staff as the individuals they are, each with unique viewpoints and talents.

Don’t make the mistake of overlooking employees with a load of potential simply because they learn differently than you teach. Or communicate differently than you do. See your staff as the individuals they are, each with unique viewpoints and talents. They are more likely working with the best of intentions, and if they’re not, it could be because they aren’t sure they’re in an environment where their well-being is at the forefront.

3. You have to be willing to reflect

It can be so very easy to fall into a rhythm that fails to critically analyze every meal service. Especially when things seem to be going well. But, it is crucial that each and every component is assessed with consistency.

In regards to sub-par preparation and execution, celebrity chef Robert Irvine says, “Day-in and day-out food preparation and presentation becomes routine — sometimes almost a factory-like motion — and can lead to steps being skipped and key ingredients missed over a period of time. It’s like de-evolution. Very slowly your most popular dish can start to veer off its intended flavor profile and your cherished execution can stray from what is best for the end product.”

Always re-evaluate, but do so while shouldering the responsibility that your role requires.

4. You have to really care about the customers

While all of us in the service industry have smiled our way through bad days, if you’re going to make it for the long-haul, customer service has to be genuine. Today’s customer can spot a lack of authenticity from a mile away. The surest way to lock-in customer loyalty is to care about their experience and to prove it to them.

“Customer concerns come in infinite varieties, with infinite moods, paces and nuances. So instead of training to a script, the best thing an organization can do is teach its people to deal with situations, both good and difficult. Give them the tools to recognize behaviors and respond appropriately and effectively,” says expert Micah Solomon.

“The public changes its palate and like them, we always have to keep evolving… evolution, always.”

5. Remember, the only direction to travel is forward

This point is the marriage of all the preceding points. Being able to recognize all of the potential avenues for growth in all the areas of your business is what can make or break a fledgling restaurant.

In the words of Michelin-rated chef David LeFevre, “The public changes its palate and like them, we always have to keep evolving… evolution, always.”

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Training Hacks: Employee Evaluations and Training Program Adjustments

Training Hacks: Employee Evaluations and Training Program Adjustments

You’ve made great hires and developed and implemented a training program, but just because the trainees are working shifts doesn’t mean that training is over. The last phase of a successful training program is measuring the performance of your employee(s). It’s also an integral building block of any prosperous business.

Using employee evaluations

Employee performance depends on a number of things, from punctuality to quality of work to how well they fit with the team. The best way to put all factors together is by using employee evaluations.

Plus, feedback is important, especially in the service and hospitality industry. It’s how we know we’ve done a good job and made someone happy. Employees ask for it from every patron that crosses our threshold, so it’s natural for them to expect it from their managers, too.

When conducting the evaluation, you’ll want the employee to understand that you’re there to help them.

Conducting employee evaluations and following up on them periodically throughout the year is the most effective way to monitor your employee’s progress and give feedback. Based on the size of your establishment, we recommend you conduct employee evaluations at least once or twice a year, if not more.

When conducting the evaluation, you’ll want the employee to understand that you’re there to help them, not to criticize them. Make this conversation as comfortable and collaborative as possible. This shouldn’t be a one-sided discussion where you point out their mistakes and then send them on their way. They, as well as you, have put a lot of time and effort into training and development.

A great way to frame the conversation is by goal setting. Both you and the employee can participate by identifying goals, which will help you and your employee better focus on development. This will also provide a benchmark to refer to during the next evaluation. Goal setting can be tricky, but by using S.M.A.R.T. Goals, you’ll ensure that they are appropriate and achievable.

If you’re providing daily feedback, an employee shouldn’t be surprised by anything when it’s time for their evaluation.

It may come as no surprise to you when we tell you that evaluations are also the best way to determine how to reward an employee. We’re talking raises here, in case you haven’t guessed yet.

Pro-Tip: For legal and logical reasons, you should always keep records of conversations you have with an employee regarding their performance.

Cracks in the system and how to fix them

The hospitality industry is unlike any other. Managers and owners work closely with their employees on a daily basis. Because of this, you’re able to provide your employees constant feedback and immediately correct any bad behaviors or procedures. The trainers that you’ve enlisted (see Training Hacks: Part Two) should also be following suit.

If there are cracks in your training system, you should be able to spot and address them right away and adjust accordingly. In fact, optimizing your training process based on outcomes is a great way to ensure that cracks are few and far between.

Also, if you’re providing daily feedback, an employee shouldn’t be surprised by anything when it’s time for their evaluation.

As always, taking the high road during an employee termination is the only way to go.

If you do have to let someone go…

Unfortunately, there are times when no matter how hard you try to help an employee excel, they just can’t seem to improve their job performance. Or they just don’t care to improve.

Once again, this is another area where the employee evaluation can and should be used.

If you’ve taken the time to work with an employee, to set goals with them, to monitor their progress, to provide constructive feedback, and to retrain them if necessary and things are still not improving… then it’s time to have the difficult conversation with them.

Here are some tips for the meeting:

  • As always, taking the high road during an employee termination is the only way to go. Never lose your temper (even though they may lose theirs).
  • Try to get to the reason for the meeting as quickly as possible. Don’t try to ease into it. It’s going to be uncomfortable no matter what.
  • Never resort to arguing. Simply state you’ve made the decision to end the working relationship and let them know HR will provide them with any written proof or documentation necessary.

A training program is meant to develop as the business develops.

Moving forward

Despite what many think, a training program is meant to develop as the business develops. It’s not supposed to stay static. You may change your menu by adding or subtracting new items. New procedures may arise. Or, you may change equipment in the front or back of the house.

All of these (and more) are reasons to make adjustments to your program.

Just remember to revisit training periodically. Pay attention to your business. Work alongside your employees on everyday tasks once in awhile. Participate in training as much as possible. This will help you understand where your business stands and what you need to do to tweak training to get the best from everyone.

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Training Hacks: Developing an Effective Training Process

Training Hacks: Developing an Effective Training Process

The hospitality and restaurant industries can be high-stress jobs. Employees must be able to multi-task and adapt to any situation quickly, all while on the move constantly; sometimes for up to ten hours per shift. They’ll have to do all of that while handling needy or irate customers who don’t understand the effort that it takes to create a phenomenal experience. Luckily, there are tried and true ways of training your employees to handle anything that’s thrown at them. And not to be cliche, but practice does make perfect.

As we mentioned in the previous Training Hacks, the intensity and duration of training will depend on your type of business and it’s size. Don’t forget, the best training programs provide the best results.

“You don’t BUILD a business. You build PEOPLE – and then people build the business.” -Zig Ziglar

The Method

At its core, training consists of four very basic principles.

  • You’ll need to explain the task and process.
  • Then, it’s best to demonstrate what you’ve just explained.
  • Next, have the trainee try doing what you’ve just shown them.
  • Last, review the topic and cover any important last notes.

You may not have ever realized it, but this method is used everywhere, from teaching small children to university classes (it works at home, too).

The method can be summed up in this handy saying: Tell/Show/Do/Review. Yes, we’re aware of how childish and simple it sounds, but the results are hard to argue against. Let’s elaborate on the four principles a bit more.

Step 1: Tell

When you’re dealing with a new employee (especially one who’s new to the industry), it’s best to ease them into the lesson by taking a few minutes to explain the task they’ll be learning.

You’ll want to have available any and all tools or materials they’ll need to execute the specific task. At this time, tell them the names and uses of said materials. After that, go into detail on the exact steps to take when performing the task.

For example, if you’re training a new assistant server in bussing and setting tables, you’ll want to have everything they’ll be using ready to go, or at least know where materials are kept in order to instruct the newbie. Then, break the process down into steps. This is especially helpful if the trainee is writing notes; they’ll be able to easily and effectively keep track of what you’re saying.

Step 2: Show

Now that the trainee has a general idea of what to expect, it’s time to show them how to perform the tasks. Yup, that means it’s your turn to show off your know-how. To this end, it could be a good idea to practice what you’re teaching beforehand, especially if it’s been awhile since the last time you did so.

Make sure you complete the task to its entirety using the steps you’ve explained. Any variations in the steps or final results will only cause confusion.

Step 3: Do

Now, it’s time for the trainee to perform the task for themselves. Within this step, there are many methods you can use to ensure the employee has understood and grasped the training.

  • Now is a good time to answer any questions they have and to ask questions to test them.
  • Depending on the task you’re training them on, you can have the employee shadow you throughout the restaurant while you show them how the task fits into the flow of service.
  • You can role play with them. You’ll act as a patron and have them complete the task in a “mock” real life situation.
  • Last, YOU can shadow them as they perform the task.

Remember, if the new employee makes any mistakes while performing the task, be sure to correct them as soon as is appropriate. If you have to, explain the steps again or show the steps again. Do not progress to the last part of this training method until the employee can perform exactly the way you’ve explained or demonstrated.

Step 4: Review

Start this step by having the employee explain the task back to you. A popular method is to actually let the employee teach the task back to you using the four training stepsThen, when it’s your turn to do the task, make some mistakes to test the trainee. This will keep them engaged in training and on their toes.

Of course, exactly what the new hire is being trained on will vary by position. However, there are a few training items that are required by all positions in the restaurant. Here are a few:

  • Clocking in/out
  • Safety procedures
  • Opening/Closing duties
  • Cleaning duties
  • Checking out at the end of the shift

Before letting the trainee go, be sure to answer any questions they may have. This means asking if they do in fact have any questions because they may not be inclined to bring them up themselves.

“Hire character. Train skill.” -Peter Schutz

Properly training an employee can (and should) be a time-consuming effort. But if you hire the right people for the right positions, you’ll form a culture in your establishment that makes training fun and easy, all while producing the best talent.

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Experience Sirvo for yourself

Sign up now to find hospitality jobs and hire top industry talent.