Video: 8 restaurant staffing strategies for a spot-on fall season

Restaurant scheduling is a constant challenge.

And staffing your restaurants for back-to-school through the holidays is no exception. Getting it right is critical to happy guests and the work-life balance of your team.

Watch this month’s OpsWise video to learn 8 ways that you can manage availability, prevent unplanned turnover, and schedule smart during this demanding time of year.

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Staffing your restaurants for back-to-school through the holidays can be tricky, but getting it right is critical to happy guests and the work-life balance of your team. Today, I’m going to share with you some ways to manage availability, prevent unplanned turnover, and schedule smart, during this demanding time of year.

First, use these tips to better understand your hiring needs:

Staffing levels begin with your existing employees. Meet with your team individually each period to discuss their current and future availability to identify any immediate gaps.

Once you understand the availability of your team and have forecasted business needs, build a staffing bench plan and update it each period going forward. Look for staffing gaps to anticipate hiring needs.

Compare employee availability to your local and national calendars. Do you have enough staff available to cover busy times during the fall and holiday season?

Protect yourself from unexpected turnover as you get deeper into the new school year. Stay close to your team and current with their availability needs. Meet with them one-on-one once a month, or even more often, to keep the lines of communication open.

When it’s time to bring on new staff, avoid a bad hire by following these 8 recommendations:

  1. Consider all applicants even if there appears to be an immediate disqualifier. For example, if you find a strong candidate whose availability doesn’t match your open work hours, ask them if their availability is negotiable.
  2. Save your time and the applicant’s time. Use phone screen interviews to determine if there’s a job fit, prior to scheduling the interview.
  3. Make a great first impression. Be prepared before in-person interviews with the completed application, interview guides, and tools you need to conduct the interview.
  4. Use your brand tools to guide the interview. Ask more, tell less, take notes, and score or rate their answers. Is there a job match? Be sure to ask their interest level.
  5. Avoid hiring on the spot. You need time to consider the applicant. Consider including another manager or tenured employee in a second interview and use their feedback to make a more informed decision.
  6. Tell the candidate what to expect next including time-frames. Conduct follow up calls, and act swiftly.
  7. Check both personal and professional references. As tempting as it is to skip this step, you’ll be glad you learned as much as possible about a candidate’s history before extending an offer.
  8. Finally, make the offer and schedule the first day and orientation.

Managing a reliable and happy team while delivering a great guest experience during the holidays IS possible when you follow these steps for hiring and scheduling. To learn about how you can do even more to elevate your team’s performance through data-driven coaching, visit today!

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