Published August 3, 2021
As a small business owner or operator, is your restaurant struggling to compete with big chain restaurants for labor hiring? It can be challenging to hire when you’re targeting the same talent pool but using less standardized tools or a smaller budget than the bigger brands next door.
Here are three ways you can ramp up your hiring efforts so that you stand out regardless of the size of your restaurant:
Emphasize your strong points
Even if your budget doesn’t allow you to offer new hires big monetary incentives like hefty welcome bonuses, there may be other valuable incentives you can use to get them in the door.
Offer employees mentorship programs, flexible hours, time off and upward mobility, or invite them to learn about other aspects of the restaurant. These offers can’t be measured in dollar amounts, but they’re still extremely valuable to team members — especially those interested in pursuing careers in the food and service industry. The chance to learn and grow in a job is a huge perk, so make sure to highlight that in the job description.
Because your restaurant may not be part of a larger corporation, you likely have flexibility on things like marketing, social media, events and menu development. Assure candidates that their ideas are important and will be validated in your restaurant. This sets your small business apart and is a great point to make when trying to attract talent.
While you search for talent outside your restaurant, remember to look internally as well. Most of the time, hardworking and honest people are friends with similar individuals. They’re less likely to refer a bad fit to the restaurant since it reflects poorly on them, and they’re more likely to hype up working for you to their friends and connections. In a nutshell, your current team can attract talent that fits your restaurant culture and work ethic. Adding referral bonuses also spurs your current team to persuade other hard workers to apply.
Take full advantage of social media
If you aren’t advertising your jobs on social media, you should start now. Social media is a great, cost-effective tool for expanding your reach to potential hires.
Set up a game plan for your social page.
Make sure to capture the excitement of your business online to draw people to your site. Take notice of the big brands. How are they operating their social networks? For many larger brands, social channels are a space to focus on food. As a smaller restaurant business, you have a unique local advantage.
Since you don’t have strict global corporate regulations, you can appeal to your audience in a creative way that no one else will. Include testimonials of local employees excelling in their jobs or showcase the perks of working in your environment.
Social media can also be used to analyze what your big competitors are doing and to discover the ways they aren’t performing as well as your smaller restaurant. Use this to stand out and make your business more appealing to potential hires.
Let technology expedite onboarding
Make sure the selection and hiring process is as quick as possible, because other restaurants are also looking for talent. The last thing you want is to find a great fit for your business only to wait too long and miss your chance to hire them.
The right technology really makes a difference.
Onboarding and training both eat away at time and resources that could be spent on guests. If you adopt easy-to-use technology preferred by restaurant employees, you can accelerate the onboarding process, making training a breeze. You want to save time that employees could spend serving your customers, so keep pace with technology.
Overall, bigger restaurants don’t always get the best hires. If you’re a small restaurant, you can still attract the best talent. Just use our tips to stand out and rise above the big-name chains.