What do you think is the most crucial part of a dining experience? Is it the lovely ambiance, a great menu, good music? All are important components, of course, but the most important factor that has a direct impact on your guests is the quality of service from your employees.
The quality of service that your customers receive in your restaurant will determine if they will or will not come back - and affect how nicely or harshly they speak of your establishment to others.
If the quality of service delivered in your restaurant is the most important factor for retaining and increasing the number of customers, then it only makes sense to invest in this area.
Your employees interact with customers on a daily basis, which is why you need to put together a staff that knows how to deliver on exceptional customer service. In order to ensure your employees are not lacking in these areas, it is imperative that you first start by building a solid human resources team.
In this article, you’ll learn about managing human resources in the restaurant industry and the direct effect it has on your business.
When it comes to running a restaurant, labor is one of the most critical aspects, because most of the responsibilities needed to keep the operation running smoothly require the input and skillset from your staff members.
From selecting and purchasing the right kind of food and ingredients, to choosing the best menu items, to handling the food, and serving customers, your team has a hand in almost every aspect of the business.
Your staff is responsible for handling complaints and any issues with customers. This is why you must pay attention to how well your employees do their jobs.
This is where human resources play a pivotal role, as they ensure that a pleasant work environment is established for all of your employees, which will allow them to succeed in their roles.
By managing HR, you increase the efficiency of your restaurant, as well as its profitability by reducing the amount spent on labor costs. It also ensures that every dollar spent results in maximum profit for the restaurant.
Some restaurants do not have a human resources manager or team, especially in smaller restaurants. If this is the case, then the restaurant manager should take on where possible, or delegate such HR tasks, as someone must be taking on the role to prevent future mishaps and possible legal troubles.
We’ve established the importance of human resources to the success of your restaurant. Let's now dive deeper and take a look at what exactly human resources can do to increase the efficiency and profitability of a restaurant.
Hiring the Right People
One of the most important things that a human resource manager or management team will do in a restaurant is to ensure that the right people are employed.
The restaurant industry can be quite notorious for a high turnover; that is to say that the combination of employees either being let go or quitting is considerably high in comparison to other industries.
In such a situation, given that the positions that often experience staff changes are the ones that have the most interaction with customers, you want to ensure that the right kind of people with the right attitude are hired for these positions.
The role of human resources in the hiring process involves establishing the right job descriptions and advertising those jobs when looking to fill available positions, as well as conducting interviews and processing the paperwork for new hires.
Ideally, human resources management involves creating a hiring strategy that predictably hires the best fit for any position. In other words, it’s not just about hiring people - it’s about hiring the right people.
Providing Onboarding, Orientation, and Training
Every organization has a culture - a way of doing things - and restaurants are no different.
Even if a business may not appear deliberate in establishing a culture, they do likely have a set process in the ways of doing things, and new hires must maintain that process.
This is the secret behind the success of some of the greatest restaurant franchises all over the world. They have perfected a production system that allows them to produce similar results, irrespective of location. You want the same for your restaurant.
By organizing periodic training, every employee is aware of appropriate and inappropriate behavior in the workplace, along with the duties that are expected of him or her.
HR also must ensure that employees have all certifications required by law to perform their jobs. For instance, if your restaurant serves alcoholic drinks, then your employees need to be TIPS-certified.
TIPS, which means Training for Intervention Procedures trains bar employees and waitstaff on how to identify customers that have had too much to drink.
The training also teaches how to handle customers that are intoxicated. This is vital because it protects the restaurant from being held liable to incidents and accidents that an intoxicated customer can cause, as well as protect the customer from a dangerous situation.
The training also helps ensure that your team is only serving adults who are of age by knowing what to check for on an ID or driver’s license.
TIPS training and certification is essential, as some states even require that all staff that serves alcohol must be TIPS-certified.
Getting your employees certified is quite easy. Contact a local trainer via the TIPS website and schedule an appointment for the trainer to come to your location and hold a training session before administering the certification test.
Managing Wages, Compensation, and Benefits
Labor is a crucial factor of production, and the cost of labor is paid out in the form of wages, compensation, and benefits. The human resources management team has to set the appropriate wage rate and other bonuses that can be used to increase the productivity of employees.
The wages that your employees receive is perceived as a direct reflection of how much they are valued. It is, therefore, essential to set the wage rate at levels that are fair to both the restaurant and employee.
But with all that said, it is HR’s responsibility to ensure that the restaurant complies with all relevant labor laws.
One such law is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This act sets the minimum wage of both full and part-time.
The FLSA also contains stipulations on tips and overtime, which state that an employee that works overtime is to be paid 1.5 times their regular pay for every hour worked exceeding an 8-hour workday.
The requirements for employing minors are another responsibility that falls under HR. These include the minimum wage rate and the number of hours minors are allowed to work. It is vital that these regulations be carried out to the fullest extent to avoid potential legal action that may arise and labor law fines.
Managing Employee Scheduling and Shifts
Restaurants often have employees work in shifts, especially restaurants that are open 24/7.
By working in shifts, it is ensured that the restaurant is always staffed when needed, but on the other hand, scheduling shifts are a nightmare.
Keeping track of who should be where at what time can get extremely tedious, and it doesn’t get any easier when an employee suddenly becomes unavailable or wants to switch their shift time.
As hard as this sounds, doing it on paper sounds even worse. For this reason, many managers and human resources managers are turning to schedule and shift managing software to help manage how employee shifts are scheduled.
But what is a schedule and shift planning software?
A shift planning software is just what it sounds like, a software that allows you to plan shifts and schedules. As the world has grown increasingly digital, more HR managers are beginning to turn to software to manage their tasks.
Planning employee shifts and schedules can be a pain, especially when doing it by hand. However, with scheduling software such as Zip Schedules, planning shifts is a breeze. Let’s take a look at how Zip Schedules can make running your restaurant so much easier.
Easily Create an Employee Schedule
As a human resources manager in the restaurant industry, creating and managing schedules can be extremely time-consuming, and mistakes can occur, which can result in leaving your restaurant understaffed.
Zip Schedules helps you eliminate such mishaps by preventing you from under or overscheduling. With its powerful labor-forecasting tool, the scheduler notifies you when there are too many or too few shifts scheduled for a particular period.
With Zip Schedules, creating and managing shifts is easy, simple, and fast.
Quickly Adapt to Employee Availability
Imagine you’ve spent hours creating an employee schedule for the month, then after all that work, an employee notifies you that he or she will not be available for that scheduled shift.
Scrambling around to find a replacement or even making revisions to the newly created schedule can easily take hours away from your day, but with Zip Schedules, you can use the intuitive interface to find the next employee whose availability aligns with the open shift, making the process easy and fast.
With just a few taps, you can see which employees are available to take the shift and even trade shifts, and voila, problem solved!
Available on Multiple Platforms
Another great feature that Zip Schedules offers you is the ability to create employee schedules remotely.
With the scheduler, you can access the application anywhere you are from your mobile device or computer. The mobile and web apps are also virtually available to your employees to connect with you or their respective managers without having to physically come into the restaurant to see their upcoming schedule.
That’s another way that Zip Schedules helps to make managing human resources cheaper and your restaurant more profitable.
Reduce Absenteeism of Employees
One of the excuses that employees give when they miss a shift is that they forgot or were unaware that they had a shift scheduled.
With Zip Schedules, employees get their shifts delivered right to their mobile phones, and they get instant updates when any changes to the employee schedule are made.
Employees will also receive reminders when a scheduled shift is approaching, which will reduce absenteeism.
Stay on Budget
With Zip Schedules, you can quickly reduce the amount that you spend on labor by using unique labor tracking and forecasting tools.
Thus, your scheduling decisions are smart and help in keeping your restaurant profitable. Plus, by analyzing trends from the projected and forecasted sales data, you can make intuitive changes beforehand, ensuring that you are always ahead of the curve when it comes to labor costs.