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Tips for Hiring Seasonal Restaurant Staff

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September 01, 2023

Picture a bustling bar’s summer patio or a mountain resort restaurant at the height of ski season. These establishments see peaks of seasonal traffic and must ensure they have enough qualified staff to guide them through the busy season.

Do you find your restaurant needs extra staff to keep you through long stretches of increased business? Consider bringing seasonal staff on board.

What are Seasonal Restaurant Jobs?

Many businesses see a spike in customers seasonally, and restaurants are no exception. In fact, restaurants often see increased traffic at specific times of the year, for example, around the holidays and during tourist seasons. Seasonal jobs are created to fill much-needed gaps during busy times to ensure exceptional customer care and meet demand.

Seasonal employees are temporary workers hired during certain times of the year to help manage the influx of dinners. While they tend to work part-time, the amount of hours depends on your restaurant’s needs.

Is Hiring Seasonal Staff Right for Your Business? 

Before hiring a seasonal crew, ask yourself a few questions to make sure you are on the right track.

Is There a Pattern to Your Busy Season?

Experiencing peaks and valleys in business is expected in restaurants. However, noticing specific patterns in those fluctuations could mean you have seasonally-based ebbs and flows. Do you see an uptick in guests starting around Thanksgiving and lasting through New Year’s? Does your patio get packed every summer in your tourism-driven town? Saying yes to those questions could indicate your restaurant experiences seasonal business.

As a note, be sure to evaluate how your business increases. If diners and revenue numbers climb steadily, consider transitioning to a more extensive full-time, permanent staff.

What is the Plan for Training New Hires?

As a restaurant owner and operator, you know how vital it is to have a well-trained staff. They are the face of your establishment and can do wonders to increase great reviews and make loyal customers. Seasonal employees should also get the same level of training. Give yourself plenty of time before the guest wave hits to inform new staff about your menus, practices, and operations. The National Restaurant Association recommends allowing 120 days to find, interview, and train seasonal staff.

3 Best Practices for Hiring Seasonal Restaurant Staff 

Once you choose to bring on a seasonal team, you want to ensure you reach the best candidates to apply for the position.

3 Best Practices for Hiring Seasonal Restaurant Staff

1. Start Early: Once you establish your busy seasons and their approximate start dates, jump on hiring as early as possible. It will allow you to be more selective in hiring, give yourself time to train your new crew, and get upcoming schedules in order.

2. Identify and Target Key Applicants: Seasonal jobs are great for high school and college students, as their breaks and schedules lend themselves to seasonal, temporary work. Likewise, recent graduates from culinary and hospitality schools are also great resources to tap into. Other seasonally employed people, like teachers, can also be a valuable pool to pull from.

3. Create and Publish Job Listings: You want to reach your target applicants and a diverse skill set, so you’ll want to take a multi-pronged approach to your job posts.

When posting and hiring, it’s imperative to communicate all your expectations so that your applicants and new hires are well-informed. Be sure to keep your eye on particularly stellar employees that you want to return next year. Before the season ends, offer them return incentives or consider bringing them on full-time.

It’s important to note that depending on the length of their service, seasonal employees could be eligible for benefits, so you’ll want to check with your state and county regulations.

Enhance Your Team and Operations with Business Tools from US Foods CHEF’STORE

As you gear up for hiring seasonal restaurant staff, keep in mind that your team plays a crucial role in your restaurant's success. With a well-trained and motivated staff, your restaurant will shine during peak seasons, leaving customers with amazing memories and the desire to come back for more. 

CHEF’STORE offers excellent business tools to help any restaurant owner take their brand to the next level. We provide help in staff training, team management, and more. Stop by one of our many locations today!

The information materials and opinions contained in this blog/website are for general information purposes only, are not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. We make no warranties, representations, or undertakings about any of the content of this blog/website (including, without limitation, as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content).

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