Summertime can mean a lot of different things to people. For restaurant operations management and HR, summertime means a new round of seasonal hiring.
Restaurants typically need to (temporarily) fill their ranks twice a year: during the holiday season and then again during the summer. When it comes to the warmer months of the year, there are a couple reasons for this:
- For restaurants with a location ideal for summer fun, an influx of guests requires an increase in restaurant staff.
- For restaurants with a location less popular during the summer, a decrease in staff (who venture off to sunnier and beachier locales for the season) requires temporary replacement staff.
Whatever your reason for needing to fill seasonal jobs, you’re probably dreading the hiring process.
How to Keep It Easy-Breezy
By now, you’ve most likely got your new hires selected and onboarded. Here are some tips on how to keep the stress low as you manage your way through another round of training.
- Consolidate Your Efforts: If you can manage it, plan to do all your in-house restaurant training at once. The more you can consolidate the process of bringing on seasonal staff, the more time and energy efficient you and your team will be during the transition.
- Build a Team Atmosphere: In conducting training for all new hires at once, you’ll also be helping to foster a true team environment. Rather than feel as though they’ve been brought on to fill a temporary void, they’ll learn and work together with the rest of the team.
- Simplify Duties: If your restaurant is go-go-go all summer long, you may not have the time to cover all the training you’d typically provide to a new hire. If that’s the case, consider simplifying responsibilities and tailoring their job training to very specific job tasks.
- Go Digital: One of the quicker and more effective ways to train your seasonal team (or any new hire) is through the use of online training software. Specific job training, OSHA training, safety training, ABC training, and more can be covered on a digital platform and studied at your new hires’ convenience.
- Make It Visual: Many studies have been conducted on the learning process and they always point to the same fact: visuals improve memory retention. So if you want your web-based training and on-the-job training to be truly effective, make sure you include a lot of visual stimuli (menu photos, interactive tutorials, videos, etc.)
- Mix It Up: In order to get your seasonal jobs filled and new hires up to speed quickly, mix up the training. Give them online training modules to work through on their own. Train them on your company, values, and customer service goals during all-hands meetings. And pair them with veteran employees who can show them the ropes in real time.
- Motivate: It can never hurt to provide extra motivation to get new hires more quickly through the training process and into their roles. Find ways to incentivize your summer hires and regular staff throughout the summer so you get the most out of this round of seasonal hiring and training.
Summers don’t need to be stressful for the restaurant industry. There are very easy ways to fill your seasonal jobs and get training done with little fuss. By employing the use of tools like restaurant software, you can start and end your summer season right.