8 HR Tips to Make Restaurants More Successful | Food Newsfeed
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8 HR Tips to Make Restaurants More Successful

March 14, 2019

A focus on people

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A focus on people
Managing a workforce is one of the most challenging components of running a successful business. But for business owners of restaurants, this becomes even more complicated with added complexities such as high employee turnover, offering competitive pay rates, heightened sexual harassment claims and increased immigration raids. Strong HR practices are the best way to attract and retain quality employees and also avoid legal complications. The following HR strategies are deployed by successful restaurant owners—those who want to keep their business at optimum productivity while also managing their brand and maintaining a positive reputation.

Outsource Recruiting/Pre-hire Assessments

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Outsource Recruiting/Pre-hire Assessments

Finding new workers is expensive. It takes time and resources to post openings, review resumes, interview candidates, conduct background checks and drug tests and provide training. With turnover in the restaurant industry as high as 73 percent, staffing is an expensive undertaking for most restaurant owners. Effective owners either have a strong internal system or they recognize the benefit of turning those tasks over to companies that are better at taking applicants through the initial steps when sourcing and recruiting new employees.

Leverage Technology for Onboarding

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Leverage Technology for Onboarding
Electronic onboarding can eliminate what is otherwise endless paperwork and can increase the accuracy of records while reducing administrative costs during employees’ first few days. It also cuts down on miscommunication. A good electronic onboarding process efficiently puts workers on the job, setting a strong foundation for a good working relationship between a restaurant and its employees. This can ultimately lead to increased retention, which means lower recruiting costs and higher return on investment from training, as well as more engaged employees who can also translate their commitment to your restaurant into more satisfied customers.
A female chef chops food in a restaurant with other chefs.

Offer Meaningful Benefits

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Offer Meaningful Benefits

Over one-third of restaurant operators and bar managers say their biggest challenge to success is staffing. The restaurant industry is projected to employ 16.7 million people by 2027, adding 1.6 million jobs over the next decade. Attracting good workers is only going to get more competitive. In 2011, the national unemployment rate was 9 percent. Now, it’s less than half that. And the number of people 16-24 years of age has leveled off at about 39 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Since restaurants employ about one-third of all working teens, offering young people valuable benefits such as tuition assistance, competitive pay and perks can go a long way to keep workers happy and improve retention rates.

Take a Strong Stance on Harassment

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Take a Strong Stance on Harassment

The #MeToo movement appears to be here to stay. Any restaurant that develops a reputation for sexual harassment of its employees should expect its business to experience consequences. Owners and managers are responsible for providing a safe working environment in all aspects, and they should be expected to address harassment complaints immediately.

Smart owners have clear, well-communicated policies and take immediate action when those policies are violated. A company of professionals who are well-versed in the law and best practices can educate employees on what constitutes improper behavior and set up communication channels for reporting violations. These policies can also help owners/managers respond immediately and appropriately.

Comply with Employment Law/Compliance

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Comply with Employment Law/Compliance
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is targeting restaurants as one of its priorities. While undocumented workers suffer jail and deportation, restaurant owners can be fined and arrested. The number of I-9 audits has already doubled in the past six months from 2016-17 levels, and arrests have more than tripled. Smart owners maintain accurate paperwork and have procedures to avoid large fines and possible criminal penalties. ICE has announced that it will increase I-9 audits, so restaurant owners need to step up their game to ensure they comply with current laws and government policies to avoid operational disruptions and bad publicity. Because the rules are complex and enforcement actions are becoming more aggressive, owners should consult with legal experts.

Invest in Training and Development

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Invest in Training and Development

Roughly three in 10 restaurants have jobs open that they find difficult to fill. One of the worst experiences a new employee can have is to show up for the first day on the job, be handed a uniform and be told to get to work—without any training or direction. Without training, workers will fail to deliver what owners want them to do. Sub-par supervisors and co-workers are leading reasons people quit their jobs.

The best workers expect training, so owners benefit from developing programs that lead employees to success. Those happier employees are more productive and more profitable for the business. Good bosses provide handbooks and training manuals, and review checklists to prepare workers for any situation. Mentoring programs can improve employee loyalty as well

Make Payroll Processing a Snap

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Make Payroll Processing a Snap
Almost three out of four workers in the restaurants-accommodations sector separated from their employers in 2016. That’s a lot of W-2 forms. Time-conscious restaurant owners turn over recordkeeping and filing to a firm that has the expertise and resources to devote to staying current with tax rules. Executives who oversee operations in multiple states make use of electronic systems that generate accurate paychecks and don’t miss the deadline for filing quarterly tax forms and other required reports.

Don’t Go It Alone

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Don’t Go It Alone

Being on top of HR best practices takes time and resources and is a challenge for many restaurant owners who have limited in-house administrative support. Partnering with an HR solutions provider, someone who has the experience and expertise in all of these important HR best practices, may offer significant value to your business. When you find the right partner, you can expect to increase productivity, reduce liability, strengthen compliance, minimize time spent on paperwork, and decrease overall labor costs. The end result: more satisfied workers who want to deliver their best for your business, and a restaurant that is profitable.

Teresa Thompson is a Professional Employer Consultant with Oasis, A Paychex Company. During her tenure, she has placed a significant focus on HR solutions for restaurants and the hospitality industry. Oasis is a Florida-based Professional Employer Organization (PEO) providing human resources services, employee benefits administration, payroll and tax administration, risk management services and staffing solutions. www.oasisadvantage.com/restaurants