What Ingredients Go into the Perfect Talent Recipe?

By: Melissa White

Satisfying the appetites of your restaurant operations starts with one main ingredient: your employees. It's no secret that the food and beverage industry—from small businesses to large restaurant chains—share the common challenge of recruiting and retaining top talent. And in today’s ever changing marketplace, sourcing and hiring the “right fit” is more critical than ever. The cost of finding, interviewing, engaging and training new employees is high, and restaurant owners often can’t afford to lose time and money on a bad hire.
One of the most important steps a talent-hungry employer can take when beginning a search is clearly identifying their ideal candidate for the position. The team overseeing the menu and operations is well-positioned to determine the restaurant’s talent needs, from basic qualifications (skill sets, experience) to intangible qualities, such as culture fit.
Taking personality and characteristic traits into account when sourcing new employees can help restaurants build a highly qualified, collaborative workforce that can drive good business outcomes by working as a team with common goals. Some characteristics you may want to consider when sourcing, interviewing and hiring team members include:
Ambition:  Do they share your passion and vision? Are they determined, and do they value hard work?
Commitment:  Are they serious about working with you in the long term? Or are they just passing through on their way to something better? A history of past positions and the duration of each can be telling.
Initiative:  Are they able to take charge? Do they have a proven track record of being a self-starter? Are they motivated and do they demonstrate the ability to organize and manage their own workload without the need for micromanagement?
Capable: Is the candidate able to go above and beyond their basic responsibilities and be a problem solver? Can they deliver on the functions that require more effort and creativity?
Team Player: Do they get along with colleagues and, more importantly, your customers and management team? Do they seek to work collaboratively with you, their boss?
Character: Do their values align with yours? Are they honest and trustworthy?
Culture: Will they fit in with your restaurant’s culture? Do they embody your company’s behaviors, beliefs and values?  Are they positive and forward-thinking?
Like many businesses, restaurants are under pressure to build winning teams and deliver a superior dining experience. Not surprisingly, employees are the key to this service equation.  Human capital issues are front and center in this industry, so having a well-defined strategy in place and a team dedicated to finding the right employees are critical to your success.
Have questions about recruiting the right talent for your restaurant? Contact Melissa White at mwhite@bdo.com.
Melissa White is a Talent Acquisition Manager at BDO USA, LLP.