Working in the hospitality industry is one of the most challenging career paths anyone can pursue. For the restaurateur and staff it requires (extremely) long hours, running around and dealing with customers’ gripes. Even more challenging is employing staff in the industry.

Finding people who are skilled and capable of handling the pressure in a packed restaurant can be a big hurdle if you want an establishment to function optimally. There are a few misconceptions that exist when it comes to employing staff in the hospitality industry. A post by hospitality marketing tool OpenTable’s Open for Business blog lists the top five misconceptions that establishments have about employing staff.

Here’s a breakdown of the myths about employing staff and how to really approach it:

Myth One: Working in hospitality is a side-job

Serving a meal for money or working the deep fryer is a means to an end – getting paid. This statement could not be more wrong and has been fuelled extensively by Hollywood movies portraying aspiring actors and musicians making a living while pursuing their real careers. On the contrary, more people are entering the industry as a stepping stone to learn more about food and managing restaurants. With true passion fuelling their career paths, there should be more respect for those looking to serve people for a living rather than doing it out of a need for income. This also means that the pool of dedicated and skilled waiting- and back-of-house staff is rapidly increasing.

Myth Two: Money’s the drawcard to retaining staff

This not only applies to the hospitality industry, but to the world of work. Almost every online article or survey preaches that a wad of cash at the end of the month will not make for happy employees nor will it be the reason for someone to accept a job offer. Providing them with a safe, secure and conducive working environment is a given, but it’s the added benefits that the employer and establishment offer that will lure and retain staff.

Myth Three: Trained staff can’t wait to work for you

Don’t be fooled into thinking that trained staff are desperate to work in just any restaurant. There’s an array of opportunities in the very diverse and technologically advanced hospitality industry. It seems that convenience and job satisfaction are big influencing factors when it comes to qualified staff seeking employment. This means that you must sell your establishment to them. Entice them with your unique brand and a company culture that will make it worth their while to spend most of their time in your restaurant.

Myth Four: Big city lights entice talent

Major cities overflow with a variety of different eateries ranging from the corner deli to Michelin Star establishments. As enticing as this sounds, professionals in the hospitality industry are looking to different cities based on factors influencing their convenience. The cost of living, career goals and building experience in various unique restaurants across the country seem to be the elements that attract talent. Again, employing staff in your establishment comes down to how well you market yourself and what you can offer a potential worker.

Myth Five: Prestigious institutions boast hospitality professionals

Your instinct and experience might sway you in the direction of employing staff that come from recognised culinary schools, but in doing so you might miss out on talent that can be unleashed in your establishment. There are many new culinary schools and facilities that have popped up and are producing people who are passionate about the industry and who have new and interesting food ideas. You have to remain open-minded and remember that experience and a proven ability to perform under pressure should dictate someone’s worth in your establishment. Your focus should be on investing time and effort in your staff to ensure ROI in terms of human capital.

Managing staff and ensuring they are productive can be a time-consuming and admin-heavy task. However, with Pilot’s Point of Sale system, the process is automated and you can easily track work hours, manage payroll and monitor the efficiency of your workforce.

To find out more about how mobile PoS can further help with the management of staff and your restaurant, download our free guide to Mobile PoS: The future is here.

Author : Rudi Badenhorst