Restaurant Staffing: 5 Tips to Manage a Team

Restaurant Staffing: 5 Tips to Manage a Team

Managing a cohesive team of restaurant staff is integral to an establishment's success. It takes patience and key management skills to take on new staff members and maintain the momentum of your restaurant.

This article will delve into five key tips for managers looking to improve their methods of leading a team of restaurant employees. By understanding the importance of a cohesive team of staff members, and experienced management skills on your behalf, you can guarantee a successful restaurant business.

Why is it Important to Manage a Team of Restaurant Staff?

Effective restaurant management is integral to keeping the daily operations of any establishment running effectively. Whether you are leading a management team, or are one of many restaurant managers, leading your employees with confidence is what keeps your business successful in the fast-paced and competitive restaurant industry.

Customers will notice the positive environment of a well-run restaurant, and benefit from the efficiency of a structured service. The glowing reviews from these customers are what places your restaurant ahead of the market and establish it as the establishment to eat at within your community. You are more likely to have returning customers and a greater revenue when your staff are performing at their best.

With an experienced manager at the helm, most restaurants can confidently overcome common challenges such as understaffing or meal rushes; all without compromising the integrity of their customer service. Quality, communication, and experience are all improved when a team is managed accordingly.

Other benefits of effective managing of restaurant staffing include:

  • Boosted morale: Ensuring that your employees are seen and their opinions valued will make the workplace more harmonious. Restaurant staff are more likely to work harder and cohesively in an environment they enjoy, lowering stress levels and leaving a positive atmosphere.
  • Increased productivity: Delegated tasks and responsibilities effectively as a restaurant manager will improve overall productivity, cut unnecessary costs, and even motivate workers to reach goals.
  • Reduced staff turnover rate: When staff members are supported and valued by management, they are more likely to stay on in their roles. This reduces the need to hire restaurant staff to replace workers, lessening costs and time spent on training that could be used more proactively elsewhere.

You can utilise restaurant management software to help keep track of each staff member and their progress. This will allow you to understand your restaurant's performance through regular reports and maximise your team's progression.

What to Look For in Restaurant Staff

Whether you are looking to hire more line cooks, head chefs, servers, or any other employees needed in your restaurant, you need to be diligent about your staffing expectations. Especially if you are creating a team to suit your management methods and staffing needs.

While you may be interested in hiring staff who are incredibly hard-working and ready to put the business first, it is important to find employees capable of work-life balance. These kinds of staff members are less likely to experience burnout or stress and will enter every shift with an enthusiastic attitude.

Rather, look for those whose values and goals align with your professional vision. They also need to fit into the expectations of the industry, particularly its fast-paced nature and physical demands. This is because skills can be taught under your management, but inherent values cannot.

Common qualities to look for in restaurant staff include:

  • Hospitable
  • Collaborative
  • Professional
  • Engaging
  • Professional
  • Hard-working
  • Diligent
  • Punctual
  • Multi-tasker
  • Quick thinker

Creating your employee criteria before hiring a new restaurant staff member can help you establish a team you can trust. However, it is also important to consider how these new members will integrate into your existing team. Always look into what kind of balance in qualities your team needs and how each member interacts with each other.

How Many Staff Members Are Needed in a Restaurant?

There is no set restaurant staffing guide to how many employees are required in any establishment. This is because factors such as your business model, its scale, and what kind of dining service you are offering can greatly affect the amount of staff needed on a daily shift.

How Many Servers Are Needed in a Restaurant?

The amount of servers needed in a restaurant is one of the greatest variables when it comes to staffing. There are many factors to consider, such as the performance of your servers, how many tables you have, and what degree of personalised customer service you want to offer.

Your restaurant type can also greatly affect the number, as the self-service model of buffets would require far fewer servers than the full-service of a fine dining restaurant.

That is why it is important to test how many tables your servers can handle. Most servers can provide optimal service when their attention is split to around 5 tables at a time. Any more and you may risk the chance of understaffing your restaurant and overtaxing your employees.

How Many Chefs Are Needed in a Restaurant?

The number of chefs needed in a restaurant typically depends on the complexity of your restaurant's menu and the size of the kitchen. You need to ensure food is leaving the kitchen promptly after orders are entered, which means calculating the number based on how many tables can be seated.

You will need to cover key roles such as head chef, preparation cooks, and general cooking. This will typically require four back-of-house staff members per every 50 tables, typically seating 4-5 customers, in the average restaurant.

5 Tips to Manage a Team of Restaurant Staff

Regardless if you are new to managing a team in the hospitality industry, or are just looking to level up your current skills, we have 5 key tips to help you out. These tips will allow you to provide the best customer service possible, while still ensuring that your restaurant employees are thriving in their environment.

1. Provide Expert Training and Guidance

One of the main responsibilities of restaurant management is providing training and guidance to their employees. Regardless of the restaurant positions, managers are required to provide oversight and help staff develop their skill set. This includes helping them to understand the business' expectations of them in their role, and the overall restaurant culture.

When an employee is fully trained in the responsibilities of their position, they become an invaluable member of the team. They are also capable of providing the best experience possible for customers, increasing both efficiency and profitability.

Taking the time to walk each employee through key processes and procedures in the case of certain situations is the best type of training you can give. Offering constructive feedback during these moments of guidance will ensure you have the best team possible.

Furthermore, while training is normally thought to be a part of bringing on potential employees, learning and developing skills never truly stops in the restaurant industry. Make sure that all of your existing staff are up to date on current procedures, such as what to do when there is a dietary concern or there are issues with a piece of equipment.

In a busy restaurant, you want to be able to trust all of your staff to work both independently and within the capacity of the team. With careful planning and guidance, your position as a manager can ensure that this happens. Especially when you utilise restaurant management technology to support your efforts.

2. Develop Your Management Skills

Focusing on the development of your team members’ skills is not the only way you can improve your overall management of the team itself. Taking time to focus on yourself and your skills as a manager is an excellent way to prepare yourself for leading both your back- and front-of-house staff.

Being a manager means being a leader. It also means needing skills that come with this specific role, such as:

  • Patience: Managing others, especially the entire restaurant staff, requires patience. You need to build a strong relationship with those under your direction, which can take time. Be patient with this progression, and the moments you need to train employees in new skills.
  • Organisation: Being a manager requires more responsibilities beyond leading others. It also requires you to create rosters, track inventory, strategise company goals, and oversee employee requests. These responsibilities require strategic planning and sufficient organisation to remain on top of everything.

3. Share Success

Success in a restaurant never comes from the efforts of one single person. Be sure to recognise the efforts of your team whenever there is a notable achievement as this will boost morale. It will also signify to your employees that they have a manager who is aware of their hard work and holds it in high regard.

You can share success by scheduling regular team meetings. During these times, you can provide updates on the restaurant and wins for the week. Highlighting these moments of personal and collaborative successes will signify to your team that you are paying attention to them and appreciate their efforts.

Setting up your team for success is also integral for any restaurant manager looking to staff the best employees. For example, this can be as simple as ensuring there is enough staff available during busy shifts to prevent overworking and stress. You can also aim to fulfil any staffing needs, based on previous experience with your workers and how fairness between staff can be achieved.

By equally dividing responsibilities and showing appreciation to every team member, success can not only be shared but also regularly achieved.

4. Create a Community

Cohesion is best achieved by creating a community within both your front-of-house and kitchen staff. Emphasising team spirit and inclusivity will allow your employees to bond with each other. These connections encourage employees to go above and beyond average staffing efforts to reach your restaurant's collective goals.

You can create a community by:

  • Opening lines of direct communication between staff and between you and them
  • Encouraging freedom of speech and opinions
  • Supporting a friendly atmosphere
  • Allowing employee personalities to shine

When hiring new restaurant staff, it is best to look for individuals who will fit into your current working environment to further support the community. This is because skills can be taught, but personality and culture come prepackaged.

Encourage respect above all else. The position of manager does not mean you cannot join in with the community, but be sure that you are still setting professional boundaries. This will allow for any conflict to be more easily resolved and your team are more likely to follow your lead.

5. Set Goals

Any team, regardless of industry, will work more efficiently when their efforts are being directed towards a shared goal. Providing expectations on staff performances will help guide them towards success and keep them focused. Their sense of accomplishment when completing their goals will encourage them to remain consistent in their efforts and reach for your restaurant's success.

As a manager, you can help set team and personal goals through regular staff meetings. This amplifies your team's shared sense of purpose and encourages consistency of work. It also guarantees that employees have a full understanding of their role in the restaurant and their importance in keeping it running, supporting their confidence.

How to Support and Retain Your Restaurant Staffing

Keep the momentum of your restaurant's success rolling as a manager by ensuring your team retains all of its employees. Not needing to hire new staff not only cuts down on labour costs but also allows your team to build a strong foundation for their community and consistently develop their skills.

Supporting your team on a personal and business level is what marks a good restaurant manager. This support can be extended further with the restaurant management tools offered by ResDiary.

We help thousands of restaurant venues and their teams to find success within the industry. Our tools can guide you through how best to manage your team, especially when you follow these five helpful tips we have provided.

Contact us today to get started on levelling up your management skills and the progression of your business. We offer free demonstrations for every customer in need.