• Mark Pribula

A rush to hire for hospitality... It's all about training.

With restrictions lifting and indoor dining and hospitality getting back some volume, hiring will be a massive challenge. Unfortunately, this sector that I love so much has been devastated. Revenues and net losses are obvious and have been substantial. Now there is a new challenge, hiring people to service patrons.

With massive layoffs due to Covid, many hospitality employees had to get new jobs in essential services or retail environments that remained open. Will they all leave their jobs to come back to their serving gig? Unfortunately not. So what can we do to ensure staffing levels support demand.

First, you need to evaluate your internal training program. If you have a robust, consistent and effective training program you can hire from a more inexperienced talent pool, focusing on attitude vs. skill. You must be honest with yourself and your hiring managers about what your training program is and what it isn't. Having a new server shadow with Sara (your top server) is NOT a robust training program. A robust training program includes skills training, menu knowledge training and much much more. If you do not have this type of training program in place, don't fret, but you need to hire people with more experience and a skill level that you will not be teaching them.

So what is better? Hiring people for their attitude and intensity vs. skills is always better. You can shape your internal culture and treat guests with more hospitality if you have people with a great attitude and you are able to train them consistently and effectively. But, if you don't have a strong training program, hire experienced, skilled employees that don't need as much training. In general, attitude might be a sacrifice you make when hiring an experienced employee so you will have to manage accordingly. Remember the "I need any warm body" approach has its drawbacks and is never a long term solution.

if you are not sure if your training is sufficient, reach out to an advisor for support and they can help you get your training program to where it needs to be sooner than later.

To summarize:

Great training = Hire for attitude

Average/poor training = Hire for skill

Good luck in your people push, and I look forward to dining in many, many establishments this summer.


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