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7 Tips for Hiring & Retaining Food Service Employees

Christy Edwards
Christy Edwards | May 31, 2016

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The food service industry employs one of the largest workforce segments in the United States. But, how do you find and retain the right employee for your business? Consider these hiring tips:

1. Use the power of word of mouth. For example, consider asking your most reliable, hard-working employees to recommend people they know who would be a good fit.

2. Be clear. Whether you post your open position on internet sites, in newspapers or with “help wanted” signs, make sure you include an accurate description of qualities you desire. For example, consider using phrases like “team player”, “excellent interpersonal skills”, “passion for service” and “help to enrich the lives of our customers”. Also, don’t sugarcoat the position. Consider including descriptors such as “fast-paced work environment”, “we operate seven days per week” and “rotating weekends and holidays”.

3. Screen applicants with a “pre-interview” quiz. Consider sending applicants a short 20-question quiz on basic kitchen terminology, food safety and customer service scenarios. The main point here is to be able to eliminate anyone who is unable to spend a few minutes answering the simple questions. A person with a great work ethic will always be diligent enough to spend the time answering questions.

4. Avoid asking “yes” or “no” questions during the interview. For example, avoid asking if he/she has experience working with elderly customers. Instead, ask the person to describe any experience he/she has had working with elderly customers.

5. Hire a balance of people. It’s key to have different levels of maturity, age, talent, personality and experience to build a well-rounded and complete team.

6. Setup an orientation program that gets your new hires excited and prepared for their new position. Want help putting a program together or freshening up your current program? Check out the Dietary 101 Foodservice Orientation Kit from Martin Bros.!

7. Retain your great team. Provide them with opportunities for growth and development. Give them coaching and feedback. Let them know what they do well and give suggestions for improvement. Looking for a good way to do these things? Check out the “Please Pass the Problems” and “Please Pass the Compliments” game from Martin Bros. to get your team involved and inspired!

Hiring & Retaining Fod Service Employees


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