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We Are Always Hiring

Do you believe that good people are hard to find? It’s true – good people are hard to find! When we need them. Did you know that only 5% of the available workforce is actively looking for a job today?


It’s true! 95% of the people who work in the restaurant business are staying where they are – at least this week.


Here’s another way to say that… Only 5% of the available restaurant managers, cooks, bartenders and waiters are actively looking for a job - this week!


Think about this: 5% of the American workforce, is physically or mentally unable to work, and another 5% simply will not work, because they enjoy living off of the welfare system or whatever they are up to. That leaves only 90% of the workforce available to work.


Let’s take a look at the 90%. The people who are actually willing to work.


Here’s how it breaks down. 80% of them are only looking for a job. 14% are looking for a job with good company that offers great benefits to work for. Only 5% are looking for a long-term career. And only 1% want to make a real contribution, move the ball forward and make a difference.


I wholeheartedly believe these numbers. Now, let’s flip this concept from the general public to the restaurant business.


I don’t know about you, but I only want to hire people who are looking for a full-time job. People who want to be in the restaurant business as a long-term career. Then I want to refine my search to people who have the brains and interest to move the ball forward.


Now that, ladies & gentlemen, is a very small group. People who want to be in the restaurant business as a full-time career and people who also want to move the ball forward. Let’s take a look at what that might look like.


I believe, that on any given week, 52 weeks a year. Only 5% of the people who would be interested in working in a restaurant and fit my above criteria. Are looking for a job. And, only 5% of the top 5% are worth hiring.


That’s only 5% of the 5%. That’s one out of every 400 people. That is a razor thin margin. That is why you should be looking for good people 52 weeks a year!


Here’s another way to look at hiring: Did you know that the national average for turnover in a restaurant is 80% per year.

Let’s imagine that you have 30 employees working in your restaurant. Let’s imagine that your restaurant fits the national average of turnover of 80%. That means if you have 30 employees and 80% turnover. That means that 24 people will either quit or be fired in the next 12 months.

That means you will need to hire 24 new people in the next year, just to maintain a full staff.


I know what you are saying, you are a better operator than most, so your turnover is only half the national average.


Ok - let’s call it 40%. If that is true, you still need to replace 12 people in the next year. That’s about one new person every month!


Now, let’s pull this together. If you are losing 1 person every month and only 5% of the top 5% of the market or one out of every 400 people are qualified to fill a position in your restaurant. You better be looking for new people every week!


Here’s the big question:

What can you do to increase your ability to hire and staff your restaurant? How do you increase our chances?


I see two ways:

#1 – Advertise, market & recruit single every week – 52 weeks a year.

#2 – Tap into the 95% of people who are not actively looking.


Let’s take a look at that…


Way #1 Advertise & market to the 5% who are actively looking for a job this week. This may sound like a desperate cry for help, but it’s doesn’t have to be. It all depends on how you market the idea. The U.S. Marines are always looking for a few good men. Athletic coaches and general managers of professional sports teams are always looking for their next great player and super star.


Your marketing must appeal to the person you are looking for… If you are looking for the top 5% of the top available 5%... Say it! Tell them that you are looking for a star! Don’t mince words, be specific, be direct, be honest.


Tell everybody you know - I am looking for a restaurant super star.


Way #2: Tap into the other 95% who are not looking for a job. This might involve something like networking with your purveyors, employees and customers. This could be done via social media, or through in-house marketing. This involves getting serious and creative.


The whole point of this pep talk is… Hiring and staffing your restaurant is a full-time job! 52 weeks a year! What are you doing to find great people to help you improve your restaurant? How can you do that – better?


You must get your people involved: Think about your managers – are they great recruiters? What about your cooks, bartenders and waiters – can they help you find your next super star. Do they even know you need a new player? Do you offer a reward for finding the next great player?


What about your customers? I think it’s great to tell your customers that you are looking for a restaurant super star. Describe the person that you are looking for… I also see this as a great way to let your customers know that you are really serious about them!


I hope these ideas help you realize that you need to be looking 52 weeks a year. I hope these ideas help you understand that great people are hard to find and that you need to be proactive and in recruiting mode every day and every week.

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