Hiring The Right Staff

“Hospitality Is Almost Impossible To Teach. It’s all about hiring the Right People”: Why having the right team is important for your business

We put this quote by restaurant and hospitality expert Danny Meyer (New York City restaurateur and the Chief Executive Officer of the Union Square Hospitality Group) out on our Facebook page in July 2016 and the response from it was amazing. So many people out there in the bar and hospitality industry shared and liked the post in support for the statement. It was because of this interest that I decided to write an article around the quote explaining what it means to me and how it can help you use it in your day to day approach to work.

So what does this quote actually mean?

How much do we spend actually building the teams in our bar or hospitality business? I’m not talking about hiring more and more people, I’m referring to enhancing your team and looking at where the skills and competencies lie within the workforce.

For the majority of people reading this you will be content knowing that the focus on your team building is already there and that you devote a large part of your time building up that team dynamic in order to have a well-rounded, motivated and dedicated team. If you cannot truthfully say how much time you spend focusing on team building or how much time you have your managers approach the subject then now is the time.

Is hospitality almost impossible to teach?

Don’t read too much into this statement. If you look at it closely it doesn’t say “You can’t teach people hospitality”. It says that it is almost impossible to teach…

This means that with time and patience we can train and develop our people into well rounded bar and hospitality staff. However, what I believe this quote is saying is that some people unfortunately are not really cut out for or willing to be engaged enough to be professionals in this industry…and that’s fine, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Every person has a calling in life and the people who are lucky enough to find that calling have the rewards of working in a profession that they love for years to come.

If you think about all of the time, energy and resource that go into to training a staff member to the high standards that you expect and multiply it by the number of staff that you have currently and will have in the future you will really start to see how this all adds up. How many hours are you applying to development? How much money are you investing in the training?

If some people aren’t as adept at working within the industry then it most likely means that the time and resources being allocated to those people will be higher than those that are actually right for the industry. There’s an important thing to keep in mind however if you are now thinking about this allocation of resource. You must ensure that the people who are training your staff, whether they are part of your business or external have the skills and knowledge to do the training efficiently. You cannot deem someone as not being ‘the right person’ for your business based on inadequate training results from a less than competent instructor.

Have the ‘right’ people conduct the ‘right’ training for the ‘right’ people.

That’s a simple way of looking at it I suppose, but if you are following that path you should be seeing results within your teams.

So it’s not just about hiring the right people then?

Well, yes and no. We’ve just discovered that there are better approaches to ensure that your staff are getting the best training for the right roles but the fact of the matter is, you’ll get much better results in your business through hiring those who are destined for a life in the bar and hospitality industry.

If you’ve read the book “Do You Need Help with Running Your Bar?” then you will recall that in ‘Principle 5 – Staff & Training’ that ‘The Right Staff’ coupled with ‘The Right Training’ is a sure approach to hiring the right people and the beginning of successful team building.

  • Finding these people is the trickier part of this but there are ways to help you get the best people to apply for the roles that your advertise
  • Make the job description clear and appealing
  • List all of the benefits such as training opportunities that are available
  • Advertise in the right places where you know your potential candidates will be searching
  • Have your peers in the industry distribute the link to the advertisement to their contacts

Getting the right people to apply for your positions is a pretty good first step in ensuring that you will be hiring the right people and that your chosen candidate is going to be the right choice. Next however, you will need to make sure that the people doing your interviews, including yourself have the necessary skills to conduct an interview. It does happen, I’ve seen it. I’ve been on interview panels where one of the people conducting the interview is just bad at doing interviews (it’s kind of like the “Right Person, Right Training formula). If the interviewer is not skilled at getting the candidate to open up and answer the questions then you may miss out on a great opportunity to hire your perfect staff member.

If you are reading this article as someone who is applying for a role in the bar and hospitality industry then you may want to read this blog post from www.yourbarconsultant.com which shows you tips, skills and competencies that you will need to be successful in job interviews.

So, in conclusion…Yes you can train somebody to be a great asset within your bar and hospitality team but you will have much more success if the people you are hiring are the right people. Being the right person doesn’t mean that they’ll already have the skills and knowledge that you require, (it’s definitely a bonus if you do) it can mean that they have the work ethic and the drive to want to learn all of these skills and gain all of this knowledge.

Building up the right team can be hard but I can assure you that in the long run you will have a much more efficient and engaging workforce if you do! It’s an interesting quote and it sure did spark up some engagement on our Facebook page!

Please share this article and if you’ve got a comment then please add it below.

Header image taken from https://goo.gl/6bd4Ms


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