Restaurants go through seasons, and so should staffing needs.
After all, proper handling of the customer volume during both peak and slow seasons can keep your business from compromising the quality of food and service as well as maximizing profit. It is challenging to find the correct number of employees to do the job.
This is where seasonal employees can come helpful. Seasonal employees support the business during periods when extra hands are needed. Seasonal employees are hired for the short term. They are mostly part-time or temporary workers who help out with increased work demands or seasonal work.
Anytime Chefs support various venues in Perth and Western Australia that needs kitchen staff for a limited period.
But before you proceed with hiring seasonal employees, here are a few things to consider to determine if it is the right solution for your establishment:
1. Same time next year busyness
Does your business experience an increase in patrons around particular dates of the year – holidays for example? Or do you run any special marketing promotions around these dates? Are you located in attractions such as amusement parks, beaches, large cities?
If yes, then it is a good sign that you could benefit from hiring seasonal employees. Seasonal employees can handle the influx of new customers your holiday campaigns bring in.
However, you must identify if the growth in customers and sales only happens during a busy season and is not what you can consider a steady growth. The latter can use hiring for permanent staffing. If busyness occurs consistently throughout the year, it is best to expand to full-time staff.
2. How many people to hire
Seasonal employees usually work no more than 35 hours and less than six months out of the year.
You must determine a fair amount of hours for them, and you can do this by evaluating the sale increases your business has seen during the busy seasons. This will help guide you in deciding how many people you should hire.
A seasonal employee work hours are typically based on a part-time schedule. These working hours will depend on the total of seasonal workers you intend to hire and the number of individuals you currently have on staff year-round.
Before you start recruiting, identify the roles that you’ll need to be filled over the break. Typically, owners hire more servers, cooks or delivery workers, but every business is different; you know best what positions get overwhelmed when it’s busy. Hire specifically to keep up with the added demand but keep labour costs low for the rest of the year.
When hiring seasonal employees, prioritize flexibility and availability on busy holidays and in the evening. Another thing to prioritize is the working experience of the applicant with kitchens similar to your establishment. It would help if you had employees who know how to cater to your demographics.
3. Time to train new staff
Training staff, whether for seasonal or permanent hire, can be time-consuming. Being hired for a short period is no excuse to skip on the standards that you implement in your establishment. Every staff member, whether full-time or seasonal, represents your company. It would be best if you had consistency in your food and service to avoid compromising your reputation.
Seasonal workers tend to be students with less experience seeking part-time work; restaurants typically pay them less than full-time, permanent workers. All of this keeps labour costs manageable because you’ll also reduce spending during the rest of the year.
However, hiring through professional staffing agencies, like Anytime Chefs, can be a smart move. Yes, it would help if you still oriented your short-term hire staff on your establishment’s policies, but hiring skilled professional chefs from Anytime Chefs cuts time, money, and effort in training them.
To speed the time of training, you can choose to do a mass orientation. Train during regular hours to get new employees experience working the floor. Have them shadowed by your permanent workers so they can learn the ropes.
Seasonal employees need support from the management too. Be available for questions to help them during the transitions.
4. Legalities involved when hiring seasonal employees
Seasonal employees can be eligible for certain benefits such as unemployment. The benefits vary state by state, and you must check your local regulations. You can also contact your insurance company about coverage for seasonal employees and how it can impact your current rates.
Research on benefits, taxes, overtime, pay, and employment of teenage workers in your area and state labour laws. You can speak with a local employment law attorney.
Restaurants often have varying staffing needs that change from season to season. Planning for peak hours and days is essential for a business owner. Consider hiring seasonal employees or short term hire to handle the annual influx of guests.
That’s it for this week.
As always, Professional Chefs on Call at Anytime!
Ciao for now,