With the fall changeover rapidly approaching, there’s no better time than the present to prepare your restaurant or bar for staffing transitions. Perhaps some of your student-employees will have left to return to college. Or, if you operate in a college town, an influx of prospective hires might be headed your way. Whatever the situation you face, take time to staff right and staff fully.
However, pinpointing an ideal number of new employees to hire is difficult because it’s always a moving figure. Seasonal shifts in the labor pool, ongoing turnover, sales trends — all can contribute to fluctuations in desired staffing levels.
You may believe, for example, that 32 is the proper number of servers and bartenders to have on staff, but is it? Probably not, if you factor in turnover. Just when you get 32 on the books, three quit, and you’re short again.
The pains of this situation resonate. Stress. Increased costs due to mistakes. Plummeting morale, which leads to further turnover. The problem feeds on itself.
Of course, once you realize you’re short-staffed, you jump into action.
You put an ad in the newspaper and start other recruiting efforts.
You interview people who answer your ad.
You hire three new employees.
You give three orientations.
You set up three training dates.
You give the three hires time to get up to speed before setting them on a full schedule.
By the time you get all that done, however, a month or two has passed. Then, just when you think you’re back on track — oops! — a bartender quits, a server walks, and the process starts all over again.
It’s wise to prepare systematically for the inevitable. First, track your turnover. To do it correctly, you’ll have to keep accurate and easily accessible termination records. If they’re not up-to-date, retrieving the figures you need will be tedious. The turnover formula is simple: Annual terminations