Professionally trained hospitality staff including wait staff and bar attendants are a crucial asset for any restaurant. As the key representatives through who customers interact with your brand, the people you hire as wait staff can be one of your most important investments.
But when hiring, should you be looking only for individuals with the right skills or the best attitude?
The case for skills
Depending on the specific type of venue in which your company operates, staff may be required to hold a range of valuable skills. The ability to pour wine, prepare and serve food or mix drinks can be vital for certain restaurants, so it is important to recruit staff who possess some ability.
However, many of these particular skills can be offered in onboard training, meaning they are not entirely necessary during the hiring process (good news for those with no hospitality experience!).
The importance of attitude
Attitude is everything in the hospitality industry, and how restaurant staff interact with customers can alter their entire experience.
Even when the food or entertainment is not up to industry standards, a positive, engaging and fun employee can create an unforgettable experience, turning a potentially negative review into a positive one. Hospitality is an industry that can easily be affected by unpredictable changes and last minute events. Quality staff will overcome each obstacle with a smile, ready to smooth over any rough patches.
Often, customers would be willing to give a restaurant another chance even when the food is average, for example, as long as their service experience was exceptional.
Five key personality traits you should be looking out for when hiring:
- Attention to detail
- Positive attitude
- Pride in their work
- A genuine smile
Who should you hire?
While the ideal staff member will hold both comprehensive skills and a positive and friendly personality, it is sometimes difficult to find people who fit this description. Hospitality recruitment can be a tricky process, so when struggling to find people to fill this role, the priority should be on attitude rather than hard qualifications.
It is relatively easy to train staff in new skills, but it's incredibly difficult to alter someone's personality.
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