November 22, 2022

What Does It Feel Like? How To Write An Honest Job Description For Restaurant Workers: Part 2

If you didn’t catch part 1 of this series, you can check it out here now! 

It is more important than ever to take a deep dive into your hiring process. That of course includes writing an accurate and honest job description for the different positions in your restaurant. Potential employees have a  lot of options to choose from right now, and providing them with an accurate job description will set you apart, but also open the door for a healthy relationship from the jump.

Here’s how to break it down:

Explain more than just the “job duties”

Forget the list of “duties and responsibilities” for now. That comes later and is less important than really describing what the job is like. Keep this question in mind as you reinvent your job description: What does the job feel like? Go over everything from how you expect them to prepare for the shift, to how long they might need to “recover” from it, along with what happens during their time on the floor.

A good manager I once worked for asked me in our interview what I thought was important to do before coming to work. I think I stumbled over the question (I was 19 and desperate for this job) and said something about eating a granola bar in the car. She explained that making sure I wasn't hungry, was rested, comfortable and prepared for work was important to them, and I was happier because of it.

What technology is used for the job? What are the uniform guidelines and why? Include the things that are unique to your restaurant, or to your venue's approach to the job. How much is your serving strategy team oriented or is it consolidated and if so what does that actually look like when the job is being done. 

Paint a really clear picture

Think in terms of a story or a picture rather than a “description”. The value here is in giving the potential employee an accurate and honest understanding of what the job is really like. It helps both of you decide if the fit is right. 

Tell a story...Once I clock in and my shift begins, what does that 6-8 hours look and feel like? Is it high volume (server takes 8+ tables, limited support) or personal fine dining with lots of support (each server has their own busser, max 4 tables, etc). 

Some jobs are simply harder than others. It pays in a big way to accurately explain this to a potential new hire, because everyone has an environment that they thrive in. Don’t try to make your restaurant out to be something that it isn't. 

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It’s not always over when it’s over

I think it’s important to include everything in the picture you are painting of the job. What is pre-shift like? What does the end of the shift look like? Is there a lot of side work or cleaning that needs to be done? How much time is spent doing post shift work?  Is there always post-shift work or are team members free to go quickly after closing their last check? 

Again, I encourage you to be honest and accurate. Side work and other duties can be a less attractive part of the job, but they exist. An honest telling of what is called for will help you find better staff and help lower the turnover rate. 

We are in a new world in the restaurant industry today, and we can create an advantage by being honest and accurate when we recruit and hire. Great businesses and great managers are about a clear and honest approach to business, your staff is the heart of your business. There are many ways to find and nurture a great staff, it starts with an honest and accurate description of what their job will be. 

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