What Restaurants Should Look For in Their Food Service Workers

Posted on: August 21, 2019 by RMS Hospitality

From managers to cooks to waitstaff to dishwashers, any restaurant of any size needs to flesh out its staff from top to bottom. When a restaurant is still new, owners may find that some of the duties will cross over from one category to another wherein the manager may double as the host, or servers may have to bus some tables. This is pretty common in smaller restaurants and cafes that are just starting out. Because of this, it’s important to know who you’re hiring and why you’re hiring them.


Owners of a restaurant have an important task of finding the right leadership for their location and find people who can handle management duties and responsibilities. The best candidates will have multiple years of experience in some form of leadership position within the industry; a big plus is if they have already managed a restaurant of the same size or bigger.

A manager should be able to open and close the restaurant, purchase food and beverages, open registers, track sales and inventory, work with suppliers, and train and manage staff. Not to mention, management candidates should also express the ability to work with guests. A good manager should exhibit leadership skills and the ability to supervise personnel in the service area, the kitchen, hospitality, bar, lounge, restrooms, and patio, if applicable, while also making customers feel welcome and heard.


Chefs should be able to stick with the program when it comes to a menu, but also feel encouraged to tap into their creativity and come up with menu alternatives. They should be communicative about their expertise and ideas and be encouraged and willing to share ideas. An owner needs a chef who can create new dishes while also being able to churn out staples of the menu.

A chef should also exhibit management qualities in order to head up their domain in the kitchen. Chefs act as managers themselves, heading up the kitchen and kitchen staff, including wait staff, cooks, sous chefs, and dishwashers. Hiring someone without chef experience and leadership qualities could spell trouble for them and the restaurant as a whole as dinner rushes and online orders come pouring in.


A restaurant will probably need about three cooks to start out with, including two full-time and one part-time. From simple prep to taking care of big rushes, having multiple chefs overlapping can help to take care of busy times while also preparing for additional rushes.

Owners should hire their cooks according to the type of restaurant they are looking to create. If they want to achieve four-star status, they will want to hire top tie cooks and chefs instead of short-order cooks, and vice versa. For those who want to promote their dessert menu, having a pastry chef on hand will be a good option.

Cooks should have experience in multiple types of kitchens and cuisines, helping them to keep cool under changing systems and have flexibility when it comes to what they’re cooking and how they’re cooking it. Cooking staff needs to be willing to take criticism of their work and work under a watchful eye of their leadership.

Serving and Hosting Staff

The employees who spend the most time with the customers are those who work at the front of house and take the orders. Finding the right serving staff is just as important as hiring the right people to work the kitchen or manage the business. Servers are those with whom the customers will have the most interaction and communication, meaning that owners and hiring staff should be looking for people not only with experience in these roles but also the ability to be personable and communicative.

Another good trait, besides a friendly smile and upbeat attitude, is the ability to take and remember orders and their fine details, because customers will always have a particular request on something. Mess up an order where a customer wanted their steak medium rare and it could lead to bad coverage on sites like Yelp and social media platforms. Miss a request to not have the peanut sauce and someone with allergies received their meal smothered in it? This could actually lead to a major lawsuit.

While managers and owners should make sure to look for wait staff with good memories and the ability to take particular orders, they should also be looking into getting the best restaurant insurance that can cover their business in the middle of an expensive claim related to negligence.

For hosts, they are the first line of defense against big rushes, large reservations, and figuring out where a party should sit. Business owners should want to hire someone part-time to help out in busy times, but should always staff up on a couple of hosts to take over duties throughout the day. People-oriented and organized individuals with the ability to be friendly and helpful make great hosts and hostesses, so be sure to inquire about their skills in those areas.

About RMS Hospitality Group

At RMS Hospitality Group, our expertly crafted policies are written specifically for the hospitality industry. We offer custom-tailored solutions to meet any venue’s specific needs. For more information, contact our knowledgeable experts today at (888) 359-8390.

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