ITB 2023 Special Reporting
How to Find And Retain Suitable Employees.
By Lloyd M. Gordon
Saturday, 5th January 2008
Ask restaurant operators "What in today's business climate is the most pressing need for them to operate successfully?" Their replies almost always are "Find and retain suitable employees." To really understand what this means, we should examine the statement word for word.

What the restaurateur is saying may not be the same as what we think he is saying. First is the word "find." It implies that the restaurateur is actively seeking in an actual place for these employees. But is there a "real" place or places where operators can look where employees may be found? Is this a true assumption? Keep that in mind.

The second key word of the statement is "retain." Retain is a word that means you've got them and you want to keep them? Do restaurant operators have a clear-cut strategy for this in mind? Do they understand what this entails? Do they have any way of implementing actions that would tend to cement the working relationship between the restaurant employees and themselves?

The next part of the statement is "suitable employees." Line up five restaurant executives and ask them what does suitable mean. You will get as many as five distinct answers.

The first may say, "A person that follows my directions."
The next may say, "A worker that is dependable and prompt."
A third may say, "An individual that is highly motivated to do a good job."
The fourth may say, "A team player that works well with others."
And a final one may say, "A person who is service oriented and likes people."

What does this tell us? What conclusions can we draw from these answers if any?

In my opinion, in order to solve the dilemma stated in "To find and retain suitable employees,"
the following must occur:

  • The employer must know all of the sources for reaching the labor pool.
  • He/she must actively employ as many of these sources as possible.
  • The operator must have a rational organizational plan in place.
  • The duties and responsibilities of every employee should be detailed.
  • Lines of authority and responsibility must be clearly outlined and communicated.
  • Employee benefits other than wages should be stated, effected and maintained.
  • A system of grievance solving and onward motivation should be implemented.
  • The recruiter must have complete knowledge of the Description, Analysis and Specification for every job available in the restaurant.
  • This interviewer must know what personal traits are required for the job.
  • This interview must elicit the basic character of the candidate being interviewed.
  • The interviewer must be as free from bias or prejudice as possible.
  • The place of interview must be such as to show respect for the candidate as well as to compliment the organization of the employer.
  • The interviewer must strive to seek the truth about the candidate.
  • The recruiter must be honest and straight forward with the candidate.
  • In dealing with employees the restaurateur must be consistent but fair in demands.
  • Be empathetic to workers problems in the workplace.
  • Have good lines of communication.
  • Have an Open-door Policy
  • Promote from with-in whenever possible.
  • Keep your business financial sound.
Mr. Lloyd M. Gordon, President of GEC Consultants, Inc. has an MBA from the University of Chicago. He has concepted more than 390 restaurants and has been consulting for over 44 years. He helps people enter the restaurant industry, points the way to profitability, and helps keep them successful. To discuss "How To Find And Retain Suitable Employees" he can be reached at 847-674-6310.

Copyright GEC Consultants, Inc. 2007
All Rights Reserved

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