Bars and restaurants have a notoriously high turnover rate, but that doesn't mean that you can't attract and retain top talent who will become a selling point for your establishment. If you are competing with other bars in the area to win over the best talent and consistently losing out, it may be time to consider a different approach. For starters, don't be so hard on yourself. Certain bartenders may be more drawn to the environment of a swanky rooftop bar versus a venue with more of a neighborhood bar feel.
Here are some other tips that you may want to take into consideration as you try attracting top talent:
1. Create a clear and deliberate culture at your bar.
Be active in molding the type of bar you want to have. This goes beyond simply choosing the right decor and stocking your shelves with certain drinks. You need to craft a mission and branding approach that will be reflected in everything you do, including your hiring choices. This will allow you focus on marketing yourself to the community, which includes potential hires.
2. Find the balance between celebrating individuals and creating a team.
There is a delicate balance between developing a clear brand and still allowing your staff to be individuals. Instead of trying to force employees into fitting a certain mold, provide them with guidelines and provide them the freedom to express themselves. This will make them feel more comfortable and confident, which will inevitably translate into a better customer experience.
3. Foster camaraderie among staff members.
While it is important to have a clear sense of leadership in place, it is equally important that every member of the team feels valued and heard. Forming strong bonds of trust and communication will create a more pleasant work environment that also runs more smoothly. Celebrate achievements from both individuals and teams and allow every member to contribute their ideas when it comes to making improvements.
Verbally outlining the type of bar you would like to have is one thing, but being able to embody and demonstrate those values is quite another undertaking. Be the manager that other people will be drawn to and want to work for. Make sure that you are the most knowledgeable, professional and reliable part of the team. Set the example for everyone else and they will be inspired to live up to your standards and work for such a reputable manager.
5. Talk to your staff.
If you have been trying a variety of different approaches to try and attract top talent and nothing seems to be working, why not turn to your existing staff for ideas and feedback? No one knows more about what is working at your establishment and what isn't. As a manager, it can be all too easy to find fall into a sort of tunnel vision. Checking in with your staff is the best way to avoid narrow thinking and better understand what is truly happening at your bar or restaurant. Input from your team may be the best way to understand how to attract the best talent.
Even if you are new to the local restaurant scene and still working to build your reputation, you can attract top talent and build an all-star staff that will help you thrive. It begins with having a clear vision and be able to sell it to others. Be a leader and use your own actions to set an example for the type of staff member you want to hire.