Front of the house staff is the part of the restaurant workforce that actively interacts with your customer base. If you need to hire servers and hostesses, you should think about which job duties you might be able to have them perform. While keeping customers happy and closing down at the end of the night are their main responsibilities, they can certainly do more for you.
Collecting feedback. Your front of the house staff talks to your customers constantly. If you are trying to figure out which menu items are best received—aside from checking your sales reports—or which brands of liquor you should be stocking, have them ask. Make it a point during meetings to stress that the more you know about your customers, the better it is for everyone.
Coming up with marketing ideas. Pick your front of the house employees’ brains for advertising ideas. Are people regularly asking your hostesses about birthday specials? Do your servers field requests for promotions to be emailed to them? Choosing the right marketing and advertising avenues for your restaurant is the key to stretching your marketing budget.
Light prep work. This might be a fine line as your front of the house staff generally earns a significantly lower wage than your kitchen staff, but that doesn’t mean they can’t take some of the load off of your prep staff. Servers can portion salads, dressings, and other simple items for their guests. Again avoid making it appear that you are trying to cut labor by pushing unnecessary work off on your servers if you value employee morale.
Basic management. Do you have a server or two who are exceptionally responsible and great at their jobs? Perhaps you could work out a compensation agreement where they take time to check out other servers at the end of the night. After all, a great server knows exactly what needs to be done. This is also a good way to identify potential future managers.
Using your staff to the utmost is a good way to keep your employees involved. It also lets them see that they play an important role in your restaurant and are not just drones. We can help you find the right staff. Utilizing your human resources is in your hands.