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So you’re ready to make a hire. You've found the perfect candidate for the open role on your restaurant team. Awesome. Now it's time to offer them the job. This is simple enough, but there are a few important steps to follow at this point in the restaurant hiring process.
Be Sure You're Hiring the Right Person
Here’s the thing: It’s easy to overlook minor red flags when you're desperate for extra hands. And when you find a great candidate, you can almost feel time ticking down before another restaurant sweeps them up. The pressure’s always on. But you need to do one last quality check before you make the call.
Hiring the wrong candidate blows all the time and effort you put into recruiting. It's disappointing to have to let someone go when you realize they’re not the right fit for your restaurant, but it does happen — pretty often in our industry, and there’s a reason for that.
Emily Scichilone, who worked in restaurants in front-of-house roles for more than five years before working as a recruiter, says once a candidate has been selected for an interview, most restaurants make the interview process too brief. “Talking to someone on the phone for 20 minutes and having them only talk to one manager at the restaurant probably isn't enough to figure out if that person is a good fit. I think having them meet with a peer in addition to whichever manager’s on duty could be really helpful. ” Emily suggests setting up a potential candidate with a second and even third interview with someone in the role they’re applying for to see if they’re a good fit.
It’s easy to hire the waiter who seems great on paper but doesn't show up on time to shifts. This is why offering the job to someone on the spot is a bad idea.
There's also the possibility that the candidate decides they don't want to work at your restaurant. Both scenarios are pretty common in the restaurant space and directly contribute to the 75% employee turnover rate challenging the industry right now.
Effective, long-term development of your team starts before your new hires even put on an apron. It begins before they come in to meet you for an interview. Reinforcing standard interview practices and writing value-driven job descriptions will help you attract the diverse, hospitable staff you're looking for.
Draft the Offer Letter
An official restaurant job offer letter is the right way to get your offer of employment formally in writing. It takes you one step closer to securing a new employee for your team.
A job offer letter doesn’t just detail job title and pay. The letter is a chance to kick things off to a strong start, to showcase your brand to new staff members, and to start communicating clearly and openly about your restaurant’s goals, mission, and values.
Your offer letter needs to have a few fundamentals.
- Your restaurant name and your contact details
- Date of the offer
- Expected start date
- Conditions of employment and termination
- Offer acceptance due date
- Your signature and date
- Space for the candidate’s signature and date
- Next steps
Once you've covered the basics, add details about additional workplace perks and benefits that make working for your restaurant all the more enticing. Consider adding these to your official letter:
- A brief welcome to the team message
- Benefits and time off
- An encouragement to read more in your official employee handbook
A restaurant job offer letter should be as thorough as possible without running on for pages. It should give a candidate the information they need to make an informed decision about taking the role and joining your restaurant.
Offer the Candidate the Job
Once you're ready to make an official offer, give the candidate a call and let them know an offer letter is coming their way.
Do this as soon as you're sure about extending an offer to a candidate you want on your restaurant staff. 32% of job offers are rejected because the candidate took a different offer and another 11% are rejected due to a lengthy hiring process.
Even still, try not to pressure the candidate to take the job immediately following the interview. Be professional, respect their space and interests, and let them know you'd love to have them on board.
Use this phone conversation to gauge the candidate's interest in working at your restaurant before sending the offer letter. There's a chance they’ve decided to not take the job with your restaurant, which means you can instead extend the offer to other candidates you had on the table or hit the ground running by interviewing other prospective restaurant employees.
The offer letter you send should be the final step, so make sure to settle any discussions of the role, start date, pay, and expectations before delivering the letter.
When you connect over the phone, congratulate them and formally offer them the position. In this initial phone call, cover the following:
Tell your potential new hire how much the role pays. If this is a minimum wage position, there probably won't be much negotiation, but for management and salaried spots, expect more of a conversation. If there’s a mismatch on pay, tell the candidate you’ll revisit the offer and come back to them with an updated one if you can make it work. After the call, reconsider what you can pay based on the anticipated extra revenue their experience will bring to your restaurant.
Explain any employee benefits your restaurant offers, like paid time off or health insurance for full-time staff, profit sharing, team events, commuter benefits, or bonuses. Explain why you believe it’s important to offer these benefits to build a great workplace.
Assuming you’re on the same page about compensation, benefits, hours, and responsibilities, make sure the candidate still wants to move forward.
Address any questions they want answered before they formally accept or decline the offer.
Tell the candidate what they can expect for next steps if they choose to move forward. Typically, this is a written job offer and a start date.
If everything checks out during the phone call, deliver the offer letter via email.
The secret to hiring at Darwin’s Ltd.? Go with your gut, and hire for personality over skill. Co-founder Steven Darwin shares their story.
Close the Deal
If your offer letter is as killer as it ought to be – full of details and information that align with what the candidate expected and your restaurant's mission – the candidate should have no problem signing, sealing, and getting on board.
Once the candidate has signed and returned the offer letter, give them a call to tell them how excited you are they’ll be joining the team. Make them feel certain about the big decision they’ve just made.
What comes next? It's your job to follow through with the expectations you've set. Deliver the hours, pay, benefits, and workplace culture your new hire expects, and they’ll be off to a happy start.