The holidays are right around the corner. If your restaurant is located near a large city or tourist area, you may expect a temporary spike in sales during this time of year. Fortunately for all restaurants, consumers tend to spend more money eating out in general during the holiday season, regardless of location. According to Mastercard’s annual SpendingPulse report, restaurant spending in December was up 3 percent year over year, and that growth has remained positive since March 2010 as U.S. consumers continue to spend on experiences over things.

Knowing that these crowds are temporary, you may find that seasonal help is just what you need to get you through the holiday spike. Below are some helpful hints to those who are new to hiring dependable seasonal employees.

  • First, determine what shifts and/or positions you need to cover. This will help with hiring people who are available to fill those specific gaps.
  • Check with your current employees to see if there are some who are willing to work additional hours. Some might welcome this, knowing that it is temporary.
  • Ask your employees for recommendations. They may have friends or family that are interested in seasonal work.
  • Take advantage of social media to save time and money in attracting candidates.
  • Post ads and signs early at local colleges. Seasonal jobs are a great fit for students looking to make money while on break.
  • Host a job fair to interview as many candidates as you can in one day to shorten the interview process.
  • Hire based on personality. You want seasonal workers who are eager to work hard, are flexible, and get along with your staff. These individuals should fit into your restaurant’s culture. Often, seasonal help will decide that they want to become full time employees, so hire someone that you want around long term.
  • Conduct background and reference checks. Although not the norm, a temporary employee may not treat your business with the respect and professionalism that they would extend to a permanent employer; this puts you at risk of theft or other misconduct.
  • Treat seasonal help in the same manner that you would treat a permanent employee. While it might be tempting to cut corners knowing that these employees will only be around for a short period, do not put your business at risk by doing so. Most of the Human Resources guidelines and state laws require that temporary workers are given the same benefits as full time workers.
  • Keep seasonal employees’ contact information on file for future use. You will save time and effort having people who are already trained and ready to go when you need them.

The most important thing to remember when hiring seasonal help is that your business deserves more than just a body to fill an empty space. There is some amazing talent out there looking for seasonal work. Hold the standards of temporary employees to the same level of your current staff and you may end up turning holiday diners into year-round, regular guests.

Kristi Turner oversees marketing operations for Compeat and with over 27 years of domestic and international strategic business and marketing experience, Kristi has a successful track record for building scalable SaaS revenue growth, empowering employee cultures and customer centric marketing strategies. Kristi holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from University of South Florida and resides in Atlanta with her husband and two children.
Employee Management, Outside Insights, Story