What Makes the Perfect Restaurant Staff?

It should be no surprise that to keep your restaurant running you need the proper staff. What staff do you need? Which positions will you need to fill? How many servers will you need? What about cooks? Figuring out how to find the perfect restaurant staff isn’t always easy. It helps to first know the main restaurant roles that comprise a restaurant staff. After that, you can assess your needs and determine how many staff members you’ll need to succeed.

It may take some time to determine exactly how many restaurant staff members you need. You don’t want to be understaffed, but you also quite literally don’t want to have too many cooks in the kitchen. 

In this piece, we’ll help you get started by walking you through the basic restaurant roles. We’ll also answer a couple of the most common questions and give you a good basic understanding of what a restaurant staff looks like. After that, you can start thinking about things like finding the right candidates, determining benefits and pay, and deciding who to hire. Let’s jump in.

How many staff are in a restaurant?

The number of staff needed for an average restaurant of 1,000 to 6,000 square feet is around 50. That said, keep in mind that the headcount needed can vary greatly depending on square footage, locale, the level of service, and the type of restaurant. For instance, a fast casual restaurant may require fewer workers than a full service restaurant where there are servers and bussers. Some restaurants may require more back of house staff, while others may require more front of house workers. 

What are the duties and responsibilities of a restaurant staff?

Above all, every member of your restaurant staff has the same duty—serve the customer. Everything you do in the restaurant should be to provide superior customer service and help each guest have a great experience dining with you. Each restaurant staff member has their part to play, but if everyone’s working with one common goal, it’s easier to stay focused and in sync.

What are the job positions in a restaurant?

Many different positions comprise a restaurant staff. Here are some of the most common restaurant staff positions.

  • Manager/administrator
  • Host/hostess
  • Cashier
  • Chef
  • Cooks
  • Servers
  • Bussers
  • Dishwasher
  • Other positions

Manager/administrator

The restaurant shift manager or administrator serves as the person in charge of ensuring everything runs smoothly. They keep tabs on everything from customer satisfaction to server performance and cash management. Many times managers will be in charge of resolving customer complaints and conflicts between servers and guests. 

In short, if someone wants to speak to the manager, there’s likely a problem to resolve. The manager should be skilled at diffusing tension and making things right. They should also know how to use the restaurant management system, be familiar with menu items, have a knowledge of all codes, rules, and regulations, and maintain a good working relationship with each staff member.

Host/hostess

The host or hostess is responsible for ensuring guests are attended to. They’re the first person to greet guests as they enter the restaurant and the last to thank them for coming as they leave. The host is very important because they set the tone for the guest’s whole experience. A good host must be friendly and personable, calm under pressure, and able to coordinate seating and keep servers updated. 

The primary role of a host is to keep guests happy by making them feel welcome and being accurate in communicating wait times and procedures. Nothing’s worse than hearing you’ll have a twenty minute wait and having it turn into an hour. Make sure your host is considerate and be sure you empower them with the knowledge and tools to succeed.

Cashier

The cashier is responsible for collecting payment from customers. In many cases, the front-of-house cashier is tasked with processing payments for take out orders. Often individual servers act as their own cashiers for the tables they serve. A cashier must be considerate and precise to ensure proper payment. At the end of a shift, a cashier’s often asked to balance the till and make sure all cash is accounted for. 

Chef

The chef is the head cook in the kitchen. They’re an expert regarding all recipes and procedures and they ensure all other cooks and assistants know their roles. A good chef keeps the kitchen running safely and efficiently. They orient other cooks to ensure dishes are prepared quickly to keep guests satisfied. Many times, cooks will help the executive chef with their duties, performing side tasks while the chef ensures everything comes together for each dish.

Cooks

The cooks often take orders from the head chef. They work together to fulfill orders quickly while adhering to all safe food handling protocols. Cooks are critical to the success of your restaurant. Because if the food isn’t good then not much else matters. Also, make sure you have enough of them. If cooks get overworked, they could make mistakes and lose efficiency. Not to mention, morale could diminish. Treat your cooks and chef well. It will make all the difference

Servers

While every member of the staff is important, the servers or waiters are some of the most critical staff members you have. Since they spend the most time interacting with the customers, they must have good people skills and be able to manage stress while staying organized. Servers should be good communicators, skilled at managing any conflicts or misunderstandings, and very attentive and detail-oriented. 

Bussers

Many restaurants have bussers who take the plates, cups, and utensils from guests who are finished eating. Some bussers pass through the restaurant even during the meal to gradually take away plates that are cleaned. This lightens the load when a party leaves. At times, servers may also be asked to bus their own tables. If this is required, it’s critical that servers maintain proper sanitation and wash their hands thoroughly after handling used dishes.

Dishwashers

Someone needs to wash those dishes. Good dishwashers are a critical part of your restaurant staff. If dishes pile up, it could cause problems. For one, if the area for dirty dishes gets too crowded, there may not be room to place additional dirty dishes. This makes it easy for them to get placed in unsafe areas where they could potentially contaminate clean dishes or food. Find a dishwasher who rinses the dishes and keeps them running through the machine efficiently. It’s an easy position to overlook, but finding a good dishwasher is key.

Other positions

Every restaurant has different needs, so you may need more positions than just the ones listed. For example, some restaurants require servers to work together to clean and close down the restaurant at the end of the night, while others have a separate janitorial staff that handles it. Larger restaurants have specific positions for purchasers. They’re in charge of making sure there’s always enough inventory on hand. Assess your restaurant’s needs and be sure you have enough staff to cover them.

What is the best software for managing restaurant staff?

Restaurant management software is a crucial component in every restaurant. Whether it’s labor and scheduling, employee health checks, cash management, or reporting and analytics, you need a solution that makes it easier to manage your restaurant. The best scenario is if you can get all of these through one provider. That’s what we offer. If you want to take a look at how it all works, feel free to request a demo. We’d love to show you how SynergySuite can help you manage your restaurant staff.

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