Through the years, I've discovered that there are five traits that are essential to consider when evaluating a candidate as a new hire:
Passion: With recent shifts in food and beverage culture toward more casual settings, customers expect well-versed waitstaff wherever they go. An owner’s employees are his/her brand ambassadors. If their attitude doesn’t project what your concept intends to, you may want to look elsewhere.
Appearance: The appearance of a restaurant’s staff is just as important as its décor. We aren’t saying servers and bartenders have to be tall and beautiful, but your employee’s image should be aligned with that of the restaurant. Whether it be tattooed and bearded, or clean cut and uniformed, customers’ experience is undoubtedly influenced by those that serve them.
Trust: While it may be tempting to hire someone attractive and knowledgeable on a whim, you should never be quick to judge. Follow up on references. It is important to build your brand with employees that you can trust when you are not looking.
Ambition: No longer can waiters and waitresses be immediately generalized as “aspiring” actresses and artists. Food and Beverage has become a career choice to many. Look for individuals who plan on growing within the company.
Charm: At the end of the day, it is the intangibles that make for a great employee. An incorrect order or a cold appetizer could easily be forgiven by an employee that possesses innate charm. It’s important for your employees to be able to create a special bond with their customers. This draws for returning crowds.