Unlike most businesses, the restaurant industry’s requirements are slightly different from the standard qualifications, education, or rigid experience needed in other fields. While it may be necessary to hire a head chef with the required expertise and skills, most other restaurant employees require more flexible qualities. So what should a restaurant owner look for in their employees?

  • Capability
  • Enthusiasm
  • Loyalty

Capable staff is essential in a restaurant where specific qualifications can be learned on the job. At the same time, enthusiasm for the experience is vital because of the many situations that can arise. Finally, staff members’ loyalty will come through effective management.


Many restaurant workers are very dedicated individuals who can work effectively in an extremely coordinated manner. But this isn’t something that comes overnight and must be learned through the restaurant experience.

What you should look for, however, is the right attitude for a potential employee to be capable enough to handle the pressure of working in a restaurant. Customer service, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving are just the basic capabilities that an effective restaurant employee must possess. Additionally, this extends across all employees, from servers to managers and even chefs.

Of course, your chefs must be capable of cooking the menu as shown; however, many young chefs can be trained while working and will learn from their superiors while in the kitchen. As an accompaniment to this, your head chefs need to be flexible enough in attitude to want to teach younger employees rather than look down on them with indifference.


If a restaurant’s employees aren’t enthusiastic, it will reflect in their work performance, attitude, and ultimately customer experience. This would be disastrous for any business but can be the end of a restaurant. Any employees who essentially don’t want to be there or show little interest in their work need to be addressed or even removed from the business.

An enthusiastic employee is responsive to change, provides necessary feedback, and extends a positive attitude towards all other members of staff and customers. However, not all people are naturally enthusiastic, and proper management on the part of restaurant superiors and the owner is required.

Employees will generally mirror the enthusiasm of superiors in their work. Thus, the correct attitude needs to start at the top. Inspiring and motivating staff to get excited about the workday ahead can make a huge difference in their attitude as they feel appreciated and respected. Always praise the hard work that they do and listen to anything they have to say.


There are many business types that can benefit from loyalty, but the restaurant industry thrives from it. Finding suitable restaurant employees can be difficult for all the reasons mentioned, so promoting loyalty among staff is essential for keeping a well-oiled machine in action.

A dissatisfied head chef, for example, means that your business would have to close while you look to replace them. On the other hand, you may find servers that come and go with little or no notice, leading your customer service level to fluctuate wildly, eventually causing bad reviews or unsatisfied customers.

While there is much more to running a restaurant and managing personnel, loyalty can be encouraged by listening to staff more than anything. As well as fair pay and management, grievances should be aired out, appropriate responses should be given, and team bonding exercises should be undertaken regularly. When employees feel appreciated, they are more likely to stay loyal to your business, improve their capabilities and stay enthusiastic about your restaurant.

Managing a restaurant, like any other business, is difficult. However, we hope this article answers the basic question of what a restaurant owner should look for in their employees!

If you are in need of superior staffing and restaurant management resources, you have come to the right place! All Pro Restaurant Coaches is here to help with building your dream restaurant! To learn more about what we can do to help you grow, call us today at 352-988-7771