As the operator of a bar or restaurant you are keenly aware that making staffing decisions is essentially a subjective process.
Unlike a professional sports team, you don’t have stats like “points per game,” “turnovers,” or “assists” at your disposal to tell you which of your employees are flourishing and which need to be replaced. At the end of the day it is probably going to come down to anecdotal evidence and the experience of your all-knowing gut.
Which is not to say there aren’t some methods by which an owner or manager can make those tough decisions. Here are a few suggestions, broken down by job:
Obviously here you’re looking at big-picture stuff. Keep a close eye on how they communicate with the rest of the staff. Are they able to facilitate a strong, cohesive unit that performs its collective duties efficiently?
What do your profit/loss numbers look like? This will tell you how well the manager is balancing budget concerns with your quality requirements. As much as possible, make an attempt to experience your restaurant as the customer does. This will tell you how the management impacts your customers.
In conjunction with your manager try and assess as often as is practical whether the staff is keeping up with your expectations for the position. They must be quick, sure, but are they consistently accurate? Pay attention to customers and solicit their feedback.
In many cases this person will have more responsibility than your servers or kitchen staff. If you allow bartenders autonomy with regard to securing/depositing cash and locking your restaurant, take at look at those areas first. Obviously taking care of the till is a must.
Good bartenders are sales people as well. Does it seem as if clients at the bar are helping facilitate the kind of environment you want at the bar? More often than not it should seem like patrons sitting at the bar are enjoying themselves.
At least in theory this should be slightly easier. Without patrons in the kitchen, you should be able to watch how things operate back there, particularly during the busiest times. That information, combined with input from your managers should tell you quite a bit about who is flourishing.
How do you evaluate your staff? Leave a comment below and let us know!