How to Train Your Restaurant’s Seasonal Hires and Set them Up for Success

January 9, 2020


Hiring the right seasonal staff and ensuring you have a full staff is the key to success during the holiday season. Hiring seasonal staff helps in accommodating an influx of customers and in handling the holiday rush. However, to guarantee success, you have to ensure that they are well trained and they are qualified enough to perform their duties efficiently.

Read on to know how to train your restaurant’s seasonal hires and set them up for success.

1. Train all seasonal staff members at once:

You have to train all your new seasonal restaurant staff together instead of training them individually to save time. Furthermore, make sure they all start working on the same date so that you can go through orientation and training just once. It is recommended to arrange for three training sessions at max. These training sessions will make them feel as if they belong to your restaurant.

You can also practice your training sessions with your permanent employees so that you would be perfect at the time seasonal employees are hired.


2. Provide your seasonal hires with support and resources:

Provide them with a manual that illustrates your entire restaurant operations so that they can return to it when necessary. You can also give them employee handbooks with frequently asked questions. Additionally, consider recording training sessions so that they can refer to them if needed. Not to mention that you need to schedule check-ins with managers for feedback.

As for your menu items, you have to ensure that seasonal employees are acquainted with every item in the menu, the ingredients that go into each dish, and the cooking styles. Having this knowledge will help them recommend dishes for customers and upsell your menu items.


3. Implement a buddy system:

Moreover, assign a permanent employee to supervise a seasonal employee so that they can go to them for help at all times.


4. Teach them how to deal with customers:

You must teach them how to deal with problematic or disgruntled customers and how to manage rude or unsatisfied customers, complaints, overly loud tables, complicated orders. They must know that customer is always right and hence they have to be patient and master stress management.


5. Use more technology:

During busy seasons, you will need more technology to process orders in a timely manner. Ensure you have extra iPads so that waiters do not have to wait to put in their orders. You can make use of waiter system, kitchen system, POS that are available at Lean Restaurant Management system to handle the holiday rush. Our systems are user-friendly so that you can train your seasonal staff on using them easily and quickly.


6. Avoid hiring seasonal managers:

You have to avoid hiring seasonal managers in order to maintain consistent leadership styles. Seasonal managers will not have enough time to adapt to the restaurant’s processes, operations, and culture.


7. Respect Their Personal Schedules:

You need to provide clear expectations about how many days or hours they are required to work. Let them know how many days on or off they will have each week and allow flexibility in their schedule so that you help seasonal employees to better plan and enjoy their time off.


8. Track their progress:

Make sure to have a system of checks and balances to track their progress. It is better to identify any issue earlier rather than later when you cannot do much to adjust and modify.


What problems you may face with seasonal hires?

WONOLO, a company that uses technology to source workers, has reached out to a panel of HR pros and hiring managers to gain some expert insights into the common mishaps that tend to happen. They asked them to point out the mistake companies make when hiring temporary workers and how can they avoid it.

We choose to mention the following three mistakes:

Failing to ensure the candidate has the qualities required to do the job:

Jennette Seibly, a Business Advisor and Executive Coach for SeibCo, LLC, said, “The biggest mistake companies make in hiring temporary workers is often they fail to ensure the person has the qualities required to do the job.”

She believes that managers can avoid this mistake by:

  • Writing up a short job description.
  • Using a qualified core value assessment to clear out issues of theft, attendance, proprietary issues, etc.
  • Checking public records.
  • Using a qualified job fit assessment to clarify if the person will and can do the job.


Neglecting to have temporary employees sign these three clauses:

Corey Bray, the Founder, and CEO of LegalNature, sees that neglecting to have temporary employees sign a non-disclosure clause, a non-compete clause, and a non-solicitation clause is one of the biggest mistakes a hiring manager can make.

A non-disclosure clause prohibits the disclosure of confidential information to third parties. Whereas a non-compete clause prohibits specific activities that compete with a business. And the non-solicitation clause prohibits the solicitation of a business’ customers, employees, or similar business relationships.

Make sure to make them sign these clauses.


Treating them differently than permanent employees:

Jana Tulloch, CPHR, a Human Resources Professional at DevelopIntelligence, said, “The biggest mistake employers make when hiring temporary workers, I think, is treating them differently than permanent employees.”

She advised managers to Onboard them as they would a regular employee, and often be in contact with them. According to Tulloch, managers need to give seasonal hires the same benefits and rewards as other staff.


You can avoid the common issues that may arise when managing the labor forces at your restaurant, both permanent and temporary, by investing in the right human resources system.

Lean Restaurant HR system can help you in scheduling employees and planning shifts quickly and easily, staying informed of any problems with your employees and pinpointing performance problems, and much more.