Mon 01 2018  |  admin

December is like a month-long tough mudder challenge for the hospitality industry.

We all know that. Restaurants are booked out months in advance ready to cater to throngs of office parties, Christmas get togethers, family outings and just the general, relentless hubbub that comes hand in hand with the festive season.

It’s as if the month of December is a revival of any lost fun and frivolity that the 11 other months of the year never had.

So how do the bars, restaurants, hotels, bowling alleys, karaoke venues, private event spaces and dining rooms handle the pressure? How do they cope with countless bookings, neverending sittings, messy customers, happy customers, Christmas grinches and New Years Eve party girls?

They hire well! They hire an army of staff as if preparing for a month of battle. And it works. With the right staff in place, any situation can be handled and handled well! So at the peak of the season, when venues are in the absolute madness of full swing festivities, they count on their team of staff. And they have backup plans should anyone let them down, reserves for the front line so to speak.

We know this because we help the best venues in town find the best staff to step up to the proverbial plate and ensure that things run smoothly and efficiently.

Ever wonder what happens in January though? The month when things slow down considerably. The war is over… what happens to the soldiers?

We took it upon ourselves to gather information from venues like Rola Wala, Bistrotheque, Serge et Le Phoque and Mac and Wild and asides from the obvious tricks like ensuring the strongest staff member have flexible hours and holiday pay” (Paul Loebenberg, Mac&Wild),  one constant theme continued to appear…. COMPANY CULTURE!

There is so much a venue can do when it comes to inspiring their staff and keeping them in check with the unified goals of the business

As Clive Gregory from Bistrotheque says,

“it’s imperative to maintain the value of their alignment to the brand”.

In a highly competitive environment such as that of the restaurant industry in London, venues need to get clever if they want to keep their staff on the books and keep them happy.

Michael O’Donoghue, restaurant manager for Serge et Le Phoque at The Mandrake Hotel says…

“we have set up an excellent training program, covering service, wine, spirits and even wellness!”

When asked how he retains good staff in this quiet period for when things start to heat up again? He goes on to state that…

“We are trying to get as many people as possible involved in planning processes so they feel involved and trusted. We also focus on setting up individual training goals so we know what people want to achieve and can plan how to get them there.”

Rola Wala Owner and Co Founder Danny Vilela who maintains that the best way of ensuring people stick with you is to…

“Feed them with hopes,dreams and promises!!!! It’s all about giving staff the best environment to work in and give better perks than the competitors. I also as the owner spend time with ALL my staff which i feel helps drive moral”

It’s pretty clear that the big players in the business know that keeping your staff happy comes down to what you can do for them and understanding that a strong company culture makes all the difference.

We also know though, how important it is to find the right candidates from the start. The candidates whose values already align with those of the business.

By using technology and platforms like Placed, it’s possible to find these candidates with the rights ideas and the right personalities from the get go, so that when things do cool down, you can trust that they will want to stick with you.

When jobseekers create profiles on Placed, they are face with a number of questionnaires that are in place to ascertain their past experience, their skills and their education.

But we go further. We get to know more about what they want in their next role. Is it about finding a place to work where they can socialise and make friends with colleagues after work… or are they totally ready for career progression with the desire to move through the ranks?

We do this so that when you as a venue need to find staff with specific personality traits and desires in life, we can immediately match you to he candidates who align with your needs and your brand the most.

Proof is in the pudding when asking Michael O’Donoghue, a regular Placed user how he stops staff leaving in favour for more shifts elsewhere…

“This isn’t so relevant for us as we hire staff who we know are already committed to the cause. We prefer choosing employees who want to have a real sense of purpose and responsibility and then we  invest in training”

There you have it. How to keep staff on the books during the quiet season? Hire right, inspire and incentivise!



Natalie Chassay, Placed Team