Great Hiring Is Key To Successful Service

Whether it is listening to the mixes of a trendy DJ, watching Monday Night Football with roaring fans, or grabbing a happy hour cocktail after a long day of work, it’s really all about having a good experience.  As a customer, you want to be entertained… a small escape from a predictable routine.

If location, décor, music, food, and drinks are the core ingredients of a successful bar or nightclub, service and hospitality is the special sauce that brings customers back for more and can make or break a business.   It starts off with the doorman or hostess and the manner in which a customer is greeted.   Interaction with the server or bartender is the direct bridge between customer and kitchen.  A negative exchange at any touch point can affect the overall experience.

Staffing your bar or nightclub starts with finding and selecting great candidates.  The days of “help wanted” signs and newspaper ads are over.  To find great staff, you must find great candidates, and here are three must-dos:

1) Start by asking family, friends and colleagues for recommendations.

2) Post job openings on the Internet.  While traditional online job posting sites are far too expensive, there are new online service industry communities that enable thousands of bars and nightclubs to post job openings for free, like Shiftgig.

3) Post job openings on social media including Twitter and Facebook.  

Once you have a pipeline of candidates, the next step is selecting which candidates to hire.   It is important to know what you are looking for. Are you seeking people that are social, enthusiastic and responsible?  Be wary of the red flags. Be sure to ask why a candidate left his or her last job, and always check references.  Lastly, know the law. You can’t ask questions related to age, race, or marital status during the interview.

In the end, hiring great staff is critical.   A successful owner-operator of 14 venues once said that his businesses are about entertaining the customer.   When selecting staff, he looks for three things:  attitude, ability and appearance.   A customer may try a new place because of PR, promoters or curiosity, but they’ll come back for great service.


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