Success in the Restaurant Industry

5 Tips for Restaurant Employers and Job Seekers

 

Employers: 

 

Match the skill set and the culture.  If a restaurant’s culture is family oriented, they need a staff member who is personable and who can become part of a close-knit restaurant “family.” At a larger, high-end restaurant candidates tend to be more corporate leaders who can hold the staff below them accountable. Look at a candidate’s past experience and take note of the size and volume of the restaurants where they have worked previously.

Use social media to reach candidates.  LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — social media is a powerful tool for reaching a large audience. A lot of times the candidates we get are not really actively seeking, so they are not your candidates who will go on Craigslist and look for jobs. Instead, they see a job description on other sites and reach out to learn more.

Find out what they care about.  “One of the top questions I always ask candidates is, what really drives them?” What is it they want that they don’t have now. In interviews, ask what they are passionate about to understand their goals and priorities.

Similarly, ask where they see themselves three or five years down the line. Can they grow within your organization? Will they be happy with the job they are in, or do they want more than what’s being offered? Not only will it help you hire the right person, it will help you keep them on.

Show your appreciation.  On that note, there are steps you can take to retain talent and reduce turnover rates. Restaurants have to show recognition in performance and give employees some incentive.  Overall, bonuses or other simple ways of acknowledging good performance can be powerful tools.

Offer internal opportunities for development.  Providing tools and training on top of a person’s actual job description can be a great way to develop staff members. Some groups offer mentoring programs in which, for example, a GM will shadow a VP of Multi Unit for a week every couple of months. The GM will observe and learn as the VP oversees multiple restaurants in the region to understand what the next phase is within the company.

 

Job Seekers:

 

Get out there!  Build your networking by attending as many industry events as you can. Get active and show your face because there’s nothing like meeting somebody face-to-face to really get to know them.

To find events near you, check out the National Restaurant Association and follow the appropriate organizations on social media. There are events at every price point (some are even free) so start making yourself accessible.

Be savvy — media savvy.  These days, you can set yourself apart as a job seeker by having an active online presence. Create a profile and follow restaurants and relevant organizations on different channels. Also, subscribe to emails and newsletters to learn more and stay up to date. That’s how you become part of a broader network of hospitality professionals and stay in the know about events and opportunities.

Do your homework & be prepared.  It’s critical to be informed about their business — volume, customer base, general information — so you are able to ask questions of them, too. If you have professional pictures of your work, bring them along in a portfolio. If you’re asked to prepare a sample menu, tailor it to what the restaurant is looking for.

Explain your experience clearly.  When a candidate’s resume shows many transitions, it can raise a red flag. But often there are good reasons for those transitions — the restaurants were all part of the same group, for example — that aren’t clear at first glance. Be able to explain yourself and back up your story.

Stay positive.  When someone speaks badly about their previous employer, that’s another red flag. Obviously each situation is different, but if not getting along with management becomes a pattern in a candidate’s experience, the person hiring may be wary of bringing him or her on. Maintaining good relationships is essential in a people-first business.

 

This article was originally written by Patrice Rice and can also be read here on her LinkedIn page.

New Franchisees: February 2017

Help us welcome our new Franchisees to the P&A family!

 

As our company grows, so does our Patrice and Associates’ family.  Click on each of our new franchisees to learn even more about them!

 

Roberto Sempe

Territory: Northern Virginia

Roberto Sempe Roberto’s passion is helping others reach their potential and achieve their goals. He has a multicultural background and has worked in the US, Europe and several countries in Latin America, having held positions of regional and global responsibility. Roberto’s twenty-five years of experience as a strategic finance professional in the corporate world and his skills as Business Coach and Trainer, allow him to better understand the needs of his customers. He has helped people from different countries improve their leadership and communication skills and his goal is to provide business owners and employees with the tools they need to grow personally and professionally.

 

Margo Kornfeld

Territory: NYC, Tri-State area, National

Margo KornfeldI’m a no-nonsense yet friendly New Yorker whose key strengths include listening, networking, developing trusting relationships and working very hard and passionately to help both clients and candidates succeed. Prior to joining Patrice & Associates, I had a lengthy career as a senior leader in marketing services for all sizes of companies, from Fortune 1000s to moms and pops. I’ve learned that marketing only works when the client’s team is stellar, so I’ve shifted to something more important – helping great companies and great people find each other. I love orchestrating matches in the hospitality industry, as it’s the second largest vertical in this country, after government, and significantly drives our economy. The more people I can help, the more fulfilled I am.

 

Felicia Joseph

Territory: Central New York

Felicia JosephI have had a long career in finance in Corporate America. I felt it was time for a new beginning and to make my own way. I feel that Patrice & Associates gives me this opportunity. By joining this company it will give me the ability to help others develop or enhance their own careers. I am excited to get my business up and running and to see where the new adventure takes me! I want to complete my training quickly and apply the skills learned to my business I feel I have the opportunity to make the Central New York territory one of the most successful in Patrice & Associates.

2016: A Tough Year for the Restaurant Industry

A Tough Year for the Restaurant Industry:

 

Last year proved to be difficult for the restaurant industry. Nation’s Restaurant News reported yesterday that Buffalo Wild Wing’s fourth quarter net earnings plummeted 38.2%. The company’s fourth quarter ended on December 25th, 2016. Company-owned restaurants saw same-store sales fall 4% while franchised stores saw sales fall 3.9%. Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith made a statement about the issue, citing “the challenging restaurant environment” as the source of struggle. Chipotle also took a hard hit in their fourth quarter. As the company dealt with food borne illness outbreaks across the country, net incomes fell 76%.

 
It is no surprise that restaurants nationwide faced similar hardships. For many restaurants, the overall decline in net profits can be traced back to two main contributing factors: weak same-store sales and slow traffic. According to the National Restaurant Association, 42% of operators reported a same-stores sales decline in December of 2016. Operators also reported a 47% decline in traffic for that same month.

 
Expectations and optimism remain high, though, for the year ahead. About 39% of restaurant operators told National Restaurant News that they expect same-store sales and traffic to improve within the next 6 months. This is a 25% jump from when operators were surveyed back in October of 2016. Also heartening for the industry is that 57% of restaurant operators surveyed expect to expand or remodel within the next 6 months.

Dedicated to Success in 2017:

 
Here at Patrice and Associates, we are also optimistic about the year ahead. As the nation’s leading hospitality recruiting firm, we know how fundamentally important staffing is to a restaurant’s success. Finding strong, talented candidates to fill leadership positions can make all the difference when running an effective business. Strong leaders help shape a business’s culture and can be instrumental in improving overall service, efficiency, profitability, and more.

 
Overall, we are excited to continue working hard in 2017. Every day, our dedicated Franchisees and Recruiters help find and place the restaurant industry’s top leaders. By ensuring the success of our clients, we are also ensuring the growth and prosperity of the restaurant industry itself. We look forward to continue doing so now and for many years to come.

6 Tips to Help You Become a Networking Guru

Networking tips from Patrice Rice:

 

6 Tips to Help You Become a Networking GuruNetworking is a skill that makes a huge impact on your career – if you use it correctly. Conversely, bad networking practices can seriously hurt your reputation.

When executed properly, networking can be a great way for the unemployed to get back to work and for corporate middle managers to climb the ranks within their organizations (or at new ones).

To help you make the most of your networking efforts, here are six critical tips:

1. Be the ‘Regular’

Think of the “regular” at a coffee shop, the one who orders “the usual” and knows all the staff members by name. Now channel this energy into a networking group. Consistent attendance will help you remember the stories, hobbies, and goals of others – the important stuff. The subtext of our lives is what draws people in and allows us to get to know people – and those people may very well know somebody hiring!

2. Pay It Forward

Networking is a two-way street, and your willingness to help others is essential. Conversations should be meaningful and purposeful, with the intent to lend a hand. Explain your experiences to those who matter most, but be prepared to listen in return. If you give just as much as you receive, your network of contacts will sing your praises to the right people.

3. Have a Story

Instead of a 30-second elevator speech, develop a transfixing, applicable story to perk the listener’s ears and make them say, “You can do that!?” This is called “differentiation based on experience.”

Put yourself in your listener’s shoes and recall a time when you were engrossed in a story. Think back to your personal experiences or the opportunities you’ve had. Keep in mind the importance of subtext; this differentiating story does not need to be strictly related to your work life. Get with someone who can repeat your story to the right people.

4. Take the Elevator

Don’t wait for people to approach you. Step out of your comfort zone and put yourself in situations where you can meet new people or be exposed to new things. Whether this means signing up for an organized networking event (and attending it alone) or taking the elevator in an office building where you want to branch out, it is essential to put yourself in situations where connections can be made. Opportunities are everywhere; you just have to find them.

5. Create a System

Create a routine process for following up once a connection has been made, and then hold yourself to it. All too often, professionals connect with one another and then lose the exchanged business cards, throwing potential beneficial relationships out the window.

It’s odd to think that maintaining something as organic as a relationship can be boiled down to a system, but it works. Some tips to consider when developing your system include: taking a photo of the business card with your phone before it gets lost; setting a reminder on your phone for an appropriate time to follow up with your new contact via email; and when the reminder alarm goes off, adding all contact information to your address book prior to shooting off the email.

6. Don’t Be Exclusive

Don’t close yourself off to a certain industry or cut a conversation short with someone you feel won’t benefit you. It’s always a good idea to broaden your personal network of professional relationships. Many seemingly contradictory industries are intertwined, so it’s wise to be open to meeting a variety of people.

Long gone are the days when people remained in one position until retirement. Data shows that the average person will make a career change about four times during their working life, if not more, so remain open to all possibilities and broaden your network.

 

This article, written by Patrice Rice, was featured last November on Recruiter.com.  You can view the full article here.