5 ways to hire & retain the best hospitality staff

With the hospitality sector now back up and running following the pandemic, businesses are looking to hire and train the best bar staff in preparation for the festive season and beyond. 

The industry is known for having a high staff turnover, with many employees taking on roles while they are in-between jobs, studying or in need of extra cash. 

Research has shown that along with the entertainment industry, hospitality was one of the hardest-hit sectors in 2020 and staff who were unable to access the government’s furlough scheme, were forced to find alternative employment, leaving many businesses short-staffed and now they have reopened, they are all trying to recruit. 


How to attract and employ the best bar staff 

Staffing issues are endemic at the moment, but it is still more crucial than ever to assemble a dream team. We’ve got years and years of experience in pulling together effective and experienced bar staff for our clients. Here are our top tips:

Use your own network 

The best way to attract good and reliable bar staff is to first reach out to any previous staff you would like back on your team and offer them a job. 

This shows your appreciation and that they were valued members of staff. This also means you will be hiring staff not only with previous hospitality experience, but experience in your systems and way of working.

It will also create a good working relationship amongst staff and will build your reputation as a good employer, which will encourage more people to want to work for you and your business. 



One of the main reasons staff leave the hospitality industry is because it is not seen as a long-term career. 

By offering staff training and the opportunity to learn new skills, not only are employees likely to stay longer, but also use their new skills while working for you. 

This will enhance your business offering, make staff feel confident and valued and create a positive working environment.

If you are looking for bar staff, set up an in-house training programme and ask existing staff what new skills they would like to learn. 


Offer Incentives 

Working in the hospitality industry can be great fun, but also hard work.

It often requires staff to be on their feet all day, work late at night, or early in the morning and can be a thankless task, especially in dealing with rude and impatient customers.

By offering your staff incentives and staff perks, you can make people want to work for you and stay working for you instead of going to a competitor.

Simple schemes such as staff discounts, free lunches on shift, generous annual leave and bonuses can all make a huge difference to your employees.

Also consider team-building exercises, for example, staff tasting sessions when trialling a new menu. 



A good company culture is arguably the most important thing you can deliver to retain and attract the best staff. 

Making sure staff know what shifts they are working with plenty of notice, respecting specific requests. Making sure everyone knows and understands what is expected of them will lead to an organised business, where staff are happy.

Also implement an ‘open door’ policy so staff know who to come to if they are unhappy with something at work or have an issue and make sure everyone knows and understands company policies and procedures.

Having staff slate the management both to each other and friends and family in the community can do a lot of damage. 

As well as rewarding hard work, let staff know you are open to new ideas.

For example, if you are looking for new bar staff, ask your team for their suggestions on how to encourage new people to apply and also new ways of promoting your business to attract new customers. 

This could involve a social media campaign or introducing discounts on certain days or at certain times of the day, but always remember, the staff are the ones on the shop floor. They know the customers best and so use their knowledge. 



When putting together a recruitment ad, try and make it stand out amongst the competition and make prospective employees want to work for you. 

Working in the hospitality industry really is a fun and sociable job.

It is a great way to meet new people and can also offer flexibility for anyone wanting a job that fits in around other commitments such as childcare, studying etc. 

We have a long history of working in hospitality, and we help our clients by connecting them with the best bar staff in the country. From Aberdeen to Southampton, get in touch to find out more.

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