Cluboid’s comprehensive guide to choosing and maintaining the best staff for your business. Every venue needs a dream team, and here is just how to find and optimise yours...

Finding your bar & nightclub dream team

Much like any good action movie team or superhero collective, your staff should each bring a unique and valuable skill to the table - like the Fantastic Four or, you know, that time the Avengers assembled. The booksmart one, the brave one, the charming one… the stereotypes are there for a reason. They’re the components to building your ultimate task force. When pulled together by a smart recruiter, their combined skill can do wonders for the progression of a business.

Some are great with numbers, and will spot a discrepancy on a spreadsheet in a matter of seconds. Others are great with people, and can somehow negotiate selling sand to the desert. The interesting part is that more often than not, these people could never dream of doing what the other does with ease.

Building your bar and nightclub dream team is a lot like a form of social matchmaking. Their personalities should be complementary, and as the boss, ensuring that is your job. But before we go into that, let’s take a look at some of the first things you should concern yourself with when interviewing a new candidate...

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Check for the 3 A’s Ability, Attitude and Appearance. Are they qualified? Are they enthusiastic? Are they presentable?

Identify what you are looking for in absolute terms before the interview Claiming that you’ll ‘just know when you meet them’ makes you more susceptible to employing someone who doesn’t integrate well with your business or gel with your current staff.

Don’t fall prey to sweet-talk. Establish why the candidate left/wants to leave their previous or current role and always follow up with their references for validation.

Consider who is right for the role This may sound like an obvious one, but if you’re looking for one person to do bar back office and another for FOH, you will need to hire and interview accordingly.

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Once you’ve used these pointers to locate your crack team, you now need to make sure that everyone plays nice. Whilst it would be unreasonable to assume the whole team immediately bonds like a family, there are some things you can do to increase the likelihood of harmony in the workplace. This begins with setting strict expectation guidelines, maximising use of individual skill, and assigning responsibilities so that everyone learns to appreciate each other’s company value:

PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS:

Right from the offset, your staff need to know what is expected of them individually. Not just from the job spec, but on a personal level. If you want them to engage and give input, say so. If you expect them to get along and remain professional in the face of disagreement, then you can also stipulate that now.

Working in harmony of course has a lot to do with respect for others, but is rooted in feeling valued themselves. Establish joint goals, and specify how each individual will help the company work toward those joint goals by using their unique abilities. If everyone has a clear idea of their purpose and place within the company, they are much more determined to do their part to the best possible standard. No one wants to feel like they’ve let their teammates down.

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MAXIMISING INDIVIDUAL SKILL:

Get to know what drives your team as individuals. Take the time to discover what they’re passionate about and see how you can incorporate it into the business for mutual benefit. You might discover that one team member is a fantastic artist, so hand them creative control over the chalkboards or seasonal decorations. Another may be studying marketing, so encourage any ideas that they might have to improve the business, and drive in more custom. By letting each member of your team use their strengths, they learn to appreciate and develop respect for each other. This is often very conducive to a happy work environment. Bear in mind that some personality types are more forthcoming than others with sharing things like interests, so make sure not to neglect the quieter members of your team for the bigger characters.

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ASSIGNING RESPONSIBILITIES:

Mutually relying on each other is another way to encourage your staff to bond. If each member has been given specific responsibilities to undertake - responsibilities that are based around their skill - then they need each other in order to function properly as a business. It’s important also, in which case, to try not to micromanage. Step back, observe, and give them the opportunity to show you what they’re made of. Have enough faith in the guidelines you have set to give them the chance to succeed. This then also frees up more of your time for managerial matters. ‘Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.’ By doing this, you’ll also quickly establish who is invested and engaged with their role, and who isn’t, who is planning to stay long-term at your company and who is just passing through.

Finding the most appropriate people for your business vision is absolutely crucial to a successful business. Spending a fortune on marketing might get customers through the door, but in the age of feedback and referral platforms like Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor and so on, what you want to be concerned with is word of mouth. Referrals are one of the most effective incentives to try something new, in fact, 74% of consumers identify referrals as their biggest influencer. Guess who’s not going to be getting one if your service was rubbish?

Remember...

Finding the most appropriate people for your business vision is absolutely crucial to a successful business. Spending a fortune on marketing might get customers through the door, but in the age of feedback and referral platforms like Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor and so on, what you want to be concerned with is word of mouth. Referrals are one of the most effective incentives to try something new, in fact, 74% of consumers identify referrals as their biggest influencer. Guess who’s not going to be getting one if your service was rubbish?

About the Author

Karim Kaling is a regular writer at Cluboid focused on helping large and small businesses achieve better bookings and reservations.

You can read more posts by Karim on our blog.

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