Restaurant Employee Onboarding Checklist | 4 mins read

How to Develop an Onboarding Checklist for Your Restaurant

how to develop an onboarding checklist for your restaurant
Dakota Sheetz

By Dakota Sheetz

Introduction to Restaurant Onboarding

The turnover rate for hospitality industry employees is 70% with 20% of turnover occurring within the first 45 days on a new job. A restaurant employee onboarding checklist can help you retain your new restaurant employee long term.

Why an Onboarding Checklist is Necessary

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A restaurant employee onboarding checklist is an essential part of the employee onboarding process. Whether you are a small business owner or own a chain of restaurants, an onboarding checklist can help you make sure that your new employee can get started effectively.

The first day new employees are on the job can be very stressful, so it is essential to do everything possible to help your new hire feel comfortable in your business. A disorganized and unwelcoming service restaurant company culture will lead to less retention and satisfaction for every team member on staff.

A successful employee onboarding program attempts to find a balance between making your new restaurant employee feel comfortable and apart of your company culture while optimizing both employee engagement and performance. A restaurant employee onboarding checklist may include the following-

  • Providing job description and employee handbook
  • Interviews in accordance with company policy
  • Making sure new hire fits with the company culture
  • Creation of a unique training program
  • Give new hire appropriate paperwork
  • Introduction to any relevant team member or current employee
  • Explanation of dress code
  • Receiving feedback about the onboarding experience

How to Build an Onboarding Checklist

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An effective onboarding checklist should cover the following-

1. Employment offer- A current employee should send an official offer letter and a copy of your employee handbook to your new hire before their first day at the restaurant. Make sure your new restaurant employee has plenty of time to review any provided materials and encourage them to feel comfortable asking questions.

2. Approval of offer- Make sure to engage with your new hire promptly as soon as they have accepted the position. Service restaurant employee engagement and retention both benefit when your new employee feels valued and prioritized. These opening conversations form the first impression that your new hire develops about your company culture so make sure to punctually and kindly communicate.

3. Waiting phase- Despite the acceptance of an initial offer, an employee could still not show up on the first day they are scheduled for a shift. A top talent restaurant retail candidate may be reviewing various offer letters simultaneously. For this reason, it is even more important to stand out from service restaurant competitors.

Throughout the waiting period, a current employee can use a checklist template to create a restaurant employee onboarding checklist unique to your new employee. This is an ideal opportunity to introduce new employees to each current employee especially every team member they will work closely with.

4. First day- Make sure your new employee can feel comfortable when they get started on day one of their employment. A prepared restaurant employee onboarding checklist can help a current employee to facilitate the new employee onboarding process with confidence and expertise.

5. Introductions- Formally introduce every current employee to their new team member and provide opportunities for them to interact informally whenever possible. Make sure that your new employee is aware of any important dress code and company culture specifics before making introductions to avoid any miscommunications or unideal first impressions.

6. Orientation- Employee orientation is a crucial component of any effective restaurant onboarding program. Orientation can help new employees understand more about overall company culture and provide the opportunity to introduce a new hire to important information including-

  • Restaurant origin and history
  • Long term and short term goals
  • Mission statements and slogans
  • Dress code standards
  • Scheduling policies
  • Explanation of benefits

Employee orientation will help new restaurant employees feel comfortable on their first day in their new role. Make sure to encourage question asking and consider implementing team member building exercises into your orientation.

An effective onboarding checklist will make sure a current employee can guide your new hire throughout the onboarding process. Using an onboarding checklist during the onboarding process will also maximize employee engagement and long term restaurant employee retention potential.

Make sure that you do not focus on just the first day of employment and provide consistent check-ins as your new team member becomes adjusted in their new role. Your entire company culture will benefit from creating and maintaining a restaurant employee onboarding checklist.

In the restaurant retail and service restaurant industry it is crucial that you stand out from other competitors especially if you are a small business owner.

Set every current employee and yourself up for success by developing an onboarding process that is effective from the first day to the first week and throughout your new hire's employment.