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4 tips for hiring young, committed employees in a busy restaurant

Many restaurant owners find it difficult to hire suitable, qualified employees who stay longer than a season.
Article 4_O&A

Many restaurant owners find it difficult to hire suitable, qualified employees who stay longer than a season. Rick Kim, General Manager and co-owner of the Olive & Anchor restaurant in Horseshoe Bay believes he's found a winning recipe to finding and hiring the right staff.

"Employees are an important part of our business," Rick says. "At the Olive & Anchor, we believe in being inclusive, in giving kids a chance. We're rewarded with people who enjoy working here and stay right through high school and into university until they've decided on a full-time career."

Here are four tips from Rick to find and keep restaurant staff, based on his experience in the Olive & Anchor:

1.     Don't take stock answers

When asked to name their strengths, candidates often say "I'm always on time" or "I'm hardworking."

"I tell them, 'whoa, stop right there,'" says Rick. "Those two things are a given. I don't give my chefs merit points or a reward for the quality of food, because that's an expectation. I want people who can think for themselves, who are willing to make decisions when necessary. I want the Olive & Anchor to be remembered for giving people chances."

2.     Don't micro manage

"At the Olive & Anchor," Rick explains, "we believe in macro managing. We give kids positive reinforcement and challenges every day. I'm not concerned if they make mistakes. I want to know if they can fix those mistakes and move forward."

3.     Close one day a week

The Olive & Anchor is closed for business on Sundays.

"I want employees to have a guaranteed time off with their families," Rick says. "I've had staff tell me that closing on Sundays means much more than just a day off. It's a day they can spend with their families – their partner isn't working, and the kids are home from school."

4.     Empower your employees

Along with not micro managing, Rick and his team at the Olive & Anchor, believe in empowering young employees to make decisions when they're comfortable.

"I'm not here all the time," Rick says. "I want staff that can take initiative. I give them parameters within which to work, so they don't feel uncomfortable or confused, but basically I want them making decisions related to their work."

To view the menu and daily lunch and dinner specials, or to make a reservation, call 604.921.8848, visit the website, email or stop by the restaurant at 6418 Bay Street, West Vancouver. The Olive and Anchor can also be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.