If you’re an experienced caterer or event planner, you’ve probably hired your fair share of wait staff.
The catering wait staff hiring process can be time-consuming and expensive. It’s often filled with a lot of resume digging, background checks, and interviews, or even ridiculous hidden fees from temporary hiring agencies.
If this sounds like you, hiring wait staff shouldn’t be hard, and can be a walk in the park with the right knowledge and help. These days, there are new hiring methods that reduce hiring costs and time to hire, improve banquet server quality, and relieve tax burdens.
If you’re facing another round of hiring and want to find a better way, here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
Table of Contents
- Factors to Consider Before Hiring
- Server Hiring Options
- The Benefits of On-Demand Staffing
Factors to Consider Before Hiring Servers
Before you start hiring wait staff for an event, there are some considerations to take into account that can make the experience more efficient and less stressful.
First, you have to decide on your goals for the event and the number of servers you’ll need to achieve those goals if you don’t have the necessary staff, you’ll need to hire.
From there, you’ll choose a hiring method and the employee classification of your servers (contractor, part-time, full-time), create a job description to post and decide when to hire wait staff.
That’s just the beginning, resumes and interviews await once you’ve posted your job. There is a way to avoid all this hassle; it’s called on-demand hiring (but more on that later).
When to Hire
Your hiring timeline will rely heavily on the catering wait staff hiring option that you choose.
For example, job boards, referrals, and traditional staffing agencies can stretch the time to hire out for weeks. You’ll need to know your needs well ahead of time and start the hiring process early.
On the other hand, more modern on-demand staffing services allow businesses to hire a qualified employee in hours. If you aren’t going to know how many employees you’ll need until a couple of days before the event, try using on-demand staffing services for a quick, quality hire.
Full-time Employees vs. Temporary Independent Contractors
Although most event staff and servers are on temporary contracts, full-time employees also have their benefits.
By hiring full-time employees, you can hang on to reliable talent, giving your company consequential stability. However, there’s a reason most event planners and catering companies hire mainly independent contractors.
Independent contractors offer reduced business and tax costs because employers avoid:
- Payroll taxes
- Unemployment insurance
- Workers’ compensation claims
- Pension plans
- Health and dental insurance
- Paid vacation time
- Paid sick days
Deciding if you want the security and stability of a full-time employee or the flexibility and reduced costs of an independent contractor can be challenging. Often, it comes down to whether your business can absorb the expense of full-time employees.
For many event planners and catering businesses, especially smaller ones, the monetary benefits of independent contractors outweigh hiring full-time employees.
Compensation and Job Descriptions
Before hiring wait staff, you’ll need to decide on what you’ll pay them.
How much does it cost to hire wait staff?
According to data from Glassdoor, salaries for event servers range from $8 an hour to over $23 depending on the state, with a national average of $16 per hour. You’ll need to make your pay competitive, given these figures, if you want to hire quality servers.
After, if you’re going to use a traditional job board, create a server job description to post.
A full job post contains a thorough job description that includes:
- Job title
- Job summary
- Duties and Responsibilities
- Skills and Qualifications
- Job Type (Full-time, part-time, independent contractor)
- Equal Opportunity Employment Disclaimer
After completing your post, you’ll sort through resumes to find top candidates and interview potentially dozens of people, depending on how many positions you need to fill.
If you’re going to go the DIY hiring job board route, remember to get a head start at creating your job description to post and get ready to review incoming resumes and interviews.
Server Hiring Options
Job boards and temp agencies have traditionally dominated the catering wait staff hiring space, but there are several options for hiring wait staff. Each of these methods has pros and cons, so you’ll have to decide which is best for your hiring needs.
Option number one to staff weddings, events, and parties is on-demand staffing. On-demand staffing is unlike traditional job boards in that it connects qualified, vetted independent contractors with employers who need their skills and experience through an app.
Where traditional job boards use a website and the old fashioned resume approach to hiring, on-demand staffing takes the hassle out of the equation for employers. No interviews or vetting—just a flexible, fast, cost-effective, hiring solution.
Job boards remain one of the most common options for hiring catering wait staff. Popular job boards like Indeed and Glassdoor allow employers to post job listings on their websites to attract candidates.
Unfortunately, job boards are overcrowded, and they create a lot of work for employers who have to sort through resumes from often unqualified candidates to find a single server.
Still, if you have the time and resources to make the hiring effort, job boards can help you find top-quality talent.
Traditional Temp Staffing Agencies
That’s not to say that traditional staffing agencies don’t have their place. Each year, staffing companies in the US alone hire 16 million temporary and contract employees.
Social Media and Referrals
Social media posts are a great way to attract candidates to your job listing. However, it takes time and effort to recruit through social media, so unless you know you’re going to have months to hire, it might not make sense to use this option.
Employee referrals are another option to help your hiring process. However, while some of your employees could bring quality referrals, most of the time, you won’t be able to fill all your hiring needs through referrals alone, especially for larger events. That makes referrals more of a stop-gap than a hiring solution.
The Benefits of On-Demand Staffing
When it comes to hiring servers for weddings, events, and parties, the benefits of on-demand staffing are undeniable.
Qwick is a temp restaurant staffing service that provides reliable servers for weddings, events, and parties in minutes all from a modern, easy to use app. The revolutionary platform allows qualified servers to sign up to be a part of their service. Then, if the servers pass a stringent evaluation process, they become eligible Qwick Professionals.
For employers, filling shifts with Qwick Professionals is as easy as posting a job and waiting for a match. It’s a modern hiring solution that takes the burden of conducting server interviews, reviewing resumes, handling tax forms, and navigating background checks off of employers. Not to mention the reduced expenses and time to hire.
Plus, Qwick uses a mobile-first hiring strategy, which is the way of the future. In fact, over 90% of adults use their mobile devices to find jobs. And those numbers are only going to increase as Gen Z continues to enter the workforce.
The question becomes if the majority of servers are finding work on their phone, why not target that audience with the most modern, mobile-friendly hiring solution?
If you’re tired of having an email box filled with unqualified resumes from job boards, or if you want to reduce the hiring costs of expensive temp agencies, give on-demand staffing a try.