Is Hiring Students Worth the Investment?

Hiring students to work at your restaurant seems pretty normal. However, employing younger staff members comes with both benefits and drawbacks. Is it the right decision for your restaurant? Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

Think about Training Time

If you hire students to work at your restaurant, it will likely be their first or second job. You will have to train them on every little detail of the job. This will likely include handwashing, food preparation, how to use a cash register, and even how to respond to a cranky customer. Because of their lack of experience, you will most likely have to train young employees on how to be polished and professional.

However, you also won't have to train young employees on how to move away from bad habits that were learned at other jobs. In other words, if you hire a hard-working, capable teenager with the right attitude, it can be easier to start from scratch rather than retraining an employee with prior experience.

Be Aware of Any Restrictions

Most people who work part-time jobs do so because they have other commitments. However, hiring young, part-time employees can come with some restrictions that you don't have to worry about with adult employees. For instance, state laws vary but some states have strict rules in regard to the number of hours teenagers can work, how late they can work, and what tasks they can do. Make sure you're following the law before you hire teens.

Know the Benefits

Many teenagers want jobs in order to save for college, which is great. However, some may find that working in a restaurant opens their eyes to a career in culinary arts. After all, because high schools focus on preparing students for college, teens aren't often exposed to the many other options that are out there.

By hiring teenagers at your restaurant, you're giving them the opportunity to learn about a career field that they may not have considered. Working in a restaurant will also allow them to start training from the ground up and learn all aspects of the business. It can help prepare them for either a culinary arts or restaurant management school, as well as help them grow at your establishment should they continue their career there.

Help Launch Their Career

Helping someone prepare for a future career can be labor-intensive for a restaurant manager or chef, but it can also be rewarding and worth the hard work. And while not every teen will want to make a career out of the restaurant business, that doesn't mean that they can't be an asset to your business. Working in a restaurant is hard work, and knowing how to be successful on the job can be a great learning experience. In other words, not only will you be helping young employees save money for future expenses, but you'll be teaching them how to work well with others, how to work hard, and how to think on their feet.

So should you invest in hiring students or teens? The answer is almost certainly "yes." Every restaurant has entry-level positions, as well as more complex roles. Entry-level employees tend to earn less money than experienced workers, so by hiring younger employees, you can save some cash while helping them learn the ropes of the working world.

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