Slow To Hire, Quick To Fire

Slow To Hire, Quick To Fire

When setting up your new café it is vital to choose the right team, and to create an atmosphere where your staff can excel.

The next set of blogs will outline how you can get the most out of your team.

Slow To Hire, Quick To Fire

When hiring your team for your new café, it is so important to employ the right team members. Your future may just depend on it. It is so hard to get it right every time, as when interviewing applicants you are really seeing how good they are at their rehearsed interview techniques. You need to take a considered approach and trust your gut when deciding. A 90 day trial is important as this will allow you to get rid of unwanted staff (make sure it is written into your contract).

It is better to have an all round cohesive team than star individuals who think the world (and café) revolves around them. Your team must be able to work together.

When interviewing applicants for your new cafe, get a feel for how confident they are and also their grasp on English. Customers need to be able to understand your staff. You want people who are confident, positive, fun, hard working, trust worthy, prompt and so on. They will likely be nervous in the interview so give them a little wiggle room here. After the interview, see how they leave. It is a good sign if they shake your hand, get up and briskly walk out as opposed to casually leaving the premise.

If the interview goes well, get them to come back in for a paid 3 hour trial. That will give you an idea as to whether they fit into the café or not. Ask your trusted team members for feedback after the trial.

My best ever team member was a girl I employed at my café in 2008. Her auntie phoned me and organised the interview as she wasn’t in Auckland. I was skeptical that she would even turn up as who gets their auntie to organise interviews!

When she arrived (15 minutes early), on her way into the café she cleared a nearby table and stacked the dishes in the dishes area, and let me know that she was here for the interview. I was impressed! She got the job and went on to be the café manager. She was a star employee.

It takes just one bad team member to upset the whole balance, and customers will quickly notice the atmosphere shift in a café. Use the 90 day trial to filter out the bad eggs.

You won’t get it right every hire, but remember the rule. Slow to hire, quick to fire (within the limits of the law).

See you next time.


Ps. If you would like to discuss our marketing offer for cafes, contact us at

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