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By Katie McCann
Most people open restaurants to share incredible food and drink with the world and create a unique place for people to gather – not to become experts in restaurant HR.
At large companies, the human resources (HR) department is responsible for hiring and training employees, managing staff benefits like time off and healthcare, and being the employees’ go-to for handling delicate problems like harassment. They’re the “people” experts – while owners and managers get to focus on other business concerns.
But in small businesses like restaurants, the reality is that you end up wearing many hats, and head of HR is usually one of them. From hiring and onboarding staff, to training workers and managing a whole team of employees, there are many less-than-glamorous administrative tasks that restaurant owners are required to do to run a successful restaurant.
While you don’t need an MBA to conduct human resources-related tasks, it’s helpful to be well-versed in the responsibilities of HR in a restaurant – especially if you don’t want these tasks to take up all of your time (of course you don’t). This means you need to create as many efficiencies as possible, such as using HR forms designed specifically for restaurants and restaurant staff.
Fortunately, we’re hooking you up!
In this article we’ll share three downloadable HR forms, with step-by-step instructions for using these PDFs at your restaurant business:
Your free, fillable HR templates designed specifically for restaurants.
These are the three HR forms every restaurant needs to successfully manage your most important human resource: your employees.
When you have systems in place for HR-related tasks, everything goes that much faster. You can spend less time on administrative work (get it right the first time!) and more time on the things that inspired you to open a restaurant in the first place.
HR forms are an integral part of these overall systems and will go a long way toward improving your efficiency and record keeping. And, when you include copies of the human resources forms below in your restaurant employee handbook – along with instructions – your new staff will know exactly how to use them.
After you’ve downloaded the free forms, read on to find out how to use these HR forms in your restaurant to save time on human resources tasks, boost compliance, and to better manage your employees.
A time off request form is a document that your employees fill out to formally ask for periods of time (specific hours, days, weeks) off from work.
Using a time off request form can help you formalize a system for processing requests at your restaurant. Rather than relying on a hodgepodge of methods for receiving requests from your team – verbal requests, emails, texts, sticky notes – this form becomes the only way employees can make a request.
As you process these time off requests, use the forms to record how many vacation, floater, and personal days your employees have used to make sure they aren’t taking more than they’ve accrued.
Once you download our time off request form, share the following instructions with your staff so they know how to fill out each field.
Employee name: Let’s trust they know this one.
Direct manager/supervisor: They should write down the name of their immediate supervisor on this line. If your restaurant has several managers, this field will make sure requests stay organized and get in front of the right decision-maker.
Time off request table: Employees should fill out this table, using the following columns:
Approved: Place a checkmark next to “Yes” if the time off is approved, or next to “No” if the request is denied.
Employee signature: They need to sign and date before submitting the form to management.
Manager signature: The direct manager/supervisor’s signature and date goes here, after the request has been processed.
Note: This HR template was created for as a general guide, so it might not comply with labor regulations in your area. Before your restaurant uses the form, check with local labor laws and customize the form according to requirements in your state or province.
Learn more about how to create a time off request policy and manage requests at your restaurant, then download our time off request form.
Organize and manage time-off requests with our free, fillable template.
Restaurants use an employee evaluation form to assess a staff member’s performance over a certain period of time. These forms facilitate performance reviews, which usually happen around an employee’s milestones at the restaurant (i.e. three-month, six-month, one-year anniversaries).
Our employee evaluation form measures performance in various aspects of someone’s current role AND assesses opportunities for professional growth. When you invest in your employees’ success, they’ll be more invested in the success of your restaurant. They’re likely to work at your restaurant longer, which reduces turnover and ultimates saves you from hiring and training new employees. That’s time and money that stays in your pocket.
Conduct and manage regular employee evaluations with our free, fillable form.
For starters, we highly recommend filling out the form before meeting with your employee for their performance evaluation, so you can objectively evaluate the employee.
Section by section, here’s how to fill out our free form for evaluating your employees.
Employee information: This one’s easy. Write in your employee’s name and title, your name and title, date of the evaluation, and date of the employee’s last evaluation.
Employee performance evaluation: Check out the evaluation table in our template, which will helps you break down and grade your employee’s performance by category. Check off the rating that best suits the employee’s performance for that skill set (1 for poor performance, 5 for exceptional). If you need to elaborate on a rating, use the comment boxes below each one to add details. This comment box is also a great place to mention specific examples that support your rating (i.e. specific actions the employee took). Finally, use the “overall performance” box to summarize your employee’s performance.
Goals: This section prompts you to answer questions about your employee’s strengths, weaknesses, and completion of past goals. Leave the last box (goals for the next review period) blank. You and your employee can fill this out together during their review. When an employee is involved in setting goals, they’re more likely to achieve them.Sign off: Sign and date this line after you’re finished – prior to the in-person review. Have your employee sign their section during the performance review.
Note: We designed this template to cover all restaurant roles, but you can customize the form with categories that suit specific roles at your restaurant or remove some to create a single-page template.
Learn how to conduct an employee performance review (including how to handle a negative performance review), then download our template.
In most restaurants, an employee schedule template is a calendar form that helps owners and managers plan shift schedules for workers. You can also use these templates to communicate who is working when to employees.
Schedule restaurant employees faster with our free, fillable form.
If you haven’t already, download our free employee shift schedule template for your business. Refer to the filled-in first page for an example of what the template looks like when filled out fully, then try your own on the blank second page.
We’ve divided this human resources template by role type, employee name, and a weekly view of when they’re working. You can also customize the form to fit the needs of your restaurant and employees.
Here’s how to modernize your restaurant’s employee scheduling in four simple steps:
Get your hands on our free employee scheduling template below, then learn more about maximizing your restaurant’s employee schedule, including how to share the schedule and handle conflicts as they come up.
While you may not have started a restaurant to become a human resources expert, picking up the basics will improve compliance and help your business run smoother in the long run.
Start your HR form database with our time off request form, employee evaluation form, and employee scheduling template, then add more as your business grows.
Spend less time on administrative restaurant HR tasks and more time doing what you actually love at your restaurant.
Or, ready to upgrade your staffing technology? Ask us about how 7shifts and TouchBistro can automate these processes for restaurants.
Katie is a former Content Marketing Specialist at TouchBistro where she writes about food and restaurant experiences. She doesn’t shy away from the finer things in life, but no matter how much success she continues to acquire, she stays true to her roots and still considers imitation crab as gourmet. If she isn’t writing, you can find her on a patio with friends and a pitcher of white wine sangria.
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