Hiring Seasonal Help for Your Restaurant

From rooftop bars to dining patios, sunshine is sure to bring customers to your outdoor areas during the summer months. Instead of stretching your staff too thin, consider hiring seasonal help to handle the annual influx of guests. Follow these guidelines to stay on top of your busy season without compromising service or quality.

What to Consider Before Hiring Seasonal Help

Advantages of Hiring Seasonal Help

Before jumping right into the hiring process, ask yourself these questions to determine whether seasonal help is the right solution for your establishment.

  • Are we busy at the same time every year? There’s a big difference between a steady growth in customers and encountering a busy season. If your restaurant seems to experience busy times consistently throughout the year, it may be time to expand your full-time staff. Alternatively, if year after year you experience a hike in business around Mother's Day to Labor Day or Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, this is a good indication seasonal help could be beneficial.
  • Do I have the time to train new staff? Taking the time to properly and thoroughly train seasonal help can be unappealing for business owners. It’s a time-consuming process for a short-term situation. However, it’s important to remember that every staff member, whether full-time or seasonal, represents your company to the customer, and a compromise in customer service could cost your reputation.
  • Do I understand the legal impact of hiring seasonal workers? Restaurant owners may not realize that seasonal employees could be eligible for certain benefits such as unemployment. Because this varies state by state, it is recommended you check your local regulations before bringing on new staff members. Similarly, contact your insurance company about coverage for seasonal employees and find out how this may impact your current rates.

Hiring the Right Employees for Seasonal Help

Once you’ve decided that seasonal help will be beneficial for your business, there are several things to keep in mind when beginning the hiring process. Since these seasonal staff members are only on board for a few months out of the year, it would be a waste of time for you to interview, hire, and train someone who didn’t work out. Consider the following as you begin your candidate recruitment process.

  • Keep expectations clear in the job description. State in the title of the job posting that this is seasonal work only. An example would include “Host / Hostess (Part Time, Summer Only).” Within the job description, list out all duties you expect the candidate to perform, including any labor-intensive tasks or challenges involved.
  • Identify candidates who have the potential to become permanent, full-time employees. Instead of simply filling a temporary position, consider whether or not you could see a candidate moving on to become a full-time employee. This could save time and hassle when it comes to filling a full-time position in the future or once the season is over.
  • Look for quick learners with positive attitudes. While hiring employees with relevant experience is usually preferred, identifying candidates who learn quickly and present positive attitudes can be equally as rewarding. Seasonal workers may need to learn some skills on the job, so a willingness to do so can go a long way.
  • Begin the hiring process early. If you’re looking to fill positions for the holiday season, begin posting job descriptions toward the end of the summer. It takes time to create interest, interview applicants, and properly train new hires. Getting all of this done before your busy season ensures a smooth and stress-free transition.
  • Get referrals and recommendations from current exemplary staff members. Your staff knows what you expect of your employees. Because of this, they can make valuable connections between you and potential new hires who they believe are qualified for the job.
  • Target the right applicants. Seasonal work is ideal for high school kids and college students looking for summer jobs. Or, market your business to recent college graduates who need time to figure out their next move. Teachers looking for extra cash during the summer and retirees also make great candidates for seasonal hire.

Training for Seasonal Help

Tips for Training and Hiring Seasonal Help

Your customers won’t know the difference between temporary hires and full-time staff. Because of this, training seasonal help should be the same or very similar to the process you use to train permanent staff members. Although it’s for a shorter period of time, these temporary servers, hosts, or bartenders are being paid to represent your company name and are expected to offer the same level of customer service as full-time staff. It is recommended you train all seasonal staff members at once to save time and ensure consistency.

If you were thorough in your interview process, you should have found candidates who have good interpersonal skills and who demonstrate the ability to interact well with customers and fellow staff members. During their training period, promote the best benefits about the job to motivate and excite staff. For example, if your seasonal staff is expected to work a lot of weekend hours, remind them about the potential for great tips.

How to Keep Employees from Quitting Mid-Season

Once you’ve acquired top-notch new hires, it’s important to keep them from quitting mid-season. A sudden loss of employees can leave you understaffed and out of time to begin the hiring process over again. Along with taking the time to properly and thoroughly train seasonal hires, there are a few precautions you can take to keep staff happy during their time with your restaurant.

  • Offer bonuses or incentives. Offering bonuses or incentives for those who complete the season may seem excessive, but it’s a highly effective method for retaining seasonal help. Giving your staff an extra reason to stay can make the difference between a smooth season and a bumpy ride. Make it clear in your job description posting that you’ll be offering incentives to make your business more desirable to work for from the beginning.
  • Create a positive work environment that makes seasonal hires feel welcomed. Eliminate any rivalry or tension between your temporary and full-time staff by encouraging seasonal employees to participate in company activities and programs. Making sure your temporary staff feels welcomed is a simple way to ensure retention and shouldn’t be overlooked.
  • Respect employees' personal schedules. Whether it’s the summer months or the holiday season, it’s important to remember your seasonal staff is working at a time others may normally have off. They’ll want to enjoy the warm weather or seasonal activities as well, and you need to provide clear expectations about how many days or hours they can be expected to work. Letting employees know how many days on or off they’ll have each week as well as providing flexibility in their schedule can help seasonal employees better plan and enjoy their time off.

  • Having too many employees on the clock during a slow day takes away from your restaurant’s profits and can hurt your bottom line. Because of this, seasonal hiring can be advantageous for business owners during busy seasons. By keeping your business well-staffed for the busy season, your staff can adjust quickly to workload fluctuations, respond effectively to increased customer demand, and ensure customers experience shorter wait times and faster service.

    Posted in: Management & Operation | Seasonal | By Rachel Jenkins

What Is a Springform Pan?


Springform pans feature a removable bottom and adjustable sides meant to eliminate the risks associated with removing cakes from traditional pans.

Springform pans are a kitchen essential for producing flawlessly smooth cheesecakes, perfectly crusted tarts, or intricate ice cream cakes without damage to their tops, bottoms, or sides. Removing your product from the pan is the final step before placing your delicate treats on display, serving to the customer, or packaging them to go.

How to Use a Springform Pan

Springform pans are easy to use and can be rewarding when it comes to producing a flawless final product. Follow these easy steps to effectively use your springform pan.

  • First, ensure your bottom and sides fit together securely. This can help reduce or eliminate leakage.
  • Once the sides and bottom are put together and the clamps are shut, fill the pan with your desired ingredients.
  • Bake your dish to completion and let cool.
  • If you are not using a nonstick pan, use a butter knife to loosen the edges around the sides. For nonstick pans, use a small rubber spatula or scraper.
  • Unhinge the clasp and remove the sides.
  • Serve as is, or remove the bottom by carefully sliding the cake onto a tray or lifting with a spatula.

What Can I Bake in My Springform Pan?


Springform pans are designed primarily for use with delicate desserts such as cheesecake, ice cream cake, and bread pudding. It is recommended you choose recipes with thicker batters, as the thin batter of desserts such as flan can easily leak. Its removable sides and bottom ensure these treats stay intact while being prepared for service.

Modern bakers and restaurateurs are finding new and creative ways to put these important pans to use. For example, these pans are perfect for sweet or savory pies made with press-in crusts because they won’t stick to the sides of your pan. Or, some chefs create show-stopping specials by preparing pasta dishes such as rigatoni pie in springform pans. From cheese tarts to frozen cakes, you can make memorable presentations that are outside of the norm to impress your guests.

How to Keep a Springform Pan from Leaking

Due to their convenient, breakaway design, springform pans are prone to leaking. Here are a few tips to help reduce or eliminate leaking.

  • Choosing a higher quality pan for your commercial kitchen is recommended to avoid immediate leaking issues or to help reduce the chance of a problem developing in the future.
  • Opt for a traditional, non-springform pan if you plan on baking items with thin batters that may easily leak out of the pan.
  • When cooking baked goods in a water bath, place your springform pan inside a slightly larger cake pan to both prevent leakage and protect your batter from excess moisture.
  • For cooking baked goods without a water bath, place a layer or two of aluminum foil along the entire outside of your springform pan. Crimp the foil over the top of the sides to ensure it stays in place.

What Springform Pan Sizes are Available?

Most springform pan sizes have a depth of 3 inches, which can be significantly taller than traditional cake pans. The top diameter typically ranges from about 6 to 12 inches. Plus, some pans include interchangeable bottoms for maximum versatility.

What Can I Use as a Springform Pan Substitute?

You may use a traditional cake pan wrapped in aluminum foil or a disposable pan as a springform pan substitute.

While it’s best to use a springform pan with delicate baked goods such as cheesecakes or ice cream cakes, the following methods have the potential to mimic its effects. Keep in mind, however, that these may not be as reliable or produce such consistent results as using a springform pan.

If you’re in a pinch but have a traditional cake pan lying around, you may be able to get similar results by lining the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. It’s important to leave plenty of material hanging outside of the pan. This will allow you, with the help of another employee, to hold the pan down and lift the edges of the paper out from the pan. This will create a sling for your baked good and hopefully keep it intact as it’s removed from the pan. Keep in mind, however, if you are using a traditional cake pan, the size may vary and you’ll need to adjust the time or temperature of your oven.

Another option would be to bake your batter in a disposable cake pan. Again, you may need to adjust the time or temperature of your oven because these tend to be shorter in height than springform pan. With disposable pans, once your product is cooked and cooled, you can use a knife and scissors to cut the pan away from your dessert. This method, however, can be time consuming for commercial kitchens. In addition, you’ll need to stock a large number of disposable pans, which can create problems in establishments with smaller storage areas.

Springform pans feature an innovative design for effectively extracting your delicate cakes, pies, tarts, and pasta creations. Keeping your product intact from start to finish ensures an enticing and professional presentation, whether it's served right away or put on display in your bakery or restaurant.

Posted in: Kitchen & Cooking Tips | Bakeries | By Rachel Jenkins

Mother's Day Restaurant Ideas

Taking Mom out for brunch on Mother’s Day is a tradition that’s becoming more popular each year. If you own a restaurant, this holiday gives you the opportunity to bring in more customers than any other day. To help your restaurant stand out from the competition, decorate your space and offer mothers special treats that mark the occasion. From organization tips to Mother’s Day menu ideas, we’ve created a guide to help your establishment make the most of this day. Keep reading to see our Mother’s Day restaurant ideas and get inspiration for enticing promotions.

Ideas for Mother’s Day Restaurant Offers

According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for restaurants. With more than half the country’s population planning to dine out on Mother’s Day, your establishment needs to offer promotions that will stand out from your competition. Check out these suggestions for simple ways your restaurant can bring in more customers this Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day restaurant offers

Open Earlier Than Usual

If your business typically only opens for lunch and dinner, consider opening a little earlier on Mother's Day to take advantage of the large number of diners who will be searching for a great place to eat before lunchtime. This also gives you the opportunity to serve an exclusive Mother’s Day brunch menu.

Offer Discounted or Free Food to Moms

Giving your customers the opportunity to save a little money is a great way to make your business stand out. Try offering a discount for mothers’ entrees or make their entree free with the purchase of another. During your dinner service, you can offer mothers a free cocktail or dessert to complete their meals.

Try a Prix Fixe Menu

Prix fixe menus are not only a great way for your restaurant to maximize profits, but they also make things simpler for your guests. On a holiday that is so popular for dining out, families may eat together in big groups, and a prix fixe menu could make things easier when it comes time to pay. Plus, you can more easily prepare for a limited menu by buying fewer ingredients than usual, and your chefs can work more efficiently with fewer menu items to cook.

Have a Raffle for Prizes

You can put together a gift basket or give away a gift certificate to one of the moms celebrating at your restaurant this Mother’s Day. Give each mother a ticket and announce a winner during your meal service to help your customers feel special.

Partner with a Charity

For your customers, Mother’s Day is the chance to thank their mother, grandmother, or other special loved one for what she does. Your restaurant can encourage the grateful spirit of the day by donating proceeds to a charity like a local women’s shelter, hospital, or food bank. If you promote this partnership before the holiday, you may even attract more customers who appreciate your generosity to other organizations.

How to Prepare Your Restaurant for Mother’s Day

To make this holiday a success, you need to prepare your restaurant for a higher volume of customers. Here are our suggestions to help your establishment to stay organized for Mother’s Day.

Consider Hiring Seasonal Staff

Even though Mother’s Day is only one day, some customers may celebrate in the weeks before or after the holiday. As a result, you may need to take on some temporary staff members for the month of May. You’ll want to make sure you have enough staff coverage to maintain a smooth service.

Take Mother’s Day Reservations

Even if your restaurant doesn’t normally take reservations, Mother’s Day is the perfect time to accept them. This helps you anticipate how many staff members you’ll require and how much food you’ll need to prepare. Plus, many customers will like the security of having a reserved table on the busiest day of the year.

Consider Setting Up More Tables than Usual

If you have any extra space that isn’t ordinarily used for seating (like a patio), you may want to set out a few extra tables for the day. Be sure not to put too many tables in your space, as this could create an unpleasant experience for your customers and your servers. Choose special place mats, tablecloths, and centerpieces to make your meal service unique for the holiday.

Mother’s Day Brunch Menu Ideas

Mother's Day brunch ideas

Planning a menu specifically for Mother’s Day is one way to help your meal service feel like a special occasion, and it can simplify the preparation process for your kitchen staff, too. If you’re unsure of what to serve in your restaurant this Mother’s Day, check out our menu suggestions below.

  • Baked French Toast: This dish is quicker than making pieces of french toast individually because it can be assembled in large pans. It can even be reheated to order. Fresh berries and cream on top make this a sweet choice that’s a twist on traditional brunch fare.
  • Frittata: Quicker than quiche, frittatas can be prepared with many different ingredients to satisfy customers’ cravings for savory foods. Additionally, you can get creative with your toppings, offering anything from salmon and dill to tomato and cheddar.
  • Moroccan Poached Eggs: Offering something a little different can help set your brunch apart from all the rest. This North African dish, also called shakshuka, is a nod to the trend of international cuisine taking center stage and will entice your more adventurous moms. Served with a simple flatbread, this dish is a showstopper.
  • Monte Cristo Sandwich: This classic grilled ham and cheese sandwich is made with french toast as its bread. To simplify preparation, you can use the same bread you use for your baked french toast.
  • Parfait: A lighter option of yogurt, berries, and granola is a healthy choice that’s as pretty as it is delicious. Parfaits also make a great side dish or dessert that’s perfect as an add-on item.

How to Promote Your Restaurant for Mother’s Day

Now that you have a plan for how to prepare your restaurant for Mother’s Day, you need a strategy for getting the word out to potential customers.

Mother's Day menu ideas

Social media is a great tool for reaching customers on Mother’s Day and every day. If you have a sizable number of followers, posting announcements on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is an effective way to get the word out about any events you may be planning at your restaurant this Mother’s Day.

Don't worry if you haven’t built up a big social media following. Word of mouth and flyers can work just as well. In the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, have your servers encourage customers to come back for your special brunch. You can also print out flyers and hang them in a visible place inside your restaurant. If you have a good relationship with any local community groups, ask if you can post your flyers on their bulletin boards.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Mother’s Day this year, make sure you don’t lose sight of the most important part: celebrating moms! Encourage your staff to take the time to wish a happy Mother’s Day to all the moms who visit your business and do your best to maintain a pleasant atmosphere, even if service becomes very busy. As you prepare for this big day, be sure to refer to our Mother’s Day restaurant ideas for inspiration and guidance.

Posted in: Holidays | Menu Tips | By Christine Potts

Top 10 Underrated Foodie Cities in the U.S.

When you think of the best cities in the United States for food, you probably think of places like New York City, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. While these cities do have amazing food, the food scene in the U.S. has grown significantly, and new and great restaurants are popping up all over the country. As a result, there are many cities around the country that you may not expect to have great food and drink culture. Here is our list of the top 10 underrated foodie cities in the U.S.

10. Providence, Rhode Island

top foodie cities in the U.S.

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the U.S., but the capital, Providence, has big flavors that make it a culinary destination. Providence has access to fresh seafood like lobster, oysters, clams, and calamari, which have a major presence in the city’s food culture. In addition to seafood and typical New England fare, Providence is home to many ethnic restaurants that give visitors some variety.

Notable Restaurants in Providence:

  • birch: Featuring a small and intimate dining space, birch is an ideal spot for a romantic or fine-dining experience.
  • Matunuck Oyster Bar: If you're looking to sample the day's catch, check out Matunuck Oyster Bar, just south of the city.
  • North: North takes local meats, seafood, and produce and gives them an Asian-inspired twist.

9. Portland, Maine

underrated foodie cities

Located on the coast of Maine, Portland has access to some of the best and freshest seafood in the United States, especially lobster and crab. Many Portland chefs are finding ways to take seafood and incorporate it in their menus and recipes, combining their New England heritage with other cultures and cuisines. The result is a unique food culture that is worth a visit.

Notable Restaurants in Portland:

  • Vinland: Vinland specializes in 100% local and organic food presented in beautiful and unique ways.
  • Duckfat: Making use of artisanal ingredients, Duckfat creates upscale sandwiches and lunch fare.
  • Fore Street: This establishment is one of the city's oldest restaurants, and they serve local and fresh seafood and produce.

8. Grand Rapids, Michigan

top underrated foodie cities

You may have heard that Grand Rapids is one of the leading producers of craft beer in the country, but did you know they also have a growing food scene? Many of the breweries offer top-tier food, and there are excellent restaurants scattered all over the city. Plus, Grand Rapids is surrounded by lush farms, leading to a dynamite farm-to-table scene.

Notable Restaurants in Grand Rapids:

  • Brewery Vivant: This brewpub is serving craft beers and Franco-Belgian food in a former funeral chapel.
  • Electric Cheetah: Serving local and organic food, Electric Cheetah is a gourmet diner that is the perfect place to go if you're craving comfort food.
  • Osteria Rossa: If you're looking for a traditional Italian dining experience, this is the place to go. Osteria Rossa uses local Michigan ingredients, and all of the pasta is homemade.

7. Boise, Idaho

up and coming foodie cities in the U.S.

When you think of Boise, Idaho, the first thing you think of probably isn’t a booming food scene. While Idaho does have lots of potatoes, the capital city is home to a unique food culture. Boise is home to the largest Basque community in the United States, and they brought their Spanish and European flavors to the city.

Notable Restaurants in Boise:

  • State & Lemp: Starting out as a pop-up restaurant, State & Lemp has become Boise’s pre-eminent tasting menu restaurant.
  • Fork: Sourcing most of their ingredients from local Boise and Northwest suppliers, Fork serves familiar American cuisine that everyone can enjoy.
  • Epi's Basque Restaurant: Using recipes passed down from the owner’s grandmother, Epi’s has authentic and delicious Basque cuisine.

6. Honolulu, Hawaii

most underrated foodie cities

The Hawaiian islands are in the process of a culinary revolution as chefs return to their roots to create traditional Hawaiian foods. For years, the dominant cuisine in Honolulu was Hawaiian fusion, which has since fallen out of favor for more rustic, simple, and traditional Hawaiian dishes. Honolulu also has the unique benefit of access to fresh, wild-caught fish and local produce, which has created a unique local food culture.

Notable Restaurants in Honolulu:

  • Senia: Opened in 2016, Senia has quickly become a favorite with both tourists and locals for its fresh and traditional dishes.
  • The Pig and the Lady: Serving a variety of Asian-inspired dishes, The Pig and the Lady has a fast-paced and exciting energy.
  • Alan Wong's: Alan Wong's has been creating experimental and unique twists on Hawaiian cuisine since 1995.

5. St. Louis, Missouri

best cities for food in the U.S.

One of the biggest draws to the St. Louis food scene is the sheer variety. In one day, you can have Filipino street food, Bosnian cuisine, and upscale, cutting-edge American cuisine. Regardless of what you have in St. Louis, it's bound to be delicious, fresh, and unique.

Notable Restaurants in St. Louis:

  • Vicia: If you're looking for impeccable service and forward-thinking American cuisine at a reasonable rate, Vicia is the perfect spot.
  • Grace Meat + 3: This lunch-only restaurant puts a spin on classic Southern dishes like ribs, fried chicken, and roasted beef.
  • Nudo House: This ramen shop serves some of the best noodles in the city out of an unassuming fast-casual storefront.

4. Indianapolis, Indiana

10 foodie destinations

Being surrounded by farmland has greatly benefitted the people of Indianapolis, Indiana, as they, and the chefs in the city, have access to fresh and delicious produce that can take their food to the next level. Plus, an influx of ethnic flavors and young and inventive chefs has brought more flavor to the Midwestern palate and cuisine. Indy is also home to several James Beard semi-finalists that appeal to hardcore foodies.

Notable Restaurants in Indianapolis:

  • Milktooth: Milktooth is known for its unique location inside a former garage and its seasonal menu.
  • Bluebeard: Named after a novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard combines a rustic atmosphere with modern cuisine.
  • Public Greens: Public Greens specializes in healthy and nutritious foods raised on-site in a mini-farm. Additionally, all profits are donated to after-school programs that promote good nutrition among students.

3. Detroit, Michigan

top ten foodie cities

Once a Midwestern powerhouse, the Motor City Detroit has fallen on hard times in recent years. But, the city is rebounding, thanks partially to the city's thriving restaurant scene. Restaurants are springing up in vacated residential buildings, and young chefs are creating cutting-edge dishes that are bringing tourists back to the city.

Notable Restaurants in Detroit:

  • Grey Ghost Detroit: Grey Ghost is known for serving unique and intriguing dishes, like octopus corn dogs and fried bologna sandwiches, along with more traditional fare.
  • Sister Pie: A small corner bakery in the West Village, Sister Pie offers a variety of delicious freshly baked goods that got them listed on Bon Appetit's America's Best Restaurants list.
  • Al-Ameer Restaurant: A Detroit staple since 1989, Al-Ameer has a wide selection of authentic and mouth-watering Lebanese and Arabic dishes.

2. Kansas City, Missouri

top ten underrated foodie destinations

While Kansas City is most famous for their barbecue, a retinue of young and talented chefs are making the city a destination for ambitious modern American cuisine. The city is currently home to five James Beard award semi-finalists: Rye, Bluestem, Port Fonda, Manifesto, and 1900 Barker Bakery and Cafe. With so many talented chefs, Kansas City is on its way to becoming a Midwestern culinary destination that can compete with Denver and Chicago.

Notable Restaurants in Kansas City:

  • Corvino: Corvino features an upscale atmosphere with a separate supper club and tasting room and live jazz.
  • Bluestem: One of the restaurants that helped put Kansas City on the map, Bluestem serves modern American cuisine.
  • Port Fonda: This funky restaurant serves creative takes on classic Mexican cuisine.

1. Birmingham, Alabama

foodie travelers

The South is home to some of the biggest food cities in the U.S., like Nashville, Atlanta, and Austin. Until recently, Birmingham, Alabama wasn’t ranked among them. The city is home to a wide assortment of talented young chefs, like Brandon Cain, Brian Somershield, and John Hall. Plus, many Alabamian chefs who studied in major food cities are returning home to cook the foods they grew up with.

Notable Restaurants in Birmingham:

  • Highlands Bar and Grille: Run by Frank Stitt, Highlands has been a James Beard finalist for seven years in a row.
  • Post Office Pies: This establishment combines a contemporary decor style with some of the best pizza in Alabama.
  • El Barrio: This funky restaurant and bar features eclectic decor and serves Mexican-American fusion food.

The United States is home to a diverse food culture, and the foodservice industry is constantly changing and evolving. Plus, there are many young and talented chefs outside of major U.S. cities that are starting to innovate and play with traditional American cuisine, creating new and unique food cultures. So, the next time that you're planning a food trip, check out one of these top 10 underrated foodie destinations.

Posted in: Foodservice Trends | Advertising & Marketing | By Richard Traylor
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