Bartender using laptop

Recruiting the Right Bar Team

Discover top tips for building a happy bar team, reducing staff turnover, increasing guest satisfaction, and boosting your revenue.


Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes


The struggle can be real when it comes to recruiting the right people onto your team. It can impact everything from your bar’s efficiency to its bottom line. Discover the secret to attracting great staff who share your business's culture and values with expert tips for:

  • Writing job descriptions
  • Interviewing candidates
  • Retaining staff
  • Plus, much more

How to attract the right applicants

When writing a job post, think of ways to attract quality over quantity when it comes to staff. Ideally, you want your job advert to appeal to someone who’d be a great fit for your team and will put off others who don’t make the cut.

5 top tips to attract the best staff

  1. Define your culture and values – Clearly explain your restaurant and/or bar's culture and core values in your job descriptions and ads.   
  2. Craft authentic job descriptions – Make sure your job description actually reflects the role and responsibilities. 
  3. Use social media – Stay active on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, regularly sharing social posts that reflect your positive environment and happy staff.   
  4. Highlight professional development– Showcase what opportunities there are for growth and development.    
  5. Be transparent – While highlighting the positives, be transparent about the challenges of working in your business, and hospitality more generally.  


When filtering potential staff for an interview, consider those with passion, motivation and a desire to serve others above years of experience. Someone with these qualities is can often be more open, positive, and teachable than someone with more experience. 


Non-verbal cues can also be helpful to take note of during interviews. Did your interviewee arrive on time? Did they tuck their chair back under the table? Small moments like this will give you an indication of whether they have the common courtesy skills they need to be an efficient and positive team member. 

Interview Strategies 

To find out whether candidates are the best possible fit, the typical hospitality job interview questions are generally geared towards understanding if the candidate’s personality is a good match. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the right approach as candidates will usually only show their best qualities (a little like a first date).

Here are some alternative ideas to help you carry out a successful interview: 

  • Set a hypothetical problem-solving challenge  Ask the interview candidates to solve the business-related problem in small groups and assess how they work together. 
  • Use role-play exercises – Offer candidates roles in example hospitality scenarios and situational tests like a guest complaint to look at their interpersonal skills, communication style, and adaptability.   
  • Set a small project task – Give the candidate a small project, for example, a review of local competitors, and ask them to submit the results post-interview to understand their proactiveness and industry awareness.  
  • Invite them to do a trial shift  Help you, the candidate, and your team see how well they work together and if they fit your culture and values well. 


Once you’ve found the perfect candidate, make sure you start off on the right foot with a positive onboarding experience. This will help make sure your new employee integrates into the team successfully. Consider these ideas for your new starter: 

  • Send a welcome email with basic information about the company culture, dress code, and any materials to review before their first day. 
  • Set up a buddy or mentor from the existing team to guide them through their first weeks.   
  • Give them a positive first day, including a personal welcome from the manager or owner, provide a tour, and ensure they have the necessary uniform and tools.   
  • Introduce them to your history, mission, and values and explain the organizational structure and position within the team.   
  • Give them a clearly defined job description with their responsibilities and how their role contributes to the business's success.   
  • Offer comprehensive trainingon job-specific tasks and your steps of service. 
  • Schedule regular check-ins to chat about their progress, raise any concerns, and offer constructive feedback – communication is key.  


Offering employee benefits can help your staff to feel valued, thrive, and improve employee retention. For example:  

  • Offer competitive rates of pay benchmarked against other local hospitality operators and other local non-hospitality employment options.    
  • Offer competitive, achievable bonuses to keep staff motivated and performing well.      
  • Offer a benefits package in addition to your financial package; consider staff discounts, reimbursement of travel costs, or other indirect rewards that make you more attractive as an employer.     
  • Consider staff wellbeing and benefits like complimentary gym memberships and consider flexible working options and employees' work-life balance within your staffing hours.     
  • Offer team-building activities to help staff connect and bond outside their working environment.  
  • Stagger benefits for new starters that kick in after specific periods of employment, creating an added incentive for new starters to become long-term employees.  

Recruiting the right team

Recruiting the right team is essential to your overall business strategy and can help improve your venue’s performance and reduce long-term recruitment costs. With purposeful recruitment strategies, you can attract the top talent for your business. With good working conditions, you can retain them, leading to lower costs, higher returns, a happier team, and satisfied customers.



  • Have a recruitment plan – A well-crafted recruitment strategy can reduce staff turnover and attract long-term candidates who align with your company's culture and values.  
  • Quality over quantity – Instead of aiming for a high volume of applicants, focus on attracting the best-quality candidates who fit your culture.   
  • Online presence matters – Maintain an active online presence, especially on platforms like LinkedIn and social media, to showcase your company's culture.  
  • Effective interview techniques – Traditional interviews may not always reveal a candidate's true personality. Consider group interviews to observe how candidates interact with others.  
  • Great onboarding – A positive onboarding experience is crucial for integrating new employees successfully. Provide clear information, assign a buddy, and offer training and regular check-ins.

Stay one step ahead with industry insights, tips, and innovative approaches to bar management when you sign up for the Diageo Bar Academy.