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What to Know When Hiring a Temporary Wait Staff

By Anthony Stoeckert

Hiring temporary wait staff for events can be a great way to fulfill your service needs and working with an agency can make the process easier, but there are some things to consider. Linda DeMartino, owner of Waiters Are Us in Glenwood, shared some expertise on the topic.

NJM+E: What are the benefits of hiring temporary staff?
LD: If you hire someone you have them work a certain number of hours per week. Usually, we come in every once in a while, maybe once a month or every few weeks for a couple of days here and there. This way they don’t have to worry about benefits, and they don’t have to worry about what happens if someone can’t show up or worry about people who cancel at the last minute.

NJM+E: What are companies looking for when they hire a staffing agency?
They’re looking for a professional staff that will come in and do the work. They’re looking for people that have experience in the business for a while and they usually have some kind of preference on uniform.

NJM+E: Is there communication between you and the client leading up to the event?
Usually I get a text or email saying, “I need one person at 4:30 at this place. And please confirm.” That’s it, and I’ll send back, “Cathy is coming tomorrow at 4:30.”

NJM+E: Is someone available to them the day of the event if there’s a problem?
I have my cell phone with me 24/7. You have to be available by phone. Usually they contact me by text or email. If you get a phone call, then it’s dire.

NJM+E: What do people need to be careful of when hiring temporary staff?
Some people want employees who speak English, so they need to make that clear. Employees not showing up in the same uniform is another concern. This is a business that shifts a lot, people move on and you’re always rehiring. Sometimes clients want the same people, so it’s good to have a group of people working with them in case one of them leaves.