The Nowsta Blog

Management tips and labor market insights to help you run your business

The Caterer's Guide to Management: How to Promote Event Staff to Event Captain

By Roy Porter December 10, 2018

This is Part Four of a five-part series for caterers on hiring and managing part-time event staff. You can see the previous parts here: 

Caterers need part-time staff in positions like server, bartender, and event chef to ensure their events run smoothly. In my last three articles, I’ve given you my strategies to always be recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding people in these positions.

But there’s another crucial piece of the puzzle: The Event Captains who manage everyone in these roles. Where do they come from? Ideally, they work their way up from the event staff roles we’ve been discussing. The best caterers I’ve worked with tend to promote these folks from within for a few key reasons:

Read More

How to Manage Part-time Staff with Family Obligations

By Josh Burnett December 7, 2018

Every employee needs something a little different to do their best work. That was our thesis when we broke part-time employees down into five categories and provided management tips for each, based on Federal Reserve survey data on why people say they work part-time as opposed to full-time. Over a series of posts, we’re going to take a deeper dive into each category and explore how managers can better manage, motivate, and accommodate each type of part-time employee. You can see our previous entry on managing underemployed part-time staff who want more hours here.

In this post, we’re going to cover staff who work part-time due to child care and other family obligations.

Read More

The Caterer's Guide to Onboarding New Event Staff

By Roy Porter December 3, 2018

This is Part Three of a five-part series for caterers on hiring and managing part-time event staff. You can read the other parts here: 

Caterers have to approach hiring for part-time event staff as a numbers game. It’s a bit like math class. In my first post, we went over addition, and looked at strategies to increase your number of job applicants. Last week, we got into subtraction and talked about how you can use the interview process to reduce your pool of applicants to the most qualified ones. This week is all about percentages. You want as many of your new hires as possible to make the transition from “new hire” to “go-to event teammate.” How do you do that? Onboarding.

Read More

The Employee Handbook: Why You Need One and What to Include

By Stephanie Knapp November 30, 2018

Writing an employee handbook as a manager is a lot like eating vegetables as a kid. It’s good for you in the long run, but there are lots of other things you’d rather do. Your to-do list is probably a mile long and unforeseen challenges pop up every day. Time is at a premium, so it’s easy for something like an employee handbook to fall by the wayside.

But this is an investment in the future that’s worth making time for. The employee handbook is your chance to start every new hire off with a baseline understanding of your company’s culture, expectations, and operations. Below, we’re going to tell you how an employee handbook can help your business, show you what to include in yours, and provide a few examples you can look to as you write your own.  

Read More

The Caterer's Guide to Interviewing Part-time Event Staff

By Roy Porter November 26, 2018

This is Part Two of a five-part series for caterers on hiring and managing part-time event staff. You can read the others here: 

As a caterer, you always need to be hiring more part-time event staff. These are high turnover positions, and seasonality means your needs are always changing -- the last thing you want is to find yourself scrambling for more staff at the last minute.

But at the same time, you can’t just hire anyone who walks through the door to be your next server, bartender, or hostess. These people interact directly with guests, which means they arguably have the biggest overall impact on client experience. You need to know you can trust them with that responsibility. That’s where the interview process comes in.

Read More

Underemployed: How to Manage Part-time Staff Who Need More Hours

By Josh Burnett November 23, 2018

Every employee needs something a little different to do their best work. That was our thesis when we broke part-time employees down into five categories and provided management tips for each, based on Federal Reserve survey data on why people say they work part-time as opposed to full-time. Over a series of posts, we’re going to take a deeper dive into each category and explore how managers can better manage, motivate, and accommodate each type of part-time employee.

First up: Part-time-staff who need more hours, also known as the visibly underemployed.

Read More

How Paper Timesheets and Punch Cards Cost Your Small Business

By Henry Updegrave November 15, 2018

Every business owner and manager knows that manually tracking employees’ hours isn’t fun. If you use paper timesheets, you have to pester staff to sign in and out, decipher messy handwriting, and somehow get the data to your payroll provider. Physical timeclocks mitigate some of those issues, but you’re still stuck poring over a stack of paper time cards at the end of each pay period.

Read More

How to Build a Shift Swap Policy that Works for Everyone

By Josh Burnett November 13, 2018

Scheduling hourly staff is a difficult balancing act for managers. On the one hand, you have to preserve margins by keeping the schedule lean and assigning only as many people as you need to meet customer demand. That means you sometimes need the flexibility to change the schedule in the days leading up to a shift. On the other hand, employees need flexibility too. Last minute scheduling changes make it harder for them to meet family obligations, work a second job, make it to class, or manage other aspects of their daily lives. But a reasonable shift swap policy can enable managers to meet the needs of both their business and their employees.

Read More

Payroll Reconciliation: How to Do It in 6 Easy Steps

By Henry Updegrave November 8, 2018

Payroll reconciliation is the key to maintaining accurate records of employee wages, withholdings, and other key pieces of tax information. Like many finance-related tasks, it’s a tedious yet crucial part of running a small business. In this post, we’re going to lessen the burden for you by breaking the process down into six simple steps.

Read More

Why Your Business Needs an SOP for Everything

By Henry Updegrave November 7, 2018

Imagine you manage a restaurant and a new employee starts. You begin their first day by asking them to clean up all the cutting boards and cooking utensils in the kitchen. That may sound like a simple task, but as any food services professional will tell you, there’s a specific process to cleaning any food contact surfaces. By sending your new employee in blind, you’re risking your customers’ health, and you could fail your next health inspection. Worst of all, you could’ve eliminated those risks if you’d taken the time to write a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

Read More

Helping you become a better manager.