BY FRANCHISE TIMES – Gilad’s approach is to work with franchisees to help them find the right kind of employees. “We help them understand that good employees are hard to find. It’s not like you’re going to open your doors and ‘aha,’” there they are. “When you do find them,” she insists, “treat them like gold. Pay them a little bit more, and give them growth opportunities.”

Gilad, like most franchisors today who are warned by their attorneys about directly controlling hiring practices, provides guidance to franchisees about how to recruit, for example, but not hands-on help. “We always say, always have your recruiting hat on. And don’t be afraid to ask for referrals, from current employees and even your friends.

We pay referral bonuses.” The right things to look for, in Gilad’s mind: “Personality. Someone who’s outgoing. Someone who can multi-task. Definitely someone with excellent customer service.” she says.

She also believes in full and detailed disclosure. “Some people don’t want to work in a dirty restaurant,” she says. “You don’t want to mislead anyone. It’s very important to clearly define the role for them. Some people would rather work in retail and fold clothes.”

Vitality Bowls has an easier time than some restaurants in attracting employees because of its healthy offerings. “The younger generation is a huge customer base for us, so they want a job just so they can get a discount or eat for free,” she says.

Gilad foresees the day when her business and many others will have to raise their prices. “There’s no getting around it, and really justifying why we made that price increase is important,” she said. “Just because our payroll costs go up I’m not going to cut corners on quality. I think a lot of restaurants are going to do that to keep their bottom line.”

When that day comes, providing a superior customer experience will be ever more important—meaning those good employees will be worth their weight in gold.

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