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Staffing up for summer

Taking on seasonal staff is a fact of life for most fish and chip shops and restaurants. And with the number of overseas visits to the UK predicted to rise to 38.8 million this year, the summer’s looking hot for trade

While seasonal staff may not be with your business for very long, they can be the difference that makes your record summer. Taking on extra staff can be challenging, though, from working out the contracts they should be employed on, to making sure they’re properly integrated into your team. Time is short before the summer rush starts, so our team have shared some tips on working successfully with seasonal staff.

Make it official

It can be very tempting to take on short term workers without filing all the proper paperwork, but this can cause many problems. It’s important to ensure you have the right employment contracts in place, and that you’re doing everything by the book. This will protect your employee’s rights, but it will also help protect your business if something goes wrong.

Employing young people

It’s also tempting to take on students or school children to assist with seasonal peaks, especially in the summer holidays when schools are out as well. There are strict rules governing the employment of children and young people – not over the compulsory school age and to under 18s too – especially in respect of the amount of time they can work. And remember, students and young people must be given the same rights and benefits as employees.

Starting early

It’s important to make sure you’ve taken on your seasonal staff before the holiday rush. While this may cost you a few extra weeks of wages, your staff will have more time for training and the pressure this takes off you will be worth the expense.

Seasonal roles and responsibilities

Your seasonal staff are coming on board to take the pressure off but training them up when you have so much on your plate already can be a concern. This is where making sure the roles and responsibilities you’re charging your seasonal staff with comes into play. Giving them a limited number of responsibilities means that you can focus your training on them alone, plus, of course, the usual health and safety and regulatory requirements.

Pair with experience

Your seasonal staff will learn much more quickly and effectively if they’re paired with one of your experienced employees, shadowing them, before the rush starts. This will also encourage a great team atmosphere, helping with customer service, too. Do remember not to pass all the responsibility of training on to your other staff, though.

Seasonal workers can bring new business too

The time your seasonal staff spend with your business will have a direct result on how your business is perceived in the future. Your seasonal staff will become your customers, they may come back to work for you again, and they may recommend your fish and chip shop to others. It’s important to make them feel welcome and valued, no matter how short a time they’re with you.

Don’t forget to check your insurance

As a business employing other people, it’s a legal requirement to have Employers Liability insurance in place. When you’re taking on seasonal staff, it’s a good idea to check with your insurers, and to make sure they’re aware that you’re taking on extra people. Don’t forget to check you’re covered for seasonal increases in stock, too!

For more information about the Wrapped, specialist insurance for Fish & Chip Shops and Restaurants or for your personal quotation, talk to Ryan’s today on 0800 093 3018, e-mail or visit

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