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Every time I meet someone who is sharp, whether it be at a conference, at the grocery store, in an elevator, or at a restaurant, I introduce myself, my company, and drop in the following recruiting line: “I must tell you, you are very sharp. You wouldn’t by chance know of anyone just like you who would possibly be looking for a new career opportunity, would you?”

I wait for the person’s reply, and then hand him or her my business card. I finish with, “If you come across someone who is sharp, I would love to have the opportunity to speak with that person. Maybe I will get a chance to see you around my restaurant. Take care.” This strategy works. I get responses both from the person I gave the card to and from people that person has referred to me.

People love being respected, revered, and appreciated. With this technique not only have I built a great relationship that could bring me potential employees, but I have also built goodwill with someone who could become a customer of my restaurant.

Don’t be embarrassed to approach people. Be nice. Offer a compliment or maybe even a great career opportunity. If you can’t establish relationships this way outside your restaurant, you will probably struggle to do it inside your restaurant. Open up your personality and have some fun while you help your business.

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