If you’re worried about hiring line cooks to work for your restaurant, you’re not alone, there’s a serious shortage in the industry. And, because of it, settling for the first person that walks in the door can be tempting. But, it can also be a trap. So, what to do? Here are a few tips that can help you not only hire the right people but also keep them around for the long haul.
Look for Work Ethic, Not Cooking Skills
In most cases, you can teach cooking skills. Chances are, any cook applying for a position at your restaurant has the ability to follow directions and put together a few basic dishes. What you need is a strong work ethic and willingness to give their best to your restaurant.
What you need is a strong work ethic and willingness to give their best.
With this mind, look for the individuals who will go the extra mile. Take the time to talk with candidates even if they may not have as much as experience as you’d like. Get a feel for their expectations of your restaurant, their attitude when they’re working, and their attitude toward previous jobs.
The more you know about a cook’s work ethic, the more you’ll know about whether or not they’ll be a good fit for your restaurant.
Check Work History
Before making any decisions, don’t just look over the provided work history, but contact previous employers to gain any insight they may have. There are plenty of good reasons for leaving a job, ranging from a schedule that didn’t fit the chef’s needs or a work environment that simply wasn’t a good fit.
You won’t know for sure until you get the facts.
Unfortunately, there are also a number of cooks who simply aren’t happy in any workplace. If you see a cook who has bounced from restaurant to restaurant, it could be a red flag that this individual may not be the type you’re looking for. However, you won’t know for sure until you get the facts.
From the first time you meet with a new cook to the day they quit, it’s your job to develop a relationship with them. Mutual respect will go a long way in keeping your cooks happy with your restaurant, and that means that they’re less likely to go hunting for another position.
Mutual respect will go a long way in keeping your cooks happy with your restaurant.
Treat your cooks with respect and address them by name. Show your understanding that they are professionals who are deserving of your time and attention. The more respect you give them, the greater the likelihood that they will respect you in turn.
Listen to Their Concerns
What is it that’s making your cooks unhappy? What can you do to change it? As part of the relationship you’re building with them, make it clear that their concerns matter.
Do your best to address those concerns and improve working conditions, whether that means purchasing better tools or providing an additional staff member to help handle specific high-demand times. This will show your cooks that you care about them as people, not just as staff, which can be hard to find in this industry and is a great reason to stick with a job.
This will show your cooks that you care about them as people, not just as staff.
Hiring and retaining talent is a challenge faced by most restaurant owners and managers. However, it can be done! By putting in the effort during the hiring process and continuing to do so afterward, you’ll be able to retain your great employees and keep hiring new ones, too.
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