How to Hire the Right Chef
You can put all your heart and soul into the planning, designing and advertising of your restaurant however, if you do not have a good chef, then all your work goes to waste. With a bad or "okay" chef, you will lose customers quickly, since your business is only as good as the food you serve. This makes it vital for you to select the cream of the crop for this position. There are many things for you to keep in mind as you set out in search of the ideal chef.
Important Qualities To Look For When Hiring a Chef
Before you begin the search, you want to identify what you are looking for. Obviously, you want someone who cooks well each and every time. However, there is more to a chef than just consistency. Their job will require them to do a number of duties among which are: directing the kitchen staff, working with vendors and managing costs. You want someone that understands both the cooking side of the business, as well as the business side of running a restaurant. They should communicate well and be able to follow orders precisely and quickly. All of this should be wrapped in a person that has a true passion for the food they prepare.
Write Up a Job Description
Once you know what you want, it is time to write up a job description. You cannot expect an ideal chef to want the position if they do not know exactly what the job entails. Take your time as you write the description since, once you show it to candidates, it will be difficult to change. You want to be certain that you fully incorporate everything you expect from your chef into this description. All of their duties should be fully outlined so that there is no question about the job you expect them to perform.
Don't Forget to Check References
Always take the time to check the references of any candidate that you interview. This is a serious position that can make or break the success of your business. You want to know that you are hiring someone qualified. They should have experience with the job you are offering, and with the volume of your business. When you check references, find out about any problems that may have occurred; whether they got along well with the rest of the staff, and if their former boss would rehire your candidate. This will give you a good idea of the capabilities of your candidate, and an idea of what might hold them back and help them move forward, in this new position.
Should You Outsource Hiring
If you are new to the industry, looking for a chef can be quite frustrating. If this is your first experience with this type of search, it might be beneficial for you to turn the responsibilities over to someone else. You can hire someone whose job is to help people find the best candidates for different businesses, or, hire someone whose speciality is hiring exclusively for the restaurant business. It is also possible to request that you be able to interview potential candidates before any decisions are made.
If you decide to search yourself, do not overlook word-of-mouth referrals. Your suppliers and vendors can supply you with a wealth of information. They may have inside knowledge of which chefs are unhappy with their current jobs and are looking for new employment possiblities. This could help you find potential candidates that you might not have known about otherwise.
Take Your Time and Don't Feel Pressured
Make sure that you take the time you need to find the best chef, and don't settle for someone because you feel pressured. While time constraints are a real factor, start the search process early, so you have the best chances of finding a chef who meets your expectations. Doing this at the outset will be in the best interests of you and your business and will ensure that the food your new and great chef makes, will bring your customers back every time.