You’ve decided to open a restaurant. You have scouted the right location, secured funding, created your brand vision, and done extensive market research. You are eager to get started and you’re eager to learn more. Now you’re ready to hire staff.
Your chef is one of the most important positions you can hire to work in your restaurant. Your chef is often the face of your company and the creative engine behind your restaurant. In the restaurant industry, chefs can quickly become synonymous with the establishment.
Chefs can lead rock-star lives due to the immense pressures in the kitchen. They are hard workers and enjoy their work. You need to carefully choose your new chef, as they will be responsible for everything, from ordering dinners and staffing to marketing and staffing.
Continue reading to learn how to hire a professional chef to run your restaurant.
Find out what your restaurant needs
You will have an idea of what your restaurant needs from a chef to succeed as a manager or owner.
The type of restaurant you have and the type of food you are serving will determine the type of chef you want to hire.
Are you a full-service restaurant or a quick-service restaurant? Are you able to prepare food that is highly-specialized or requires training? How much are you willing or able to train a new chef in your kitchen? Are you allowing your chef to be solely responsible for service or would you prefer to have full control over scheduling and other aspects?
You can make a list of everything you need for your new hire. This will help you to define the type person you are looking for.
You might find yourself in a restaurant that offers full-service and has a small kitchen. A chef must manage the team and learn new techniques such as sous vide and sustainable food sourcing.
However, consider that chefs can have different skills and bring their unique talents to the table. One chef might be a specialist in vegan cooking while another might be skilled in barbecue cooking. Others might be skilled in large quantities of food and cooking for large people.
Which type of chef do you want to hire?
There are many types of chefs, each with their specializations and responsibilities. You need to know what kind of chef you are hiring, and how they will perform the tasks.
A chef should possess the ideal qualities
Every chef must possess certain skills to succeed in his job.
- Attention is paid to details: The chef is responsible for everything in the kitchen. The chef and their restaurant will be criticized for a poorly cooked cod or a poorly washed plate. Good chefs pay attention to every detail and don’t allow small errors to slip under their watchful eye.
- Grace under Pressure: Running your kitchen can be stressful. Good chefs will remain resilient under pressure and meet constant demands.
- Leadership and management skills: Good chefs are not just expected to be great cooks. They must be able to manage stocks, orders, costs, and other people. A great chef can identify and motivate the right candidates, support when needed, and train them to be enthusiastic for new positions.
- Understand how to reduce waste and maximize profit. Food costs are a large part of the restaurant’s budget. Good chefs will know how to transform the cheapest ingredients into tasty meals that customers will love to eat.
- Computer skills These days, everything can be done on a computer. A good chef will be familiar with the most recent software packages, including project management and scheduling software, as well as spreadsheets.
- Shared vision: You and the chef you hire must share a vision and outlook for operating your establishment.
Is it just that your chef needs a wakeup call?
You should think twice about hiring a new chef if you have an existing chef.
Your current chef may need more training, responsibility, or freedom to express their creativity. You may find certain aspects of their work frustrating or hard to handle. A variety of factors can cause poor performance. You must communicate with your chef about these issues.
Hiring a new chef is a costly and time-consuming process. If your head chef leaves after they learn you are looking, it can cause serious damage to your reputation and operations.
Create a great job advertisement
Once you have identified the job you are looking for, you can now create an incredible job advertisement that will get even the most skeptical job seekers to apply.
When writing a job advertisement, it is important to be as specific and transparent as possible about what you offer. Details about:
- Required qualifications/training
- You desire to have a fulfilling experience
Make your job ad as interesting and readable as you can. A good salary may not be enough to attract all applicants. However, it is important to establish your restaurant’s brand and outline what your company stands for.
Get started looking
Once your job posting is complete, you can begin sending out invites. These are great ways to find your next hire.
Post your job advertisement on the most popular job boards
The most popular job boards such as Indeed, Monster, or LinkedIn should be your first port of call. These job boards are the most popular and will help you reach as many people as possible.
A variety of job boards are available for the restaurant and hospitality industries. These include:
- Poached Jobs
- Culinary agents
- Restaurant Jobs
- Hospitality Online
Many organizations overlook the opportunities right in front of them when searching for the ideal candidate. You might have a skilled sous chef or line chef waiting for you to discover them. You might be able to find a talented sous chef or line cook in your organization if you believe that is the case.
Get to know other restaurants
Your ideal candidate could be working for one your competitors and would gladly accept a job if they knew. Your industry connections are your greatest resource, so make sure you take advantage.
Look into national culinary schools
Culinary schools are happy to provide practical experience for their students. Many culinary schools keep the resumes of alumni on file. Ask the school administrators if they have any qualified candidates available to fill your openings. These faculty are great for networking.
Once you have a few candidates in mind, it is time to set up interviews. Interviews for chef positions usually involve an in-person interview, followed by observation and tasting.
In-person interviews should ask candidates questions about their qualifications, experience, and suitability for the job. To ensure they are fully informed about your company’s goals and how they can assist you in achieving them, it is important to have a conversation.
Sample interview questions
These are some examples of interview questions that you might use for your next interview.
- Did you eat at the restaurant? What was your experience? What would you do differently if you could change it?
- Which ingredients are you most comfortable working with?
- What has been your experience with staff conflict resolution?
- What strategies do you have for managing waste and maximising profits?
- What would you do to change our menu?
- Which kind of team do you need?
- Which was your greatest experience working in a kitchen environment? What was your worst experience working in a kitchen?
- What have you done to help your chefs and cooks increase their skills and knowledge?
- What is the most exciting trend in food right now? What would your reaction be if you were offered the job?
Observation and tasting
After speaking to them, it is time for your candidates to show you their skills. Most chefs will rather show you their skills than tell you.
Chef interviews are usually conducted by chefs who do a tasting and an observation. Invite them to try a few dishes using your facilities, and watch them carefully to ensure they are proficient in using your equipment.
The proof is in the tasting. After they have created their dish, it is time to enjoy. The first bite of a person’s dish will usually indicate the right one.
A great point-of-sale system will increase your efficiency.
As important as hiring the right employees, getting the right equipment is equally important. To get the most out of your investment, you must ensure that your kitchen and front of house are in sync.
Epos Now provides amazing point-of-sale systems for all types of hospitality businesses, including hotels and cafes and restaurants and bars. You can do the following with an Epos Now POS:
- To increase sales and table turnover, synchronize your front- and back-of-house activities
- Customers will be more likely to order online if you offer them this option
- Access your data from any device, at any time
- Promote repeat business by using in-built customer relationship management software
- Quickly accept all types of payments
- Manage floor plans and track time-at-table
- Order and pay tableside