How to Hire the Best Chefs for Your Restaurant
In this post, we’ll explain how to hire the best chefs for your restaurant.
1. Determine Necessary Skills
When hiring a new employee, it’s pivotal that you determine what the required skills and responsibilities that the candidate will need to have. For example, if you’re looking for a new line cook, they’ll need to be able to quickly and accurately execute recipes, while handling the stress that comes with a busy kitchen. If you’re recruiting an executive chef, then creativity and leadership will become more important, since this individual will need to manage other chefs and kitchen staff, manage inventory, and propose new dish ideas for your restaurant’s specials.
If you need help determining the skills that you should be looking for, we suggest reviewing job description templates to help you get started. Once you’ve finalized your list, prioritize your qualifications into non-negotiables, preferred qualities, and additional skills that would give candidates a competitive advantage. This way, when you start conducting interviews, you’ll know the skills that you should be looking for.
2. Advertise the Job Posting
When hiring, you should try to interview as many candidates as possible. If you don’t have a large pool of candidates to choose from, you may end up hiring someone who is satisfactory, but isn’t the best person for the job. To ensure that you receive numerous applications, we suggest advertising your job posting on social media, your restaurant’s website, and career websites like Monster or CareerBuilder.
3. Ask for Referrals
If your current chefs have considerable experience in the restaurant industry, they probably know or have worked with other qualified chefs. Due to this, you should ask trusted employees if they have any referrals for the roles that you’re hiring for. This could save you time and money on recruiting costs, and it will show your employees that you trust their judgement.
4. Pay Attention to Personality
As you know, people that work in the restaurant industry can experience hectic situations, so you’ll want to hire a chef who is even-tempered and can ensure that kitchen operations remain productive and on-schedule. This individual will need to collaborate with other staff members respectfully, work hard during busy shifts, and be able to receive constructive criticism. To determine if a candidate has the right personality for your chef role, be sure to ask them questions that will reveal how they’d react in common situations. This way, you can get a better idea of their personality type.
5. Taste Their Food
Above all else, a chef needs to cook high-quality food, so it’s important that you taste their food and make sure it matches your restaurant’s style. During the interview process, ask them to cook a dish of their choosing and a dish off your menu. It’s important to ensure that they can cook the type of cuisine that you feature on your menu, but this is also a great opportunity to review their ingenuity, as you’ll be able to see the type of items they could create for your specials menu.
6. Look for Leadership Experience
In some chef roles, you’ll need to hire an individual that has previous leadership experience. For example, an executive chef will oversee your entire kitchen staff, so they’ll need to know how to be an effective leader. Due to this, you should try to hire someone that has managed a kitchen staff previously, so that they’ll already know how to lead a team.
7. Check Their References
When hiring a new chef, you should recruit an individual that can provide character references. These references could be people that they worked with at other restaurants, or other people that they know in a professional capacity. Be sure to contact these references to get more insight on how this individual has performed in previous roles.
8. Monitor Your New Hire
Once you’ve hired a new chef, make sure you continue to monitor their performance for a while. In addition, it could be helpful to ask your existing employees to give you a report of their performance and attitude. If things aren’t going well, you may need to meet with them to discuss recurring issues, or hire a replacement.
Taking steps to ensure that you hire a talented, qualified new chef will set your restaurant up for future. While it may require considerable time, it’ll be well-worth it when you find a great chef for your establishment!
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.