What new ways are there to recruit the best kitchen staff? Here are some tips.
Recruit from cooking schools. The students are chefs-in-training and are more than keen to work toward their own development and credentials as they bring new life into your establishment and likely, new life into your menu. In order for them to move into their careers and advance, practical work hours are a huge part of qualifying for their professional designation or credentials. Often a period of internship is required to accumulate hours of practical work experience. As interns or apprentices they may also come to you at a reduced hourly rate, or your company may qualify for a government grant to support their work efforts and grow their experience.
Can they work for you seasonally while in school, or work for you part time until graduation then come on board full time after graduation? The benefit will be a well-trained, qualified individual to work in your establishment that “knows the ropes” and will be well positioned to dig in to a busy summer or winter season. This also means little or no incoming training or orientation that may otherwise slow production in the way a new hire would.
Keep your student staff when they are willing to work, and work around their school schedule. Give them time for their exams. Flexible scheduling can work well here: they are mostly available when you need them and in school when you don’t.
Find the culinary schools in your area/city and attend any and all open house events, get to know the key people in the school so they can become referral partners for you. Get to know what the curriculum is for the students: where does that match the requirements of your establishment? How does this make your establishment more competitive? It’s a great way to support newcomers in the industry and give back to the community by supporting a student’s training and career development!
Mike has worked across Canada as a food and beverage professional and currently divides his time between writing and teaching people how to start and run their own businesses.