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Questions when hiring servers

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
HI all, I am a small (really a 1 person op) & hire help as needed. I am finding it difficult to get good, reliable servers. Does anyone have any suggestions for questions they have found to be really helpful when interviewing servers?
Thanks
post #2 of 15
pgr, I'm in the same boat as you, but I have 2 part timers in the shop. Servers have always been kind of a blessing and kind of a problem for me. Mostly it's a blessing because I am able to call on a group of woman whom I've worked with in the past. They're dependable, efficient, and professional. They work harder than any 20 year old and don't even think of quitting until the job is done. I really love them for that.


The problematic part is that since we've known eachother for years and a couple of them have owned their own businesses- I worked for one, they sometimes have their own ways of doing things. This isn't necessarily the way I'd do it nor is it the wrong way. Still it gets on my nerves at times. It's my fault though for not being more of a boss to them. I'm working on getting specific job lists ready for each affair so there's no question.

As to your post about which questions to ask, I don't know. No matter what you ask, people will tell you what you want to hear. You only know how they work by working with them. I think being able to check references is more important than the answers they give.

I told you, I'll help you out and bring my staff should you ever need me. I'll work like a dog and do anything you say. You're the boss.:lol:
post #3 of 15
I'm also in the same boat. Except for the indian chef that works for me a couple of afternoons a week now and no2 son who preps for me in the afternoons.
I employ waiting staff on a casual basis from a pub/bistro i do the function catering for. I see the way they work and know the ones i want to offer work. I know its a different from your set up, but i would imagine the same criteria apply.
Do they work hygenicly
Do the smile readily
Are they helpful without being over-gushy

I give them a one day, payed trial and the ones that I like i use again

In a nutshell, I would suggest a trial day they are payed for. If they dont have the relevant health and hygene certificate, Decide then if they are worth the cost of putting them through it.

Then when you're reasonably happy have a trial period for both of you (she/he may not like working with you) Also, after a few days sit down, away from the work area and have a chat about how things are going ie. anything your not happy about etc.
Hope that helps - Works for me
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hiring servers

Thank you both for your responses. Lentil, I may be calling you about a jpb in July.
Bughut, I love the trial day idea. In some ways I do that because my jobs are so irregular, I hire people once and don't call them again if they don't work out. I also have a group of women friends that work for me at times, same problem - they don;t get that this is my business & how I want it is how it gets done!

Anyway.. thank you both again
post #5 of 15
What's the date? I'll check my calendar. I hope it works out- I'd love to help!
post #6 of 15
I've used a pool of staff from Aramark, at one time the Ritz for a few events....last weekend I hired myself out to a friend for a 375 plated gala. She used temp workers from a culinary staffing agency. Most seemed ok, one waiter I wanted to throttle, he was gummying up the works.
Anyway the agency's staff are more reasonable than what I pay my guys.

I have a right hand front coordinator that has worked with me for numerous years, she has a day job at another very large catering company now doing paper work but for years she worked parties. She is one I send out to parties when I'm elsewhere...and that says alot.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 15
shroom, I had a woman who I could send out in my stead, but she's working elsewhere. I have another woman who's more effecient and organized than anyone I know; give her a list and get out of her way! When she's here doing prep, there's never a dish in the sink and her area is as neat as it was when she started while my area looks like a bomb went off. In packing for a job and repacking when we're finished, there's NO ONE who does it better. The problem is that she's not very "artistic"- a fruit platter, to her, is cut up fruit thrown in a bowl, and she can sometimes be a little short with customers. Not rude or anything, but more along the lines of "your flowers aren't placed exactly where you wanted them? Lots of people have bigger problems than that, so get over it." She doesn't actually say that, but I can see it in her eyes and have to run interference. I often put her in the back and let her have free reign! I love her and wouldn't trade her for 5 additional workers.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Questions when hiring staff

so what do you think of this: I have several great staff, but not enough for larger events. I have lost several good workers who went off to college. Since I need people intermittently, I am considering a Craigs List add. We don't have a temp culinary agency and when I tried the local cul school it was a disaster! I was amazed at the poor quality of the work of the students.
Has anyone tried this? It is the only way my son's peers find work!
post #9 of 15
whoa, Lentil.....I'd never let her near a customer. Have pictures of what you want the platters to look like.....she can replicate if she is so organized. Frankly that attitude is rude. WE are a service industry and customers pay us for service.

PGR....couldn't hurt. Just have them come in prior to the event so you can cull.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 15
:lol: That's why she's in the back!
post #11 of 15
Ask Them To Follow You And Walk Fast, If They Dont Keep Up With Your Pace Dont Hirew As This Is How They Will Move When Working, Tell Them That U Drug-test All Employees. Ask Why Did You Leave Last Position.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Questions when hiring staff

I love the idea of having them follow me... I walk fast!
post #13 of 15

finding waitstaff

I had some great luck in finding a temp agency. We have a great place called Food Team Inc. check them out on the web I know there country wide. you can also search city and state and they bill you a bit higher what they pay them. an idea in a pinch?
post #14 of 15
There is also the career centers here in Maine, this is free. also JobsinMe.com I advertise in that sometimes. that cost. didnt ever think of craigslist. let me know if i can help
post #15 of 15
I love the walking thing im goin to try that LOL
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