Originally Posted by Fantality
For the employment part of managing a restaurant, I think it pretty much comes down to three types of methods.
Paying well(above average), treating and providing an excellent work environment to hold on to the outstanding and reliable employees.
Paying average pay, treating and providing an average work environment and in return losing some employees to the better restaurants but still keeping a good number of employees.
Being super stingy and paying below average pay and at the same time treating the employees like slaves and providing subpar work environment. Losing employees left and right and always needing to hire new employees and train them from the scratch.
Which one is the most efficient way of running a restaurant?
For the first situation, if the employee is not challenged, they will eventually leave to go to someplace else to learn something different.
For the cook who wants broad experience and exposure to all the aspects the culinary world has to offer, it just doesn't make sense to stay in one place for more than a year--for mngmt, for 3 years max. Most--if not all of the super-high-end kitchens are aware of this, hence the 15 stagiers, the very low pay for the 5 regular cooks, and the very long hours. And they get away with it, and every month they are flooded with resumes of people who want to work for free or for peanuts--people who want/need to be challenged.
In the second situation, you will attract employees with a 9-5 mentality. That is, "another 439 more paychecks and I can finally pay off my visa/student loan/mortgage" / "it's just a job to pay the bills until I can work at Microsoft/Apple/Ford" / " It's somethig to tide me over untill I get my Phd in poli-sc." / or "I'm outta here when I finally get my break and Central casting discovers my acting abilities".
In the third situation you will attract EITHER people who have no experience in the culinary world and some will love the job once they get used to it; or you will get the dregs who will hop from one job to the next, cash their checks at the local money-mart and stay one step ahead of any Gov't agency chasing them.
-If you can't challenge your employee, it doesn't matter what you offer them.
-In order to challenge your employee, you have to be one step ahead of the game, ahead of any current trends, ahead of any new & wonderfull ingredients, ahead of any new techniques. This in itself is a full time job.