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A couple/three thoughts.
Hiring- Step one- everyone has to fill out an application. The last waitress I hired immediately after filling one out asked why I didn't need to interview her. My reply was, This job is all about you following my simple instructions. My first instruction when you called was to show up and fill out an application. You did that without discussion or questions. You walked in the door clearly dressed to be presentable like you care about your appearance and the impression you give.. Now I know you can read, write, follow instructions and have some self respect.
2. Attacting business- Work hard at making a good product offered at a fair price in a welcoming environment. Word gets around, especially now with social media. If you are providing what people want with great customer service, they will show up.
This can be tricky if you are not completely and brutally honest with yourself. You might think, "what this area needs is a great pizza. I don't see any one selling pizza" only to find out no one is selling it because in that area no one wants pizza. Substitute any product/practice you like in this scenario. So if it doesn't sell, stop selling it. Or "No one minds waiting twenty minutes for good food". Maybe they do. And on that note....
2A- go through your business like an actual customer from start to finish. Be especially aware of your own biases. What issues would you have with the place as a customer? Other people likely have the same ones.
3. I'm against discounts of any kind. Foodservice is tough enough without selling yourself short from the start.
4. If you don't already have one, the bank will set up a sales tax account for you. Use it. Not paying taxes is an incredibly stupid reason to go out of business but it happens all the time. It is not now nor ever will be your money to use for repairs or payroll or anything else. Set it aside in the account every deposit.
 

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A couple/three thoughts.
Hiring- Step one- everyone has to fill out an application. The last waitress I hired immediately after filling one out asked why I didn't need to interview her. My reply was, This job is all about you following my simple instructions. My first instruction when you called was to show up and fill out an application. You did that without discussion or questions. You walked in the door clearly dressed to be presentable like you care about your appearance and the impression you give.. Now I know you can read, write, follow instructions and have some self respect.
I can't tell you the number of applicants I've rejected for failing this simple step. That application tells you 50% of what that potential employee can do. Can't fill out an application, then how can I expect you to see through a service?

My absolute favorite technique as well was one our EC pulled on me (and as I found out later, on everyone) - hired me as a line cook, I showed up the first night and he hands me a dishwashing apron and points me to the dish station. I confirmed I was being hired as a cook at the agreed rate, then said I gotta get to work - and washed dishes for a few shifts, breaking off during lulls to prep and learn the line and clean out the walk in and whatever other stuff I could find. Busted my ass, ran my silly ass ragged, and (natch) kept up on the assigned task - dish and pot washing. I found out later he did this to EVERYONE (we were all sworn to secrecy) as it helped him determine our willingness to work, and make sure the entire back end could function if someone didn't show up, plus it showed him and the rest of the staff I wanted to be part of the team, not a primadonna. I couldn't believe the number of people who felt it "beneath" them to dishwash for line wages and walked rather than take what was easy money.

I asked Art aferwards, and he said he did that to reinforce that ALL of us were dependent on each other... and that if one person was struggling, we ALL fell flat and let the shop down. As such we went from a bunch of strangers to a family - a lesson I kept with me all these years.
 

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I find that just having a conversation about anything can tell you a lot about a person...getting them to talk about others.

Do they engrandize anyone? Disparage people? And why do they do so? What do they really expect to get out of working with you? (Aside from a paycheck)
Can you get along with them? Enjoy tossing back a pint or two with them after hours?

Chances are you are going to spend more time with them awake and talking and working together than you are with your wife....and if you actually still love your wife...that's going to be a critical thing.
I love ❤ this comment! So grateful you posted it! I have been praying about this. Outside of my marriage, my future relationship with my chef is most important. It's all I think about.
Relationships are everything. I can't wait to meet this person and who knows this person maybe here on this forum....
 
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