5 Reasons Why You Should Train Cooks from Within

Staffing a competent BOH team is a constant uphill climb, and just when you think your core crew is established - one of your best cooks gets a “better job” somewhere else or your AM prep guy gets drunk on cooking wine and found sleeping in the kitchen bathroom (true story).  Every restaurant is different, whether it’s full service or fast casual it’s a guarantee that all of them need cooks. The perfect line or prep cook is the unique mix of a work-horse, with killer execution experience, can work 50+ HRs and all for low pay.  Cooks are either amazing and passionate about the job or they’re forced into the profession by life circumstances. Then once you get a good one you do your best to retain them or you’re back in the weeds again.  Which is why training from within is the best way to maintain your BOH Team.

1) They Already Know the Restaurant

    Your dishwashers, runners, bussers and porters are untapped talent, they already know their way around the kitchen. No time wasted with “Where is _____?” and “Where do we put _________ during/ after/ before service?”.  If you need them to put some mise en place in the walkin, they already know where to find the quart containers, tape and markers.  This could take some time for a newer employee to adapt, whereas a current employee already knows this information.

2)  High Accountability

There’s a certain sense of accountability instilled in an employee being promoted from within, and the pressure to not mess up the opportunity is much higher.  Nothing grows the perception of ownership than cross training.  If anyone calls out then everyone can work the same stations because they have done it before, and loyalty grows from there. Training your dishwashers and porters seem tedious, but if you want to build a team who started from the bottom and worked their way up together - it’s the way to go!

3) Creates a Stronger Team

In food pairings there’s a saying, “if grows together goes together”, the saying is the same for strong BOH teams.  Cooks grown from mastering stations from the bottom, build solid teams who have seen it all before, this only occurs with longevity.  It also lights a fire under your current dishwashers’ and porters’ butts to get their careers to the next level.  Also nothing talks like taking off the rubber gloves, putting a knife in someone’s hand and increasing his or her pay rate.  If they really want to learn and your current cooks are about to burnout at 60+ hrs a week, then it’s well worth the extra time for your team’s sake.  
 

4) Shows off Your Leadership Skills

Taking the time to cultivate in house talent, shows you genuinely care about your people beyond your labor costs and just barely pushing through service. If you’re still worried about wasting your time, then this is a serious test of your leadership skills as well. Chefs and kitchen managers, before believing you’re “too busy” to train a dishwasher or  remember that many of really great chefs began as dishwashers, John Besh, Thomas Keller, Gabrielle Hamilton and Anthony Bourdain to name a few.  You think you’re a strong leader? Turn your most tenured dishwashers into your top line and prep crew.  Chef Daniel Angerer of By Chloe says a good Chef “needs to be an authority, leader, motivator, spokesman, a person to look up to”.

True leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders or in this case great cooks.  

5)  Cultivates a Better Work Culture

As entrepreneur and blonde golden raisin, Richard Branson, once said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to”.  The key to retention is solid training and acting in the best interest of your entire team.  A major plus is you never have to worry about fixing flawed training because you trained them all YOUR way. So, there’s no team dividing arguments on how much acid goes on the ceviche or how soft a scramble should be a brunch. The potential of growth is also the easiest way to recruit more dishwashers and runners, then the of challenge of hiring the most eager dishwashers and porters is 86’ed.      

 

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The 3 Best Ways to Find Cooks

      Finding excellent cooks is one of the most challenging of the restaurant industry.  Cooks are the backbone of every restaurant, they are usually the ones executing the food that brings in revenue. Good cooks are essential to any thriving restaurant.  The best cooks are able to follow instructions accordingly to their respective chefs’ recipes, have some experience (but no ego), know that creativity is reserved for after they prove themselves in the kitchen - all for hourly wages and low pay.  Some of the usual obstacles of recruiting for these difficult positions include: no shows for interviews and training, candidates not looking to stay for a long period of time.  With all of these challenges turnover is high and all chefs need competent cooks - fast! There are better ways than posting on every individual job board and waiting for candidates to come to you.

1. Referrals

    When a position is open, referrals are usually the first route chefs and managers take to get someone through the door, especially for finding skilled cooks.  If your guy on grill is killing it every night and has never called out once, chances are he might know other hard working people like him.  You get his friend through the door from his old job, and she happens to be a beast in prep - problem solved!  However, referrals can be risky just as they are successful.  Be wary of hiring just anyone your employees ask to hire.  Set some parameters and restrictions on who can be referred.  The last thing you want is a husband and wife working in the same space arguing about the kids, while you’re waiting at expo for a steak on the fly because table 12 ordered steak tartare and didn’t know it was supposed to be “raw”.  Referrals are a pretty safe bet for filling a few positions, but if you hire referrals only because you need a “body on the floor” it could be a disaster.   

2. Proper Job Promotion


    Posting on job boards is very effective but posting to multiple job boards is a painstaking process.  If your job happens to be posted on the wrong board then great candidates can miss an opportunity to work for you.  Cooks have hectic schedules and a limited amount of time to apply for new jobs, so more exposure is always better. Harri’s Job Distributor takes all of the strengths of Craigslist, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, CareerJet, Jooble and more, then posts them all at once. You will be able to see your jobs (host, waiter, and chef jobs) right away. You receive the volume and quality of all of the job boards in one place, and it saves you time from posting on each one.  As an extra plus, candidates can use their smartphones to apply through the application, so they can come through your restaurant doors quickly!

 

 

Courtesy of @lupulonyc Instagram 

Courtesy of @lupulonyc Instagram 

3. Social Media

    Much like referrals this could be a hit or miss.  Being aware of peak times to post is key for having job ads on social media.  This takes a little more preparation than posting an ad on a job board or asking a cook if he has any friend or past co-workers for referrals.  A good job post on social media must be very image driven.  Usually restaurants collaborate with their marketing or PR Teams to get this completed, then they can use the same ads whenever there are positions to be filled.  For example Chipotle went all out by dedicating an entire Facebook page to gain more candidates, while Lupulo kept it simple with an Instagram post with the positions available.  When posting on Facebook remember to do so with with images and video.  Studies have shown that have 39% more post engagement, than just posting text alone.  If you go the Instagram route then note the most successful times to post are Mon-Thurs from 6AM -12PM. One of the largest drawbacks can be that expense if you don’t have internal resources to create these posts.  Overall, posting positions on social media is effective because almost everyone has a cell phone and the reach is not only instantaneous but shareable.   

 

 

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Find out how the top brands like Tao Group, Eataly, sweetgreen, Nobu, Soho House, The Meatball Shop and more source, hire and manage talent with Harri's TOTAL TALENT SOLUTION, an all-in-one platform built specifically for the hospitality.

With Harri’s digital platform, employers can find and on-board top talent for their business while maximizing productivity, reducing costs and saving time. Harri clients save up to 68% in hiring time and save up to 48% in hiring costs.

Harri’s Total Talent Solution empowers employers to easily:

  • Post unlimited jobs to Harri's network plus post to multiple job boards and receive up to 37MM views with one click.
  • Manage applicants throughout the hiring process on one seamless platform designed for the hospitality industry.
  • Send offer letters and on boarding document digitally to new hires.
  • Create media rich, on-line profiles showcasing their company's culture and therefore, attracting the right type of talent. 

Harri has over 210,000 members and over 3,500 employers based in New York City, Los Angeles, London, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Washington DC. It is the number one marketplace for hospitality talent in NYC.

Harri will be showcasing our best-in-class Total Talent Solution at Start Up Alley at the NRA Show in Chicago May 21-24. If interested in learning more about how Harri can help you with your hiring needs, contact us to schedule a demo.

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The Harri Total Talent Solution: Digital Applications & On Boarding

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Harri's Total Talent Solution empowers hospitality companies to discover, interview, hire and onboard new employees on a singular, intuitive and modern platform.

The days of using antiquated ATS's or fumbling through paperwork are over. Harri saves you time, money and most importantly, your sanity!

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Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 4.59.21 PM

While creating the #1 hospitality network in NYC, we realized the need for innovative technology to easily replace archaic hiring systems that Talent Professionals are currently forced to use. Harri’s full-suite solution brings the entire hiring and on boarding process into one modern, hospitality-optimized HR platform.

Harris Interview Scheduler

Harris Interview Scheduler

Beginning with our Advanced Interview Scheduler, Harri is building modern services that remove the traditional pain points associated with hospitality hiring.

Once you've found candidates for your open positions on Harri, the next step is the interview. Our Interview Scheduler allows for effortless management of interviews, drastically reducing the hassle of no shows. It instills a system of checks and balances allowing employers to indicate if a candidate has attended or missed an interview. If that weren't enough, the tool also allows interviewers the ability to take notes that seamlessly integrate with the AMS flow.

Product Features:

  • Interview agenda
  • Attendance (check-in or no show)
  • Interview Notes
  • Candidate response rate
Harri Digital Application

Harri Digital Application

The final step in the hiring process is on-boarding new employees.

When it comes to moving applicants through the hiring process, most businesses are accustomed to using traditional methods for this process, such as paper forms and physical filing systems. With the introduction of Harri's Digital Applications and Employee On-Boarding, those days are coming to an end!

Our system removes paper as well as duplication of data by pulling the candidate’s information seamlessly from their initial application through the hiring process. Traditional applicant tracking systems lose over 70% of applicants because of inefficiency. Harri has built an intuitive and streamlined solution designed to enable the hiring manager to build the ultimate team efficiently.

Product Features:

  • Basic information from Harri profile
  • Business specific questions
  • Self Identification and EEO reporting
  • eSign and secure cloud storage for 2 years
  • 100% Compliance with US Labor Laws

You wouldn't still use a type writer or a wall phone anymore, so why use out of date tools? You shouldn't have to, which is why we're here to help you hire the modern way. Learn how Harri can help your business by contacting our sales department.

Introducing the Harri Agency / Recruitment Solution

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[embed]https://vimeo.com/139626328[/embed] When you’re working for a recruitment agency, the most important thing to do is present your clients with an impressive lineup of candidates to join their team.

Instead of sending endless emails or playing phone tag, why not present staff the modern way?

Meet the Harri Agency Solution, a unified platform where both your team and clients are able to screen candidates, provide feedback, and manage brands from a single dashboard to help you make smarter hires.

From your Talent Pool you’re able to send your clients to a unique page branded to your company where they’re able to approve or deny a selected group of candidates, as well as take notes to provide feedback.

Harri's latest hiring solution also gives you access to the following features:

  • Ability to post as your agency or as the brand for whom you’re hiring allowing you to customize your approach according to  your clients needs
  • Candidate Search + Connect credits, which allow you to proactively search our talent pool of 125,000 registered NYC hospitality job seekers.
    • Some of the best talent is passive jobseekers and not actively looking/applying to jobs. Harri allows you to get access and connect with these purple squirrels
    • Unlimited job postings and ability to repost jobs
    • Spotlight your job postings across Harri’s marketing efforts, including social media, online job boards, Craigslist cluster ads and more
    • Premium placement in biweekly emails targeted to job seekers by category (FOH, BOH, Management, etc.), which significantly drive applications and help promote open calls and new openings
    • Additional logins for team members
    • Pricing based on login access, hiring volume and number of brands

The best part is that you’re able to bulk upload your existing candidates onto Harri so you can start with your full roster from day one.

To get started using the Harri Agency Solution, contact Amanda, Harri's Member Success Manager at amanda@harri.com.

Harri-Agency-Solution

Harri-Agency-Solution