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.
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!
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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