Exceptional culinary talent is hard to come by. With a surplus of restaurants and not enough head cooks and chefs to go around, competition is stiff. Recruiting the right employees is part of the equation, but first, you need a strategy to attract top culinary talent. Here’s how to find the best and brightest in the business.
Research Going Rates (and Adjust As Necessary)
Know what the market pays and make sure you’re keeping up with the competition. If you need to adjust your budget to help you attract better kitchen staff, see where there’s room to streamline operations. It’s worth it, if it means you’ll snatch up good talent. Not only that, but paying a competitive wage can help you retain the best staff for the long haul, helping you save on training and turnover costs.
Provide Better Perks
Throw in perks beyond competitive pay to sweeten the deal for kitchen staff. Whether you provide smaller benefits (like a free shift meal), or bigger benefits (like health care), offering an appealing benefits package is an effective recruiting strategy. And to make your restaurant stand out from the rest, get creative with your incentives. For example, you could offer discounts on wine and takeout orders, retention bonuses, or even discounted gym memberships. While these benefits may seem small on their own, overall, they add up to a robust benefits package — which in and of itself is a powerful recruiting tool.
Care About Culture
The restaurant industry’s small and if you make a point to create a fun and positive company culture, word will get around. Keep things fun by hosting company happy hours, kitchen cook-offs, and ongoing training and educational opportunities. By making these extra efforts, you’ll show staff that you’re invested in them. In turn, they’re more likely to stay happy and engaged. What’s even better? When employees are engaged, they’re more motivated to work hard. And that’s not all — they make a compelling case for new recruits.
Upgrade Your Equipment
Sure, equipment’s an investment but considering the competition you’re up against, you can’t afford to have equipment that’s not best-in-class. Think about an essential piece of kitchen equipment like an oven, for example. With features like precise cook settings and auto-load and unload, your oven can support your talented kitchen staff in all they do, helping them cook with consistency and speed.
Once you’ve attracted the best talent, make sure they stick around by using these out-of-the-box retention strategies.
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