find a chef

We’ve all heard the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen.” But for many restaurants, the opposite problem is taking hold. An understaffed kitchen leaves back of house staff spread thinner than filo dough, impacting food quality, employee retention,and overall guest satisfaction. 

Sharpen your restaurant’s performance by hiring skilled chefs and detail-oriented kitchen staff. To find a high-quality chef that meets your restaurant’s standards, check out the four hiring strategies below. 

1. An On-Demand Hiring Service

These days, you can get pretty much anything at the touch of a button. There’s on-demand streaming, rideshare and grocery delivery services, to name a few. If only finding a chef was that easy. Enter Qwick—a modern solution to age-old restaurant staffing challenges. 

Qwick’s online hiring platform connects pre-vetted restaurant professionals with restaurants in need of staff. Here’s an example of how it works: 

Imagine a cook calls out sick before a busy night. You can simply log on to the Qwick platform and post the shift. Then, qualified chefs in your area can see the job and accept it. You avoid the lengthy hiring process and don’t have to deal with an understaffed kitchen—culinary crisis averted. 

Much like a talented chef, Qwick offers professionalism and versatility. You can use the platform to fill a last-minute call-out. You can use it during busy seasons when extra help is needed. You can use it while finding someone to fill the full-time role. The choice is yours. 

Pros: Qwick offers flexibility in hiring. Plus, you get valuable team members without taking on the tax burden of a full-time employee. 

Cons: Qwick offers temporary staffing services. If you’re on the hunt for a full-time chef, you’ll need an additional hiring strategy to fill the role. But, thanks to the lack of hiring fees, you are able to try Qwick before you buy.    

2. Restaurant Job Boards 

The next restaurant hiring strategy we’re dishing up gives you access to loads of candidates. Job boards help you get the word out about open positions via online postings. 

We recommend posting on restaurant-specific job boards to find a chef actively seeking out roles in the food and beverage industry. Since there’s no guarantee that the right candidate is active on the job board you’re posting on, it’s best to utilize multiple job boards. Job boards like Culinary Agents and Poached Jobs that center on the hospitality industry offer a great place to start. 

 Circulate your job postings across multiple culinary-focused platforms to increase your chances of discovering seasoned applicants.  

After finding a reliable job board, create a detailed chef job description. This should include a summary of the role, the amount of experience required and a description of daily responsibilities. Be sure to sprinkle in your establishment’s core values, along with a mention of employee benefits. 

Once your job is up, you’ll monitor respondents and sift through applications. From there, select the applicants that best meet your criteria and invite them to interview and perform the cooking test. Then, start hiring chefs that performed well.  

Pros: Job boards enhance your visibility and get the message to more people than social media or website advertisements can. 

Cons: You may have to sort through scores of candidates to find the right person. Additionally, the cost of multiple job board subscriptions adds up. 

3. Referrals 

Every good chef knows how to work with the ingredients in front of him. Apply that same lesson by surveying your current kitchen staff for recommendations. Frankly, your back of house staff could provide the in house recruiting aid you never expected. 

Hiring a cook via a referral offers a hefty serving of advantages. The time-saving benefits of hiring referrals are reason enough to give this strategy a try. The typical recruiting process involves selecting channels to share the job post on, promoting the position, sorting through candidates, the list goes on. Referrals allow you to bypass the resource-intensive search. 

Want another morsel of good news? Referrals are more likely to produce impressive candidates. Studies show that referred employees are less likely to quit and often outperform candidates hired via other methods. In short, employee referrals could connect you with five-star candidates that you otherwise would have missed out on.

The next time you’re determining how to hire a chef or other kitchen staff member, don’t forget to ask around your restaurant.  

Pros: You can find a chef in a timely manner. The cherry on top? There are no fees associated with this method of hiring chefs. 

Cons: This hiring strategy is not one you can depend on. There’s no guarantee that employees will provide a steady stream of referrals. 

4. Recruiting Agency 

For many looking to hire a chef for a restaurant, the time commitment is daunting. Outsourcing the candidate search is one way to relieve this burden. A recruiting agency works your behalf, uncovering candidates that match your criteria. 

There are certain instances in which hiring a recruiting agency may be a wise decision. For instance, restaurants that lack a dedicated HR manager can rely on recruiters’ services at an agency.

A restaurant that is experiencing growth and needs to fill multiple roles can also benefit from an agency’s help. With access to a vast network of candidates, an agency can deliver multiple candidates. 

Enlisting the help of a recruiting agency allows you to focus on other restaurant areas that need attention. However, it is not a fully hands-off process. You will still conduct interviews, extend offers and onboard new employees. 

Pros: Recruiting agencies do the leg work to alleviate the stress and time commitment required to pinpoint quality candidates.  

Cons: The process does not offer a quick turnaround time. After browsing agencies and settling on one, you’ll need to be onboarded as a client before the job search begins. After that, candidate searches can take weeks or longer.  

Add a Modern Flare to Your Hiring Process  

Qwick is changing the way restaurants hire, providing quality candidates in real-time from servers to dishwashers. With a thorough vetting process and in-depth orientation, you can be sure that each candidate is qualified and ready to work. Get additional help when you need it most with Qwick. 

Whisk away hiring troubles with the help of on-demand hiring. Try Qwick today

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