Oh boy! This is a fun one. I've seen this happen more times that you would think. Hiring a chef can be a rewarding process, you get to meet with different candidates, work with them for a day or two, and then there is the tasting! I've been involved with several chef hires. I've included the most common chef hires where the owner may need some guidance.
Questions to ask yourself
First things first: who are you trying to attract? What other restaurants are in the area? Who is your direct competition?
Secondly: What kind of food program would you like to have? Do you need a chef or a KM? How are you going to manage this new program in regards to training the existing staff and getting their buy in? If you have an established food program that you are elevating, how will you manage this change?
Third: How do you find and vet a chef to make a mark on what will become 25%-75% of your revenue? How will they respond to your corporate culture? How will you respond to a whole new department in your business?
You can imagine the money wasted on this ill thought out process. It is far easier to make right decisions in the beginning than it is to change course after roll out.
If the above questions make you squirm; if you don't have the answers, contact 360°restaurantsolutions to help guide you through this process.
The hostess is the first human experience your guest has in your restaurant. The host staff sets the tone for the entire experience. This is a critical hire. They must be pleasant, helpful, friendly, and competent. They must have a bright smile, patience, understanding, and the ability to deploy tables with the skill of Patton. They must handle reservations, walk ins, add ons, table switchers, 3 tops who are now 5 tops, and incomplete parties. This position requires no experience but detailed training as they have to set the tempo for that shift.
There once was a hostess named Angelica. She worked at a busy restaurant and followed the owner Albert's direction to a T.
Albert told her to seat each table as soon as they came in, no waiting! On busy nights as soon as the people show up she seats them: 2's, 4's, 15's, 25's. There are only 50 menus. The dinning room seats 300. "Seat them as soon as they arrive!" She seats 50 people in 10 minutes. The servers must now scramble to greet 15 to 25 table simultaneously. Only a few of them have menus, nothing to look at, nothing to start their decision making process, nothing to do but look around and wonder why they have been invited in but not allowed to begin their evening. Guests hate to wait and will never be rushed.
30 minutes later and there are 100 guests sitting many with no menus, all waiting for a staff member who cannot attend to them in a timely manner. Craft cocktails take 3 minutes each to make; 90 seconds to pour a beer; about 30 seconds to pull a bottle of wine from the shelf; x100 guests for a single barkeep working the service well. You can see how this barkeep gets in the weeds quickly.
The servers in an attempt to take as many orders as they can, ring in 6 tickets at a time. The kitchen printer is running nonstop now that 100 dinner orders, many with 3 courses, are being put through. Industry standard10 minute ticket times for the first course has been abandoned, 15 minutes after the apps the mains should arrive at the table, lololol! With 100 orders coming in at this pace, the controled chaos of the kitchen becomes a full on shit show. Line cooks working their fastest slam steaks on the grill, begin poaching the accompaniments, drop fryer baskets full of starter courses. At a certain point there is no more surface area to cook anything else; only so much food can reasonably be made at a time. The printer running constantly, the tape will spool out to the floor until the kitchen can catch up. Now first courses are taking 30 minutes, mains 40 minutes after that. All because the hostess sat the guests as soon as the folks showed up.
A restaurant need not take reservations to avoid this, it need only use some common sense in pacing the dining room. Right hiring and detailed training are the best ways to keep your table turn consistent and smooth. Once a table is seated the clock starts ticking.
360°restaurantsolutions can help ensure your guests are delighted by every interaction with your staff through a thorough training program. visit 360restaurantsolutions.com to start a conversation