For many young people, food service is an excellent first job. By starting from the very bottom, cleaning dishes, prepping food, and clearing tables, a new food service employee can learn how a kitchen operates, the importance of working hard and staying focused, while also receiving hands-on training and mentorship from seasoned professionals in the kitchen.
If managed properly, the early days of a food service career can set a staff member up for great success in the future. But finding bright young talent can be like finding a needle in the proverbial haystack, so what do you do when you stumble across it?
Set High Expectations
The kitchen is a fast-paced, high-pressure place to work, with new orders coming in and going out every few minutes. A successful chef has to be cool and precise under pressure. Set the bar high from the beginning to discern who can handle the pressure and who can't. Eventually, you’ll see the members of your food service staff who rise to the top and show themselves as naturals in this high-pressure environment.
Look For Innate Talent
Just like music and sports, there are some people who are simply made for the kitchen. From excellent knife skills to good instincts the test of time will show you which of your cooks will rise to the top and move forward in the business. When you recognize that innate talent, encourage and mentor that person. With the right training and mentorship, your talented prep cook may eventually be running your kitchen.
Provide Opportunities For Growth
Giving your enthusiastic dishwasher the opportunity to move up in the ranks and begin working directly with food may feel like a risk at first. But that risk can come with great reward when your dishwasher turns out to be your most talented sous chef. If dropping a new cook into your dinner rush sounds like a recipe for disaster, provide opportunities for interested food service team members to prove their skill during downtime.
Many of the most famous chefs in the world started out small, working odd jobs in the kitchen until a good mentor with an eye for talent gave them a chance. Nurturing talented young people is not simply an act of goodwill for them, but it is an investment in your restaurant's future. You can build a great team from the ground up by training and guiding the innate talent that is already in your kitchen.
If building the right team in your restaurant kitchen has proven to be difficult for you, give us a call today. At Suite Hospitality Staffing we know how to put the right people in the right positions within your business.