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What to look for when hiring…for the kitchen

 

This is the second in a series of blog posts devoted to helping employers find right-fit hourly employees in various industries. The series is based on information from the Best Practice Profiles compiled by Snagajob’s assessment partner, PeopleAnswers. Read the previous post here

An estimated 448,000 restaurant jobs are expected to open up this summer. When you’re expecting more customers and busier days, finding new employees who are qualified for your restaurant’s kitchen staff  is essential to summertime success.  The skills and specific knowledge one needs to thrive in a restaurant all depends on the role he/she will play in the business.

Some commonly available kitchen, or back of house, positions include cook, dishwasher and food runner. Keep a look out for the following qualities when filling these restaurant jobs:

Cook – Obviously, this is the person who will be preparing the dishes for your customers, so choose wisely. Beyond that, look for someone who has extensive knowledge of sanitation, health and safety standards for every aspect of the kitchen. A cook will also need a good sense of self-awareness, as he/she monitors not only their actions in the kitchen, but also the rest of the back of house staff. The ability to acknowledge and improve any problems is also something a cook should be comfortable doing.

Dishwasher – This position entails more than making sure the dishes get cleaned. He/she will be in charge of cleaning all food preparation areas and cooking surfaces, as well as sweeping and scrubbing the floors. Good coordination skills will be required in order to complete these duties alongside everyone else working in the kitchen.

Food runner – This will be the last person to see plates before they reach the customers. Make sure this person can pay close attention to details since he/she will need to know exactly how the prepared food should look on its way out of the kitchen. Strong listening skills are also a must, as the runner will have to take direction and can sometimes act as the communication between the kitchen and the customer.

Consider these various characteristics and skills when interviewing for back-of-house positions in your restaurant and find the next great additions to your staff. To start finding quality applicants for the busy summer season, take a look at what Snagajob Talent Sourcing can do for you. Happy hiring!

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Imani is a content specialist at Snagajob. When she’s not writing content for employers to read, she can be found catching up on celebrity gossip, updating her blog or channeling her inner rock star at karaoke.

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