A chef needs to have more than just great cooking skills. If they don’t know how to lead a team effectively or commit to a budget then it doesn’t matter how fantastic the food they produce is, they won’t make your business the success it needs to be. Just as with any other sector, in hospitality, operations need to run smoothly and ultimately you need to make a profit to survive. These elements are important, so here are four other skills beyond excellent technical ability and creativity that you should seek out in the next chef you hire:
1. The ability to work under pressure
In an ideal world, every single meal your kitchen produces would be cooked to perfection and the diners would be supremely happy. But let’s face it, sometimes things just go wrong. Therefore a chef needs to be able to cope well in stressful situations. What’s more, it’s a fast-paced job and so there’s a lot of pressure due to timing constraints. A chef should have the ability to remain calm and get the job done despite the amount of pressure on her or his shoulders.
2. Quality standards
The food your chef creates with their team is a representation of your business. You want to serve the best quality dishes in order to keep customers or clients happy. It’s vital for the growth of your business that diners see quality in your food as they are then more likely to hire your business or visit your restaurant again. Hence the chef you hire must have standards when it comes to quality and the desire to encourage these standards in the whole of the team.
3. Strong leadership skills
Your chef will most likely be in charge of back-of-house staff, and the number of staff depends on the size of your restaurant or business of course. Your chef needs strong leadership skills in order to manage your team. They should be an effective communicator as staff need guidance and direction in a busy kitchen. They should also have on-point organisational skills as a lot of planning and time management goes into running a successful service.
4. A head for business
You should also be sure to hire someone that has acute business skills alongside their cooking skills. If you want to make a profit, you need a chef who can budget well. Furthermore, they should be able to apply their skills to meet the requirements of your brand. This means the ability to develop a menu fitting for your business which might be gourmet or innovative or traditional etc, but which can still net a decent profit margin.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about during the recruitment process. If you’re not sure where to start, why not consider hiring professional recruitment consultants who know exactly what to look for in a new chef.