How to hire a new chef in less than a week

Whether your trusted chef has handed in their notice or you’re opening a new eaterie and need to hire fast, finding the right talent for your kitchen can be hard work. Indeed, it doesn’t matter whether you’re the owner of a local cafe or a Michelin star restaurant, it’s critical that you find a chef that knows what they’re doing and integrates well with the rest of your team.

The recruitment process can often be stressful and time-consuming, but below, we’ve put together some tips and tricks that will save you time, money, and help you hire much quicker!

Write down your requirements

As soon as you’ve decided that you need a new chef, write down your wants and needs so you can outline the role and potential compensation. For example, do you need a chef who can work weekends at the drop of a hat, or are your hours fixed? Do you need someone for a restaurant in the middle of nowhere, and if so, are you able to compensate their mileage on their daily commute, or provide accommodation whilst they’re working for you? The more information you can provide, the more likely you are to find an appropriate candidate – fast!

Offer paid trial shifts

Don’t make potential hires wait around for weeks – conduct interviews and stick them on an hour or two’s trial shift with the rest of your team, who can report back to you on how well they performed. You need to know how your new chef handles the heat in the kitchen – sure, they’re going to be nervous, but if they look out of their depth, you’ll know they’re not for you. Trial shifts are a great way to separate the wheat from the chaff and move forward quickly.

Work with an agency

If you’re in need of a new chef pretty quickly, consider one of the many catering recruitment agencies dotted around to assist with your search. Hiring a new chef on your own certainly isn’t impossible, but having the support of experienced recruiters to assist with your search is a sensible idea – particularly if you’re in a busy period at work and don’t have time to sift through endless applications from people who might not be qualified for the job. An agency, on the other hand, can put you in touch with people it thinks will be suitable immediately.

Consider a temporary chef

Simply must hire within the week? Rather than rushing your decision and regretting your hire down the line, consider hiring a temporary chef on an open-ended contract to work on your team. That way, you can carefully advertise for a permanent member of staff and find the right one for your business; an expert who can not only deliver a return on their investment but add to your team. Sure, temporary chefs are more expensive per-hour than permanent staff, but they afford you some breathing room and allow you to make the right final decision.

Whatever you decide to do with your hire, we wish you the very best of luck with it!