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6 tips to help you find the perfect chef

Posted: February 13, 2015 at 12:00 am

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How to hire the right chef:

The right chef for one restaurant may well be the wrong chef for another. Hiring a chef for your establishment is almost as important as choosing the right partner in a relationship. You need to establish and prioritise your needs first and foremost and decide what you would actually like to get from your partnership with your new chef. Perhaps your menu needs somebody with a high level of skill and culinary expertise or perhaps you need somebody who is able to produce good quality meals, where cost to the customer is kept low? How do you choose the right chef?



It is not always necessary to hire a chef that has a degree or a huge range of experience. The saying of ‘you get what you pay for’ is true, especially when it comes to a chef, however, if perhaps you are not able to offer a higher salary or rewards to your employee, then maybe a younger, less experienced chef may well be suitable for your needs, so long as you are willing to allow them to learn and nurse their talent.

What have they done in the past?


Check their credentials and ask for references, the best way of finding a suitable candidate is through word of mouth and others in the trade may well quickly alleviate your worries, however, make sure your source is reliable and trust worthy, the last thing you need is false information being passed on. Also bear in mind that often food suppliers also supply to your competitors and may pass on information of your situation.



Think about how much ability you need from your chef and what sort of dishes you have going out to customers. In many smaller pubs and cafes, where speed and quality are paramount then your chef may not need to be overly qualified, skilled or experienced. Chef in smaller establishments are often used to multi-task and it may not be unusual for the chef to also be the server of the food and drinks too.


Chef cost

Depending again on how much free rein you are allowing your chef ensure that they are able to develop and create meals that are going to actually make you a profit while retaining the quality that your customers expect. Is your chef able to stick to your budgets while creating a menu that will appeal to your target customer base?

Are they able to lead?

Chefs direction

The chef is often the one that leads where others follow. In a busier kitchen, are they able to lead their co-workers well? Will they install confidence when the going gets tough and can they delegate tasks efficiently to the correct people? Are they able to put their requests across well without dictating and micro-managing?



Is your candidate a one hit wonder or are they able to consistently and efficiently produce fantastic quality dishes time after time? Consistency is important as it is what will enable your establishment to thrive. Reputations take a lifetime to build but just seconds to destroy. Lastly, go with your instinct. If you are unsure on somebody, check them out and offer a trial period, whereby you can see how your new candidate works and how well you get on together. The relationship between a chef and you, as their employer, should be one of a mutual benefit and not one sided on any aspect.