Here are six innovative, creative, and success-oriented ways you can handle the shortage of qualified staff.
1) Play nice: Kitchen Nightmares is over. Seriously. Young professionals know that the world is their oyster, and they’re not going to waste their time working somewhere that makes them unhappy all the time. Create a pleasant working environment, and practice showing appreciation. (see interview with Cornelia Poletto) Keep your people motivated, react flexibly, and take care of your team—it helps foster well-being.
2) Make your presence known: Be seen and heard, both online and at events. One great way of drawing people in as an employer is to cooperate closely with a nearby cooking school. Or start doing your own training. (see the US)
3) Digital and connected: Digitization is here, and the gastronomy world is no exception. Top-quality apps can make your life a lot easier. investing in things like digital cash register systems can really pay off. Networking appliances (whether for cooking, washing, or refrigeration) is becoming more and more important. Technology is on the march! Examples include Connected Wash by Winterhalter, ConnectedCooking by Rational, or Metro’s cloud-based solutions.
4) Save your strength: Intelligent cooking technology and other types of “smart” appliances can save you and your kitchen team energy in a lot of ways. Whether you’re cooking for 30 or for a thousand, they can boost your efficiency immensely.
5) Employee benefits and incentives: People want to feel wanted. Be generous! Wouldn’t your chef love to attend that international trade fair? Professionals who value personal growth and want to develop their careers will appreciate you finding (and financing) continuing-education and training opportunities for them. And your wait staff needs a little “me time” at least as much as your customers do, so maybe you could spring for a spa day for the team every once in a while…?
6) Employee branding: The best advertising you can ask for is through your own employees, your brand ambassadors. Who else is in a position to extol the joys of working in your kitchen? Try coordinating an Instagram takeover, for example—something fun and enthusiastic.