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How to Hire Michelin Star-Worthy Kitchen Staff: 8 Skills to Look for

 

Working in a professional kitchen is one of the most physically and mentally challenging jobs. With several customers to serve, the kitchen may be busy, day in and day out. 

A head chef organizes the teams, but a well-arranged kitchen is equally vital. The organization of a kitchen is critical since its success revolves around several moving parts. 

Look at it this way: “A brilliant chef can be the heart of a kitchen, but without the coordination of the entire kitchen staff, all the heart’s creative ideas cannot be realized.” 

Kitchen organization goes beyond how each section flows. It requires proper coordination between the head chef and the staff as each one performs their respective roles in the kitchen. Here, you must pay attention to the kitchen staff’s ability to produce good food and quality service.

The following sections will discuss the skills you need to look for in a Michelin star-worthy kitchen staff and tips on building one.

The Power of Teamwork in the Kitchen

Almost every aspect of professional life requires teamwork. Being in a restaurant kitchen is no different, with several people forming the core of the kitchen staff. Their skills, professional ethic, and working styles are bound to be different in one way or another. 

So, how do you build a high-performing kitchen staff? Since you’re trying to establish the power of teamwork, values like trust, respect, knowledge, and communication become the pillars of your kitchen staff’s success

Investing in kitchen staff is part of the formula for restaurant success. Show them respect, treat them equally, set expectations, and provide them with sufficient knowledge as individuals and as team members. The more you invest in them, the more likely they will grow professionally.

As a result, you’ll build highly efficient staff and a positive environment where everyone can rely on one another. Your restaurant will be recognized for providing a high-quality dining experience, as well. 

Skills to Look for in High-Performing Kitchen Staff

The Michelin recognition is the highest honor a restaurant can receive and is a testament to its great food and service. What do Michelin star restaurants have that others don’t? One factor is their high-performing kitchen staff, who exemplify several characteristics. 

  1. Customer service

  2. The ability to deliver excellent customer service is essential for kitchen staff. You want your customers to have a memorable experience not only with the food you serve but also with the service you extend to them. Often, it is a combination of the two that brings them back.

    Customer-oriented kitchen staff must be willing to go out of their way to address whatever concern is brought to their attention as best as they can.

  3. Physical speed and strength

  4. Your staff will frequently carry multiple plates at once. This requires them to have the physical strength to hold all those items while being fast enough to provide timely service to the customer. All this needs to be done orderly without causing messy spills or tripping.

    Whether it’s washing dishes, cleaning equipment, or refilling saltshakers, kitchen staff should be quick but careful in their movements; otherwise, delays or accidents might happen.

  5. Attention to detail

  6. Kitchen staff must always strive to provide guests with a memorable experience. From the head chef, sous chefs, and waiters and waitresses, a level of detail is necessary to produce high-quality food and service.

  7. Stress management
  8. Chaos and stress can easily find their way into a professional kitchen. Numerous people are moving around, restaurant equipment is being moved left and right, and servers are coming in and out.

    The kitchen staff had better manage their stress levels and maintain a cool head. This is necessary, so they can properly communicate and contribute to a smooth workflow in the kitchen. Yelling and getting angry can only make matters worse, as conflicts may arise among the staff. Take the lead by remaining calm and composed as you call the shots.

  9. Safety consciousness
  10. Safety is paramount for any restaurant. Your restaurant may be serving hundreds of people every day, and it’s in your best interests to instruct and train your staff regarding safety measures and procedures.

    Improperly handled food, cuts, and burns can occur in a busy kitchen. Simple practices like remembering to say “behind you” when walking or standing behind a line cook can help prevent these accidents.

  11. Ability to multitask
  12. Your staff will frequently cater to multiple customers. Because of this, they must be capable of multitasking. Their functions may include:

    • Greeting customers at the entrance
    • Describing the menu
    • Taking orders
    • Delivering food and drinks
    • Garnishing plates or cocktails

  13. Conflict and issue resolution
  14. Your staff may encounter issues during service time. Whether it is something minor or major, proper communication is crucial to resolve the problem quickly and efficiently. You don’t want your customers feeling anxious or concerned, so it is best to collectively agree on a solution.

  15. Can think on one’s feet
  16. Sometimes, other members of the kitchen staff may be busy doing their tasks. This is most likely to happen during peak hours. At this point, if there is nobody to turn to for help, each staff must be able to think on their feet regardless of the situation

    Once they have a solution or idea, they should act immediately. It saves time and effort while satisfying the customer’s needs.

Tips on Building a Great Kitchen Staff

After identifying the skills you need to look for in your staff, the next step is building one. What are the things you need to do to successfully lead the team? What is the ideal setup for your staff? Find out the answers with these pointers.

  1. Don’t micromanage

  2. One of the worst things any employee can experience is micromanaging. Treating your staff like kids who are unable to look after themselves might be counterproductive. It can lead to stress and mistrust, affecting their ability to work effectively.

    Instead, build a sense of camaraderie and a culture of honesty and trust. Everybody should be provided with work tools that will help the team flourish.

  3. Respect everyone’s opinions and ideas

  4. In any workplace, respect plays a vital role in the team’s success. Having a culture built around respect allows any staff member to share their ideas. These ideas can be game-changing, and if everyone can pitch in on an idea, it can turn into something innovative.

    Allowing everyone to voice their opinion shows that you value their talent and fosters a positive work environment in the kitchen.

  5. Recognize and reward excellent work

  6. Recognizing and rewarding excellent work encourages the team to continue doing their best. It can also foster positive reinforcement, especially if you openly praise the high-performing staff in front of the whole team while sincerely thanking the rest for doing their best.

    Encouraging everyone and acknowledging their work is one way to continue motivating them. Regardless if it is an individual or team accomplishment, it is always worth celebrating with the entire staff.

  7. Invest in your staff’s training

  8. Your kitchen staff’s skills will also rely on proper training. You want to build a team with reliable members who can work individually and in a group.

    However, that won’t be possible if you don’t provide the appropriate training. There are several areas of kitchen work that your staff will need to handle, and training them on these aspects will further enhance their skills and allow your restaurant to succeed.

  9. Listen to your staff’s feedback

  10. Feedback is vital for business success. Since it will be challenging to gather your staff during the restaurant’s service hours, try to set a few minutes every day to talk to the team.

    Asking them what they think the restaurant can improve, how the customers like the food, and the like can keep the conversation going.

    You can also ask for feedback about how you can manage the restaurant better. Knowing their ideal restaurant’s setup and appliances can do both your staff and your restaurant a lot of good.

  11. Define clear roles

  12. Without defining any roles, your staff will feel confused and unguided. People will be running around not knowing what to do, resulting in a chaotic kitchen and dining area. From preparing drinks, garnishing cocktails, and serving the food, these need to be clear with each staff member.

The Recipe for Success

Hiring a kitchen staff entails being clear about the requirements that they need to meet, and it is up to you to determine how you will assess their suitability to be part of your team. Remember that the goal is to assemble a staff capable of providing excellent, timely service that will create a memorable experience for dining customers.

Any professional kitchen will need top-of-the-line equipment. For your requirements, visit Charlie’s Fixtures for quality equipment! Feel free to browse the numerous products on the line and get in touch with us!

 


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