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Thread: How do you retain a talented cook?

  1. #11
    And youre only as good as your last service.

    Everybody apart from the owner leaves eventually. If they dont, the flair is gone.

  2. #12
    Pay them well, and make them feel important. Its how you keep any and every employee.

  3. #13
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    sachem allison's Avatar
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    shoot them in the knee cap, take their papers and threaten to have their whole entire family deported if they ever try to leave, But do it with a smile. It is always more effective with a smile.
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    Chewie's the man.

  5. #15
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    I'm with this guy.

  6. #16
    Senior Member DwarvenChef's Avatar
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    I get asked that a few times when I was in a couple places I liked. "Why are you still here?" I'm not here to take over, I'm here because I enjoy the place I work at. While I would like to have my own place when I settle down, right now I just watch and see how different Chef's do things and how places are run. As my first Chef Instructer always said, "Do not copy any one Chef, than you are just a copy cat with nothing of your own. Observe and learn from as many situations as you can and take a little from each experience, making that into your own style." Being married and having a child cut me off from being a nomad cook so I made the choice of getting jobs with the most diversity I could find and watch the interactions. My time in the military helped me easaly adjust to just about any situation so far and I have learned what to do and what NOT to do lol.

    So far all my Chef's have had a few things in common, the ability to listen and respond, a willingness to try our ideas, and keeping a proffessional front at all times. Sure we would go out and get crazy after hours but they never let themselves gossup about work. I like that as it keeps everyone in a secure space.

  7. #17
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    I think everyone will leave eventually, unless it's your own restaurant. What you want to retain is not your staff per se, but rather the goodwill and respect of that particular person. That is how the network is built up. I think that Kaleb's point is the one that hits the mark.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    +10 to dwarvenchef's post
    Chewie's the man.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalaeb View Post
    This F&B industry has close to a 200% turnover rate nation wide, it is kind of expecting the expected.

    The idea would be to have lots of great cooks, or some in the pipeline being trained to take over when the inevitable happens. Other than paying them what they are worth and treating them with respect there is not much you can do.

    If opportunities come up for my guys that I can't compete with, and it is a better move for them and their family, I urge them to take it and help them do so. It is just the right thing to do.

    I have more friends in now from all the places I have worked that respect me because of that so when I need someone all I have to do is make a phone call to any one of dozens of former employees and they always provide great candidates.
    Very well said. I think this is the attitude more people need to have. You'll never keep a whole staff no matter how tight or successful they are. So you do the right thing and teach and train and help people get the things they want and need. A prime example is Thomas Keller saw one of his sous chefs (Grant Achatz) losing some drive so he set up a stage for him at el bulli, a short while after Grant came back from the stage he left Keller and started his own places. Cooks come and go some will stay but I think if you work with that in mind and continue to train and prep the next guys it never really becomes an issue.

  10. #20
    I am a professional cook and I will say from experience never EVER deny a cook the opportunity to advance if he/she is motivated enough. It does nothing but frustrate them and they'll constantly be on Craigslist looking for the next position.

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