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How do you retain a talented cook?
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Thread: How do you retain a talented cook?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tristan's Avatar
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    How do you retain a talented cook?

    Hi, as someone totally outside the industry, I have often wondered how you would actually retain the best cooks/chefs that you hired?

    I ask because I imagine that some places would lose the ability to retain food quality if the chef left, or up and coming cooks need new opportunities but not everyone can be promoted etc. How do you prevent the talent drain? Why wouldn't he leave for a better paycheck, or to start his own restaurant with an investor if he managed to get a name for himself?

    I'm sure there is a simple way to do it, but I could never figure it out.

  2. #2

    ecchef's Avatar
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    Don't lie to them.
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

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    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    Money, benefits, opportunity for advancement. Though you will have turnover regardless.
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
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    Senior Member shankster's Avatar
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    $$$ helps, but the best always leave eventually..

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    You have to talk to them. And you have to make sure that they can talk to you, about anything.

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    If they are a hardcore "real" cook they will work for you only to learn from you and leave once they've worked every station like a boss. This should take a good cook two years--I never expect a good line cook to stay for more than two years. If he does, he's not ambitious enough or he's waiting for you sous to leave and I would talk to him at that point.
    Music--Food .:':. Dancing--Eating

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    Senior Member turbochef422's Avatar
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    The best always leave. I keep them around teaching and motivating but someone is always waving dollars in their face. You can't blame them. I learned a lot but kinda felt loyal and in the end I think it limited my career possibilities. I'm an executive chef but who knows if I would have moved around more.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Birnando's Avatar
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    Make them feel that they matter.
    Build a "team-feeling" and focus on making your staff function together socially.
    It is harder to leave your friends than your tasks, the good ones will always find other places to work.
    So, make them part of the work-family.

  9. #9
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    Everything stated above is on the money. One day your best will leave, next man up.

    But you most always know, '', ''a Chef is only as good as his weakest cook.''

  10. #10

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    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.

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