Hiring servers. philosophy by Chef Niloc

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Chef Niloc

Feb 28, 2011
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I just started hiring servers and bartenders this week and i had forgotten how fun it is. my philosophy is simple, hot chicks sell things, that's why models are hot. One may argue that experience is more important but I think all servers suck for the most that it's safer to go with the known then unknown, keep the experience in management.
Spoken like every other arrogant chef I have met, except for the ones I worked for at the Glazier Group (Michael Jordans, Strip House etc) and Sparks.

That must be why they have interviews for servers with an owner, not the person that cooks the food.

You will get no argument that hot chicks sell things, just that finding some that can sell a bottle of wine and describe the food well is going to require lots of "hands on" training. This can, will, and has taken place in the backs of many a greasy kitchen. Depends on the kind of place you run... Not too many fine dining patrons WIVES take kindly to their husband paying more attention to the waitress than them, they wont complain, you'll just never see them again.

Its discriminatory, and it is not merit-based hiring.

But good looking servers are worth more to the business. Sucks for those of us that don't look like a magazine cover, but an attractive waitstaff will sell more, and get more repeat customers with less complaints. Just no way around it, looking at pretty people makes people behave differently.

I wouldn't hire on this basis, but that doesn't mean I don't get it. A talented server who knows the menu back and forth, can pair drinks, carve a bird, and doesn't confuse orders won't get the tips or repeat business that an ex-Hooters girl will.
Depends on the dining level. Yeah, at hooters or some turn & burn bar and grill, looks do attract that kind of crowd. Finer dining establishments are focused on customer service, product knowledge, and attentiveness. So I guess hot waitresses have their place in this industry too.:smile1:
Thats my point chef.

There is a reason that my 3 of my friends and I had a house in port washington for 6 years and went to Louie's once. All knife knowledge aside, fine dining and Louie's are not hand in hand. We would much prefer a 20 minute train ride...

Thats my point chef.

There is a reason that my 3 of my friends and I had a house in port washington for 6 years and went to Louie's once. All knife knowledge aside, fine dining and Louie's are not hand in hand. We would much prefer a 20 minute train ride...


Wow such harsh words, have we ever met? I have never considered my self a arrogant chef, or " the person that cooks the food". The GM at Louies hired the front of house staff. Trust me they were not hired by looks, I think just the opposite the best looking server there was a 6 pack and bottle of gin at best. There "serving skills", well let's just say they are on par with Kens sharpening. We had the worst of both worlds, fat & ugly and with no skills or desire to better them selves in any way. I had next to no say in that department. never claimed to be fine dining. Nope was not hired to do that that there, in the owners own words " make me money, lots of it ". To be honest i don't disagree with the owners on this one there. the clientele in Port Washington would not permit it, I got crucified for using fresh vegetable and none frozen fish there ( not kidding). When I first started there I did away with the powered mash potatoes, frozen peas and carrots on every plate, and the "butter like sauce" used instead of drawn butter, the townies flipped out, I had to "dirty up" the butter to keep them at bay . The north shore of long island are a odd group. They have a ton of money but when it comes down to it there pure white trash at hart. I took the burger off the dinner menu for a summer session to see if it would cut it sales and up the check average and we sold just as many as when it was on. The challenge there was doing 1500+ covers a night with a 10 man kitchen line with the highest payed cook at $10 a hour. Fine dinning or not there's something to be sad for 17 million gross sales. The thing is unless you own the place as a chef it's hard to make the big bucks I was making 40K a year with Trotter. Right now I'm missing my nice 6 figure salary as I'm hemorrhaging money out my a$$ opening my new place, thank god the wife's a doctor, that way she can cure the food poising I give my self umm acutely she's a pathologist so she may only be of help after words... She's great if I ever need to get rid of a body.
O thanks for the props on the knife knowledge, I know how to use them pretty well too if your still on the island we should get together.
Let's please keep the personal attacks to ourselves. We can have good discussion without getting personal.

Man that was the best reading I've had in days. Feels like a Gordon Ramsay book boiled down to a paragraph. Thanks, Colin!
I know that when I chaired a bunch of fundraisers for several non-profits I helped I always had raffle's for things like mink coats etc. To sell the tickets I always hired the local Budweiser girls who would come sans their official Budweiser outfit. I told them to wear something sexy but also something their grandmother would approve of... (these were family events).

In any case I'd give each of the girls a roll of tickets and tell them if they sold ALL the tickets they would get a $150 bonus on top of the $100 "salary" I paid them for a 3 hour event. They sold their tickets no problem....

In a restaurant there are places that need "professional" waiters and those that can get by without them. A true pro will make you AND himself lots of money because they know their customers and how to sell. How to turn a table that's not going to make any money etc... Yeah, you can hire bimbos. But you can't turn them into pros... The professional wait staff will seek out the better restaurants and vice versa.
Few things
1st I'm staffing a new place that will be seasonal. No way to get a pro staff, that's why I hire based on looks, looks don't lie and they sure help sell.
2nd I'm not sexist I hire the Ken Dolls too
3rd I wish I could post a resume I got today. Just a name, phone number , measurements and photo... Don't even know what job she was looking for? But I hired her.
All politics aside, "3rd" is pretty funny.
It's funny how many resumes I get with photos. It's a new thing.
Looks sell, sorry not attractive waiters.
Well, first of all..who says that attractive people are too stupid to become good servers? At many places I've worked we've had both model types and 'others'. Both types have their share of stupid & lazy as well as intelligent & motivated. In NYC especially, there are few young pro servers; most waitrons are just making a few bucks while waiting for their big break in the entertainment industry.

I ain't gonna knock Colin for his hiring practices, I'd probably do the same thing under the circumstances. He's seasonal...in all fairness, it wouldn't be right to hire pro wait staff if they're going to have their hours cut (or worse) in the off season.

Oh, and your right about the Island, Colin. I've worked with some bonnakers in the past. Weird bunch.
Well, first of all..who says that attractive people are too stupid to become good servers? .

Good point, best to have both. My wife sent some med students in for jobs they are #9's or better and will be doctors soon, one babe is going for her dagree in micro bio in pathogenic research I'd say she's no dummy.