How do you find the talented chefs that every kitchen depends on and ensure a good fit for the new recruit as well as the rest of the team?
Fair trials play a key role in this, with more than four in five kitchens using trials to assess candidates according to a recent Instagram poll.
We asked the FairKitchens community how to create trials that strike the right balance between sufficiently showcasing a chef's skillset and passion, without becoming an excuse for free labour.
Here's what they had to say:
"Restaurants are teams just like every other business and you need a diversity of ideas and backgrounds to come up with the best approach. We're always looking to build as diverse a team from what a team looks like to how a team thinks." - Ellen Yin, Founder and Co-owner of High Street Hospitality Group
"The key to hiring the right candidate is passion. How do they respond to creative ideas? Does food excite them? Finding quality in a candidate isn't hard. Just look for the light when they talk about food."
"The first place we start when it comes to trials is within ourselves. We need to ask if we are good teachers. Be creative, be patient and most importantly be passionate. When you get excited, you pass on passion for this industry. Teach the future generation like you were taught." - Chef Ashleigh Wright, Executive Pastry Chef at Omni Barton Creek Restaurant
"Trials need to be a two-way process. Make sure trials don't get reduced to tests. They are trials for both sides to see if the position is a good fit." - Chef Matt Budden, Executive Chef at Schpoons & Forx
"Our trials for junior positions are three to four hours - we don't want anybody working more than that. We also offer paid trials, so if somebody comes in for longer we'll pay them for their time. The trial should be long enough that candidates can learn about the restaurant and understand it's just as much for them as it is for us. Afterwards, we'll go and have a drink or get some lunch." - Chef Phillip Branch, Group Executive Chef atHawksmoor