The role of a chef de partie is one of the most important jobs in any kitchen. Here at Three Q we’re a hands on recruitment team who work to match our clients with the perfect Chef de Partie for the job. How hands on are we? We go out on site on help to train our temps and perms so that they have a great start to their new job. Our consultants are ex hospitality professionals, we undertake CPD in healthcare and hospitality training and we have served at events. We know what it’s like to be a Chef de Partie in a busy Dublin restaurant, so if you’d like to know more, read on.
Job interview tips for Chefs is something that is regularly asked by candidates coming to Three Q. Because there is generally a skills test along with the formal interview that candidates have to go through, it can be daunting to Chefs. However, Three Q have been helping to match job-seeking Chefs with Employers for years so we know a thing or two about job interviews. Any job interview can be a nervous time for candidates so we’ve put together our list of top tips in preparing for that Chefing job interview in confidence.
Before the interview
Preparation is key for a great interview. If you know that you’ve got everything ready to go before you have to go to the interview itself you will feel much more confident and it will come across to the interviewer.
- Visit the company website and social media pages to get a feel for the business and think of some questions. This will also help you for when the interviewer asks what you can bring to the business as a chef. Maybe you’ve noticed that you could do a better job at the presentation of the dish or even maybe they don’t have a great social media account that you could offer to help with.
- Plan your route to the interview. It may seem like a simple task to get to the location of the interview but don’t forget that you may get stuck in traffic in a certain area, or if you’re walking to the interview it may start to rain. Check bus times, cycle routes, book train tickets in advance, you don’t want to be stressed for the journey or turn up late to your interview.
- Prepare your clothes the night before. Chefs should look neat and tidy so check and double check that your clothes are clean and neatly iorned.
- Look at the existing menus. This is an important one. Have a look at the current menu belonging to the restaurant. Look at what you like and don’t like about it, think about new dishes that you would add if you worked there.
- Have the interviewers phone number saved. In such a digital era we tend not to save numbers that we can find on the internet. However have a number saved incase you get lost on the way or something happens which means you’ll be late or unable to make it to the interview. It’s always when we need to make an important call that you run out of data or can’t get internet signal.
- Aim to be there 10 minutes early. This will ensure that even if you are running a few minutes late or get lost, you should still make it on time.
During the interview:
- When the interviewer enters the room stand up and shake their hand. It may seem trivial but shaking someone is a great way to show that you are polite and professional.
- Have your mobile off and put away. Turn off your phone and place it in your handbag or pocket. You don’t want to distract yourself or the interview with a flashing or vibrating phone while you’re trying to have a conversation.
- Listen to everything the interviewer says and never interrupt them. Be polite and don’t interupt the interviewer. Remember to listen closely. Sometimes when we are nervous we might hear something slightly different to what the interviewer asks and you don’t want to go off on a tangent about something you weren’t asked about.
- Always say please and thank you if you are offered something like a class of water. It’s polite!
- If you are given a tour of the kitchen, walk alongside the interviewer, not on front and not behind. This will show them that you think of yourself as equal, not above or below them. It will also show them that you are listening to them while they talk.
- Don’t be too informal. Keep slang and abbreviations for more casual conversation- you’re not a CDP you’re a chef de partie, unless they use the former.
You don’t get away with not having to answer questions about your career in a chef interview so we suggest you think about the following questions and how you would answer them for the formal part of the interview.
- Why do you want the job?
- What has been your biggest achievement in cheffing?
- What are your weaknesses?
- How do you manage time during busy periods?
- What do you think you could add to our kitchen?
Some chef interviews require the potential candidate to showcase some of their skills in a “working interview”. They are usually in one of the following formats.
Ready Steady Cook: Sometimes an interviewer will give you some ingredients and ask you to cook something within a certain amount of time. Don’t panic! This is just a test of your creativity and skills and to see how well you can work under pressure with limited resources.
Trial: Some businesses will ask you to work a shift (or maybe half a one). Ask the staff questions if you are unsure of something and make sure that you become part of the team. The interviewer will often ask the other staff how you got on. Look interested and ask for jobs or to help out if you run out of things to do.
Menu: Some businesses will ask you to prepare a menu prior to the interview and cook it there. Ensure that the dishes on your menu fit into the theme of the restaurant- don’t cook enchiladas if you are interviewing for an Italian restaurant.
Trade test: This one is favoured by a lot of places. You might get asked to cook a classic or basic dish with your own twist. The purpose of this is test out your knowledge of how different foods work together and how they can be amended for modern tastes.
After the interview:
When you leave make sure you thank the people who have interviewed for their time and for asking to meet with you. They are giving you an opportunity to work so you should be polite and mannerly.
Follow these tips, and you’re sure to have a great interview. Remember to do lots of preparation before your interview and stay calm and mannerly towards the interviewer at all times. If you are currently looking for a job as a chef keep an eye on our listings that we are constantly updating with new job opportunities in the industry. If you are an employer and are wishing to advertise your job in our listings, please email email@example.com or phone +353 1878 3335.
Three Q have been helping to match job-seeking Head Chefs with Employers in Dublin for years so we know a thing about the day to day life of a Head Chef. If you’ve ever wondered about what the life of a head chef in Dublin is like or maybe you’re just curious, read ahead.
As a head chef you are responsible for everything that happens in the kitchen. You are required to see all dishes from start to finish and you’re given the task hiring and firing employees. The job of head chef involves creating new dishes for the kitchen you work in whilst also overseeing staff and making sure that your kitchen is meeting health and safety standards.
If you love to cook, enjoy being creative and relish the challenges that come with responsibility, read on to learn more about becoming a head chef.
What skills are required of a Head Chef?
If you dream of becoming a head chef you will obviously need to have a genuine love for food but you will also need to be a person with plenty of energy- you will need to start every shift with a spring in your step as your role also include encouraging and motivating the team you work with. As a head chef you will need outstanding cooking skills and be creative when it comes to the preparation and presentation of food. You should have a deep understanding of ingredients and produce which will aid in you in creating menus which are innovative and profitable to the business.. Leadership and management skills are a must have and you need to be able to fairly and equally delegate tasks to you staff that suits their training and skill sets.
What Are The Role’s Main Responsibilities?
Once you become a restaurant’s head chef your duties will include the overall running of the kitchen’s day-to-day goings-on, ordering produce, creating new dishes, hiring new staff, raising profit margins for the food end of your employers business, taking care of stock levels, implementing health and safety rules in the kitchen, working to the budget that your employers sets out and creating a work rota for the team.
What About Work Environment & Schedule?
As head chef most of your time will be spent in the back-of-house creating recipes and other more advanced tasks. You will need to learn to delegate tasks to your team so that you can do this without distractions. You also need to take care of front-of-house operational issues relating to the kitchen and must also ensure the food is consistently of high quality. Because a restaurant’s success depends on the head chef, you will be required to work long hours on a shift basis. This means working nights, weekends and holidays and even when you are not in the restaurant; you must be on call in case there is an emergency.
What Are The Downsides?
The role of head chef carries with it a lot of responsibility and pressure. If your food is not of premium quality, the restaurant will quickly lose customers and you get the blame. The hours are quite long and you’ll have little free time; things can also get stressful when one of your staff calls in sick and you have to scramble to find a replacement.
What Are The Benefits?
Becoming a head chef gives you control in the kitchen to be be the creative side of the kitchen and express yourself with food. Becoming a head chef is a rewarding profession as you will see customers enjoying your creativity and knowledge of food.. As you have a team of staff to handle menial duties, you have more free time to create your own culinary masterpieces. After becoming an established chef, you could even go on to open your own restaurant.
If becoming a head chef interests you or if you are currently a head chef looking for a new position keep an eye on our listings that we are constantly updating with new job opportunities in the industry. If you are an employer and are wishing to advertise your job in our listings, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +353 1878 3335.
Food and Beverage Manager is a job title that you may often see on job listings but what does it mean? Here at Three Q we have a wealth of knowledge when it comes matching Food and Beverage Managers with their perfect employer. So if you’re curious as to what the role requires and what a Food and Manager does on a day-to-day basis, read on.
Ten reasons to be a chef in Dublin include the fact that with its rich culinary culture and diverse community, Dublin is quickly becoming one of the best places to work as a chef. Here at Three Q, we’re so passionate about the cause that we’ve put together our top ten reasons why you should take a serious think about becoming a chef in Dublin. Read more
Recruitment agencies understand how busy HR managers are. They want to help you by finding your perfect candidate. Speed of response is key in order to beat the competition and hire the top candidate they are offering you. We see this every day, especially in the Medical Sector, where HR & recruitment teams need to liaise with doctors and consultants for opinions on potential candidates. We all understand how busy they are. All of this means that acting fast and getting a swift response to a recruitment agency can be difficult.
Many people do not realise the heavy workload that the HR department carries. Hiring staff can be a tedious and lengthy process. Especially for a company that requires only the most qualified candidates for specific roles.
Here are 3 reasons from us on why a quick response is important;
- The speed of response, from when a recruiter offers a candidate to the HR or hiring manager is so important. If you feel this could be the right candidate, you should respond to the recruiter as soon as you can, to set up an interview. This helps to eliminate the competition. One particular candidate could be sought after by a number of recruiters for numerous organisations. That’s why time is important, being a day late to respond could cost you the best person for the job.
- Hot candidates could be dealing with many recruiters or organisations. Sending them an email or having a quick phone call to say that they have been shortlisted for the role could secure them before anyone else, rather than leaving it a few days to get back to them. Your interest and commitment to them will lead to their commitment in your role over the competition.
- It can improve your ratios for interview to hire. It can’t do any harm to have more than a few suitable candidates as the chances of you filling the role will increase. Limiting yourself due to time constraints or waiting to hear back from other team members or hiring managers can greatly affect the recruitment process.
If you want the perfect candidate, meet them halfway by getting back to your recruiter on time. Remember, your recruiter is an extension of your team.
For any business, hiring the right people to fit the needs of your company is always important. Finding the right chef for your kitchen needs care and attention to detail. Just like when you’re perfecting a dish, you need to have the same mind set for recruiting your next chef. We would like to share some tips from our experience in chef recruitment with you.
Hiring a chef is one of the largest challenges for managers in the hospitality sector. Finding a capable, experienced & hardworking chef for your hotel or restaurant can be exhausting. Despite the challenges, hiring the right chef is a vital component of your business’s success.
On any given day, this employee will do more than prepare food. A chef trains new hires, oversees cooking processes, creates menus and advises management of business needs. Also, the word “chef” means chief in French, so your next chef will lead all other kitchen staff members.
2 key factors when recruiting for a new chef
- Know who you’re looking for – helps to narrow down search, what experience is required
- Decide who will hire – agency or in-house
Chefs of all levels are very in-demand, in can be hard to find the perfect one for your kitchen. So taking the time to make sure you do it rightis important.
Most in-demand chef jobs in Dublin currently;
- Head Chefs
- Sous Chefs
- Chef de Parties
- Pastry Chefs
However, head chefs are a little trickier, you want to find top class talent to run your kitchen.
Key skills to look for when recruiting your next Head Chef;
- Efficient in menu creation – involving ingredient selection, being innovative and creative
- Coaching skills – not just being able to teach someone but following through with the process afterwards
- Organisation skills – ordering, making rosters, paperwork for food safety
We get to know the chefs who apply through our agency, that way we know if they’re a good fit for the job. Having nearly 20 years’ experience in this industry we’ve learned a thing or two about the wants and needs of hiring managers. Many of our recruitment consultants have worked in hospitality themselves, so we know the business. Click here to read about our recruitment process.
You, as a business owner, can hire the most talented, educated, and experienced employees in the industry to grow your business. But, if they’re not motivated to bring their best selves to work every day and to work together for the good of the company, all of that talent will be wasted.
The hiring process is just the beginning. Once you’ve onboarded your team, it’s time to get them motivated and keep them motivated. The future of your business is at stake.
How to Motivate Employees in the Workplace
There are many tactics you can utilize to inspire your employees’ best work. Understanding how these will affect your team members is the first step to improving workplace satisfaction and ultimately your bottom line.
1. Competitive Pay
It seems fairly obvious. If you don’t pay your employees what they are worth (and more), they will underperform. They’ll always have one foot out the door from the moment they start.
Underpaying your staff sends the message that you don’t value their hard work and their talents. If you don’t value their hard work, they won’t either.
Here’s how to make competitive pay work for you:
- Before you float a position, research the general pay scale and then go above it. You will attract brighter talent and foster more loyalty.
- Stay abreast of how raises are being handled in your industry and do even better. Institute performance based raises in addition to cost-of-living raises.
- Make sure that your brand new employees are not coming in at a higher salary than your seasoned employees. No, you don’t want your employees discussing salary. And yes, they do it anyway. Nothing tells your experienced employees that they are expendable like bringing in a newbie at a higher pay rate.
Pay your employees well and they will return more rewards.
While health insurance is the first thought that springs to mind during the benefits discussion, it shouldn’t be the only one. Employees expect health insurance, so offering that doesn’t set you apart from the crowd or motivate your staff.
It’s time to think outside the box:
- Wellness programs – this can include gym memberships, massages, weight loss or smoking cessation support, You can offer monetary rewards for participation and completion. This not only motivates employees, but also decreases sick days and may lower your health insurance costs.
- Tuition reimbursement – Students are graduating with more and more student loans every year. In addition, some employees may want to go back to school so they can move up in your company.
Offering money for tuition or towards student loans can help motivate your employees to grow and improve. It also sends the message that you appreciate personal development and want your employees to have upward mobility.
- Telecommuting – People love to work from home and to make their own schedule. Whenever possible, give your trusted employees the option to skip the office and work from the comfort of their homes.
Creating their own schedule can be appealing to many employees and you will likely find that they work more efficiently when given this freedom. This will also keep them from feeling like they are being micro-managed, a situation which will ensure that your employees do the bare minimum and harbor resentment towards management.
Get creative with your use of benefits and your employees will thank you in improved performance.
2. Ensuring managers have leadership qualities
Your employee is doing a fantastic job in their current role so you reward them with a promotion. This seems good in theory, but what if that employee isn’t management material? The Peter principle states that “managers rise to the level of their incompetence”.
Managers need to possess leadership qualities. If you plan to promote for a job well done, make sure that:
- a) the employee already shows these qualities, or
- b) you give them sufficient training to succeed in their new position.
When you promote (or even worse, hire) a leader without leadership qualities, the employee will suffer, the team will suffer, and your business will suffer.
3. Performance reviews
It may seem counterintuitive for anyone who has ever had the dreaded “review”, however checking in with your employees on a regular basis and discussing their performance can be a win-win situation.
- Review expectations: Here’s what’s expected of you.
- Offer positive feedback: Here’s what you did well.
- Provide constructive suggestions: Here are the areas in which you need to improve, and how to do it. (be specific!).
- Utilize financial rewards and incentives: Bonuses, raises, promotions, etc.
- Create a safe space: Allow your employee to review the leadership and motivation they are receiving. And don’t forget to listen.
4. Engage with them personally through staff meetings
No one wants to work for the Wizard of Oz, a giant talking head who can’t be bothered speaking to his team. The best bosses are the ones who know their employees on a professional level, yet also care about them on a personal level.
Take the time to speak to your employees through one on one meetings and staff meetings, and most importantly, listen to your employees when they speak to you. The greatest ideas, breakthroughs, and solutions will come from the employees that are in the thick of it.
Front line, middle management; these are the people who understand how your business is run. Take advantage of this wealth of knowledge and show your appreciation for their hard work.
No matter what type of building you occupy, how much you’ve spent in equipment or inventory, and how much you love your customers, your employees are your biggest investment and your best assets. Treat them with respect and provide them with constant sources of motivation, and your business will boom.
|Written by: Brad Mishlove, CEO and founder of Catapult Groups, an executive coaching organization is committed to inspiring business owners and entrepreneurs by keeping them accountable for their own success through peer advisory groups and one-on-one executive coaching.|
For more articles like this visit our blog homepage!
The Busy Christmas Season
Why hire temp staff during busy periods like Christmas? Well, we are all aware that hotels and hospitals alike don’t get to close their doors over the holiday season, in fact it’s one of their busiest periods. There is a higher demand for staff and in turn the need for temp staff increases. Permanent employees may want to take holidays at Christmas time. Staff are more prone to getting sick due to the colder weather. These circumstances mean they can’t work as much over the Christmas season. This can leave a company short-staffed. They end up over-working the smaller number of employees they have left. This is when temp staff become an option and are of great benefit. Experienced temp staff are essential. Rather than just filling a temp position as quick as you can, take time to research the agency you’re hiring temps from. If they are experienced and have a good work ethic, you and your team will appreciate them much more.
Time For Temps
Many different scenarios result in a company being understaffed, especially last minute. A chef-de-partie calls in sick on the morning of a banqueting event… Call for a temp chef. A catering assistant in a hospital has to leave for 2 weeks to see their family as they aren’t from Ireland… Call for a temp catering assistant. A cleaner who doesn’t live close to work can’t come in due to bad weather conditions… call for a temp cleaner. Temps provide you with last minute cover to prevent any disruption to the working day.
Temp Staff Vs Permanent Staff
While the divide between permanent and temp staff can be difficult, hiring short-term employees can also help the overall workplace mood. If permanent employees are forced to work long hours; double shifts, weekends and nights, morale can quickly decrease. Employees can become stressed, frustrated and even burn-out. That’s why offering extra help during Christmas ensures your core team stays happy and remains productive. Smaller companies have to be able to adapt their team during busy periods, but hiring permanent staff can be time-consuming and expensive. Temp staff can provide a quick fix for unexpected events, long-term leaves, and special projects.
Three Q Temps
That’s why team Three Q pride ourselves on having skilled employees with stellar experience who excel in all tasks that are assigned to them. Clients can expect the most professional, versatile and hardworking staff who adapt to a mind-set as if they are part of your own team. Our temps staff team are very experienced in their respective fields and many of them have been with us for over 5 years. Find out more about Hiring Temps.
They say that a blunt kitchen knife is more dangerous than a sharp one.
When a knife can no longer do the job that serves its purpose – Cutting – then things can get quite risky in the kitchen. You should never force a knife through something nor should you ever have to! If you find that your kitchen knife is no longer slicing through your vegetables as easily as it did when you purchased it then it’s time to sharpen it!
Once you’ve sharpened your knives, it’s important to maintain them. Here’s a few ways you can keep those knives sharp for a little longer!
Use the right chopping board.
Wooden or Plastic are a good choice but Marble or Glass can be damaging!
Your choice of chopping boards can dramatically improve your knife’s ability to stay sharp.
The best choice for keeping your knives sharp is a wooden chopping board.
The wood is soft enough that it does less damage to your cutting edge. The best chopping boards have the end grain facing up in a butcher block style. This style is durable but allows the knife to slide between the vertical wood fibers.
The next best chopping board surface is the plastic chopping boards.
These chopping boards are relatively easy on knife edges and are practical to use. Unlike a wooden chopping board, the plastic boards can be tossed into a dishwasher to sanitize it. Wooden chopping boards can be quite hard to maintain themselves even if they are good for your knives!
The last choice in chopping boards would be the glass or marble chopping boards or cutting directly on ceramic plates. These cutting surfaces are just too hard for knives. Constant chopping and slicing on these boards will dull even the highest quality kitchen knives.
Properly Clean Your Knife
The process of cleaning your kitchen knives often results in unnecessary dulling. The biggest culprit is the dishwasher. In a dishwasher, the knife edges are much more likely to come in contact with other silverware or ceramic dishes. This banging around will cause small imperfections in your knife edge and dull it over time.
The solution? Wash your knives by hand. Washing knives by hand also saves the handle material from the soaking and the high heat of a dishwasher. When washing knives by hand, avoid the temptation of soaking your knives in your cleaning water, in addition to possibly damaging the wooden handles, sharp knives are not something you want lurking in your cloudy dishwater. In addition, after your knife is properly washed, it’s important to dry your knife thoroughly before putting it away.
Storing Your Knives
A knife block or other knife holders are an important step in maintaining sharp knives.
Without proper storage, your knives can end up in a drawer where they can get banged around and dulled. Sharp knives can also expose you to unnecessary risk of cutting yourself while rummaging through your drawers.
Proper Knife Usage
In order to keep your knife sharp, it is also important to avoid using it as a pry bar, hammer, screwdriver or any other tool. Knives should only be used for their intended purpose… cutting!
So there you have it!
If you’re just not that sure how to sharpen your knives at home, Sweeney O’Rourke offer a knife sharpening service in their showrooms!
Or maybe you need a set of lovely knives to sharpen? Well we are giving away a Giesser 7pc Knife set and Case over on our Facebook page so be sure to head over there and enter for your chance to win!
The tips in this article are from the website sharpening supplies.
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