Hiring phase 1--HELP!

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Libationbrew
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2006/08/14 11:48:23 (permalink)

Hiring phase 1--HELP!

Well, we are 2-3 weeks away from opening our kitchen, now its crunch time for hiring. Our bar has been getting stronger, (been almost 9 mos)and I've managed to find 2 pt tenders. (fired 2) Luckily, a young couple 'fell into our lap'. (they were both working at a local diner, but things were going downhill daily there, so, they came to us. But, some of the people applying for server positions--well, let's just say, I'm amazed! Is it really possible to attend high school, a "career center", have a few misc. jobs and not know how to spell/fill out a basic employment application? Can't spell=cant read! Not happening!
Thanks for letting me vent.......
#1

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    mayor al
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/14 14:59:48 (permalink)
    Yeah... It is even possible to find someone with a Bachelor's degree with the same "Lack of Skills" (not quite as often, perhaps- But Possible). That's why many FF places have graphic symbols instead of "words" on their register buttons.
    Hang in there, There are good candidates out there, but to quote my lovely wife " Ya gotta kiss a lot of Frogs before you find the Handsome Prince". She was , of course, referring to finally meeting me,12 years ago!!
    #2
    sinkiller
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/14 15:56:20 (permalink)
    My servers under 30 can't make change for a dollar, without using an adding machine...true!
    #3
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/14 18:41:24 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by sinkiller

    My servers under 30 can't make change for a dollar, without using an adding machine...true!


    I would suggest you talk to the manager regarding their abilities???

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #4
    prisonchef
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/14 21:02:03 (permalink)
    libationbrew,
    oh man your fun has just begun!!!!
    to give you a little idea of just how much fun here are how many people i have watched come and go
    from the bbq place i work part time at;
    4 managers-if memory serves me correct 1 walked,2 are now in jail and the 4th one had a small contre temps with a 15 year old waitress which was complicated by his age of 27 at the time. state of florida took a dim view of this so they sent him on a 5 to 10 year vacation.
    line cooks- good lord they must average one every 3 months.
    waitresses- bout the same except the bad ones stay and drive the good ones off.
    nice thing is the owner gives every new hire the same speech no matter what their position is and i quote "see the fat,grumpy looking old man (i ain't old i'm only 55) he is a certified chef and does competions too boot and taught culinary arts for 4 years along with having his own operation 3 days a week. he can be your best friend or your worst nightmare come to life the choice is yours. by the way i have watched him work men half his age into the dirt and never break a sweat. if you want to learn to cook ask him and he will teach you but never ever screw with him (of course the managers dont care too much for that) and for goodness sake never ever be late as he will eat your breakfast and lunch.
    man, brew, my heart goes out to you. hopefully in the next year i am getting my own place. it will only grow no larger than me,my wife and my daughter can operate. i've seen enough of the other.
    jack
    ps. when i turned 50 i gave myself the birthday present of never ever being an executive chef again. i love my part time job. i go in,i cook,i handle the lunch rush,get everything organized for the night guy and go home. no people problems. all the money made goes into savings to pay for our place. owners likes me because not once in 2 years have i ever been late or called in sick (well that and i have tripled his beef sales in a non-beef state might have something to do with it)
    #5
    chicagostyledog
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/15 01:32:53 (permalink)
    Help is only a phone call or e-mail away. Contact Career Services at SIU (Southern Illinois University) in Carbondale at (618)453-2391 or email SRonline@siu.edu http://www.siu.edu/ Do a search for Career Services and go to employee log in. I went to SIU from 1965-1967, where I worked part-time at a cafe in a large dorm.

    CSD

    Born in Chicago
    Escaped to Wisconsin
    Business Instructor
    www.hotdogu.com

    #6
    John A
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/15 07:17:35 (permalink)
    The best advice I can give you is to do a background check and drug test on EVERY applicant. The last thing you want is a server fooling with someones credit card and finding out they have a criminal/drug user background, lot of liability there. We do our background checks through the Hotel/Motel Association and drug checks through a local lab. There should be a local Association that can provide this service for you.

    Good Luck,

    John
    #7
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/15 07:20:49 (permalink)
    You are faced with the dilemma all of us in the HR world face daily - finding good people. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 30 years, anyone who wants to work already has a job, so you have to take employees from someone else's employees. Top that with the examples you mentioned, that the qualifications are "diminished" to put it mildly. (Thanks to our government schools, the products they put out are diminished as well.) You will have to have a superior wage and a wonderful place to work, with excellent employee relations to attract help.
    I had trouble finding guys to work in a factory in 100 degree heat and paying only 8.50 to handle the general labor. When our president questioned me on this, I explained why would anyone want to work in this environment when they could go across the street at a McD's and get the same rate of pay, work in AC comfort, and get a free meal each shift. He said I had a good point.
    #8
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/15 08:49:58 (permalink)
    I was recently speaking to the owner of a machine shop not too far away from me. He also was having a real hard time finding reliable people. He gave his employees a three week notice that they were going to be having drug testing and still 60% managed to fail. Very scary!
    #9
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/15 17:08:02 (permalink)
    In over 20 years in the HR business, and the last eight at a MFG firm, I have had very few Americans even apply for MFG jobs in the factory. Most schools have gotten away from the manual trades in favor of computer courses. Kids who are going to college know what they want, but the other kids who are computer literate have a trade. It is the kids who don't have these skills who will be waiting on tables and working in service-type industries. The economy has exceeded the demand for employees and the unemployment figures bear this out. It's no wonder the Mexicans have "capitalized" on this. Try to find Ammericans willing to do the menial jobs anymore, you can't do it to any appreciable degree. It got to be if I saw an American applying for a general labor position, he was usually unable to pass the drug screen or was otherwise unemployable due to lack of educational skills.
    #10
    John A
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/16 07:14:14 (permalink)
    We tell all applicants about the background check/drug testing; everyone is as pure as the freshly driven snow. 50% have serious criminal backgrounds, 25% have misdemeanors, and 25% are clean. As expected, the bad guys are also the drug users; the ones with clean backgrounds usually do not use drugs. As for detection duration, it depends upon the type of test. A minimum of 30 days abstinence is required and 60 days is better. I’m told there is a method utilizing strands of hair that can detect usage for many months thereafter.

    John
    #11
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/16 07:27:21 (permalink)
    We use the hair test and it is good for about 90 days. Of course, we also do post-accident, reasonable suspicion, and random testing as part of our program. Our folks have to be "clean" or they lose their jobs. In addition, if they were ever injured in a WC accident and were tested positive, they would have to pay the medical biils as well as lose their job - so there is motivation to remain drug-free.
    #12
    doggydaddy
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/16 10:35:27 (permalink)


    Random thoughts:

    I still can recall the waitress who spelled mayo as Mao!!
    That said, I am surprised about comments regarding server intelligence. As someone who works behind the burners, I have always liked the front of the house staff as they always seemed well schooled.

    As to drug testing, I am ambivalent about them. It does seem that they can be beat. I know of one case where it happened. I feel that a test for marijuana is intrusive, though other drug usage does bother me. Face it, many people come to work drunk and hung over.

    In the context of the kitchen in question here, can they afford to have random drug tests or after an accident? Heck, after an accident, I feel lucky if there are some proper band-aids in the first aid kit.

    My best story regards prescription drugs and alcohol. One cook was making an order of calamari. He started to nod off and almost fell face first into the flour!!! He was able to produce a prescription and was able to justify it by saying that he was overly stressed and took too much. Another time, it was discovered that he was drinking the cooking wine. He is still working at this kitchen.

    As to criminal backgrounds, this is another area where I think that people do make mistakes and should be given a second chance. This is not a given, but I do feel that there are folks who wish to proceed onward from their past. I speak from personal experience here...

    I believe that Anthony Boudain said something to the effect that "If many of the people who work in kitchens weren't doing that, they would be in prison..."

    I do find myself agreeing with many of prisonchef's points. I'll address those later as I am running out of time at the moment.

    oneiron wrote:===I had trouble finding guys to work in a factory in 100 degree heat and paying only 8.50 to handle the general labor. When our president questioned me on this, I explained why would anyone want to work in this environment when they could go across the street at a McD's and get the same rate of pay, work in AC comfort, and get a free meal each shift. He said I had a good point.===

    One motto that I was told and remembered is "Good -cheap- help is hard to find."

    This point extends to the kitchen work today. There is no AC comfort in the kitchen I work at. The kitchen is poorly equipped and the menu exceeds its capabilities. I have to laugh that you think a free Big Mac is considered a 'benefit'
    Would you let your kid work at a McDonald's?

    mark

    #13
    stevefinn
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/16 11:28:00 (permalink)
    I work as night manager at a very upscale resort (a week's bill runs about $20,000) and a lot of the summer wait staff are college-aged students from Europe obtained from an agency that specializes in making that sort of connection. You might want to look into that sort of thing.
    #14
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/16 14:40:59 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    This is a good topic. It offers owners and managers of a place to state honestly their opinions of
    the work force, what they want in a worker, and gives some examples of their experiences.
    Libationbrew, I hope that you update us on your situation.
    I'd like to offer a few comments and would appreciate any response so that I may understand more.
    I will use the term, manager, to mean both owner or manager.
    1. Managers seem to have a bias against older people applying for jobs. They seem to think
    that they can mold young worker into their program, while older workers are inflexible. The
    wisdom, habits, and health of age seems to be at odds with the manager's needs for productivity.
    Many older workers have biases and mind sets, health problems, and honestly, are tired of working.
    While young worker are suspected of ignorance, a certain degree of laziness, or involved with drugs,
    they are still embraced with the hope of youth or the desperation of need for energy and new blood.
    New employees that are older,(unless they have a good resume) are given lesser positions and expected to
    keep their station, while the younger are hired with the view of promotion.
    There are many of us, in our 40's, 50's, and perhaps 60's who would like to learn, grow, and promote
    the businesses we work for...to prosper as we help the business prosper.
    2. Managers have told me they won't hire or don't want to hire a worker that asks
    about pay and benefits before asking about what is expected of them. The prospective worker
    may seem self-centered and, frankly, stupid, but they are also interviewing you as well.
    They have needs and concerns for their future and their economic welfare. Sometimes by listening to
    their questions, you can discover if they can blend into your needs.
    3. People are frail, troubled, and diverse. It takes time to for a Team to evolve. Nothing happens
    overnight, but patience and some weeding and seeding will create the Team that allows your dreams
    to happen. It takes time for that magic of productivity, profit, and work satisfaction to become real.
    4. Drugs and booze...tests can reveal habits. Keep functional, and I say, functional, addicts
    Those whose addictions deter and harm fellow workers attitudes and work, and lower your profits
    need to be given help or booted out as fast as you can. I know this sounds illogical, but we are humans. Each
    of has our frailities which we war with to be productive. When we are non-productive, it is time
    to get help or take our misery to a place where we do the least harm.
    5. Perhaps this is the most important thing...keep all employees informed of what is going on, what
    new things are expected, of how they are doing. My model of work is too much of a family-style, but
    regardless, a well-informed employee will work harder or leave if they have a grasp of the future.
    The "need to know" model just makes an employee feel alienated.
    6. Never belittle what a future employee may have done in the past. All work is honourable, whether at
    McDonald's or at the Ritz, in the ditch or on Wall Street. I would be proud of my son or daughter working at McDonald's. We, all, have paths, curves, mountains to climb, valley to stroll through in life which we travel to best of our abilities.
    And we are all changing, growing, sometimes failing. The second chances we give to others are often
    really our second chances. Sorry, don't mean to preach.
    Maybe I've said enough... maybe I haven't learnt enough to say.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #15
    JT1
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/16 16:39:32 (permalink)
    I worked in restaurants for 17 years and did everything but own one. Hey, I'm not crazy. I have had knives pulled on me, saw my owner throttle the cook and the busboys in FL tried to extort money from me. When I refused, one tried to strangle me with a towel in the back dining room. All this for $2.17 an hour as a waiter, plus whatever tips I could beg from strangers (my average tip in FL was 22%). The work was exhausting, sometimes humiliating, especially when the early birds showed up. Three places NEVER paid me. All for a wage I got only because management couldn't pay me any less.

    The ONLY good restaurant I worked with was owned by the Acadia Corp. in Maine. Decent wage, company subsidized housing, excellent management who had worked their way up in the organization and co workers who were good, honest people who cared about good service, food, etc and busted their butts in very trying situations.

    I guess I'm just venting, really, but you guys who run restaurants, please treat you employees better. Pay a living wage. Talk to them, listen to them and think about their ideas. If you run a good place and let people take part in the operation, it will only get better. You will always have turnover, but you won't have to advertise. People--god people--will line up.
    #16
    John A
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/17 08:18:26 (permalink)
    doggydaddy

    "As to drug testing, I am ambivalent about them. It does seem that they can be beat. I know of one case where it happened. I feel that a test for marijuana is intrusive, though other drug usage does bother me. Face it, many people come to work drunk and hung over. "

    Regardless of our feelings marijuana is illegal. Sad to say that in today’s litigious society liability is our number one concern. A drugged employee that causes an accident involving a guest will be very costly in more ways than one.

    "My best story regards prescription drugs and alcohol. One cook was making an order of calamari. He started to nod off and almost fell face first into the flour!!! He was able to produce a prescription and was able to justify it by saying that he was overly stressed and took too much. Another time, it was discovered that he was drinking the cooking wine. He is still working at this kitchen."

    Again, we cannot tolerate drug abuse, prescription or not, and absolutely will not allow drinking on the job. In the eight years I’ve been here we have had one person show up smelling like they had been drinking, she was sent home and told that another such occurrence would result in her termination. There has not been a reoccurrence.

    "As to criminal backgrounds, this is another area where I think that people do make mistakes and should be given a second chance. This is not a given, but I do feel that there are folks who wish to proceed onward from their past. I speak from personal experience here..."

    That depends upon the circumstances. A misdemeanor is acceptable; numerous misdemeanors are not. Felonies are not acceptable; our employees enter guest rooms, enough said.


    stevefinn

    "I work as night manager at a very upscale resort (a week's bill runs about $20,000) and a lot of the summer wait staff are college-aged students from Europe obtained from an agency that specializes in making that sort of connection. You might want to look into that sort of thing."

    We do that also, talk about work ethic, they exude it.


    Fieldthistle

    "Never belittle what a future employee may have done in the past. All work is honourable, whether at McDonald's or at the Ritz, in the ditch or on Wall Street. I would be proud of my son or daughter working at McDonald's. We, all, have paths, curves, mountains to climb, valley to stroll through in life which we travel to best of our abilities."

    I agree, especially with working at McDonald’s. It’s great basic training on multi-tasking, teamwork, interfacing with co-workers & customers, and working under pressure (during rush hours).

    Thanks,

    John



    #17
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/17 15:41:38 (permalink)
    Some of the comments above about drugs and alcohol in employees on the job are disheartening. If an owner or manager doesn't recognize the signs of drunkenness or impairment, then he is not doing his job. There are no states which will permit these conditions on the job and if the managment allows or overlooks this, then shame on them. As far as I can tell, these people made a choice to get high and if they so choose to do this on the job, they should be fired - not counseled. If they cause an accident or illness while they are impaired, the whole establishment could be in for alot of trouble. I am compassionate as the next guy, but anyone who comes to work drunk or on drugs should be fired. Do what you want on your time, but not while I'm paying you.
    #18
    sinkiller
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/17 17:00:46 (permalink)
    You may think I'm joking, a friend who owns a restaurant swears his most dependable workers he gets thru "work release" they gotta show up and stay clean and sober.
    #19
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/18 07:06:45 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by sinkiller

    You may think I'm joking, a friend who owns a restaurant swears his most dependable workers he gets thru "work release" they gotta show up and stay clean and sober.

    That's great, but you still need to check. These guys also know if they lose their jobs, it's back to the slammer.
    #20
    blizzardstormus
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/18 09:42:52 (permalink)
    Before starting my own establishment, I was kitchen manager at a restaurant in a Wisconsin resort area. HALF of my kitchen staff were staying at the county jail across the street and the other half were Mexicans (legal). Probably the best staff I have had in twenty years of working in this business.
    #21
    doggydaddy
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/18 11:29:10 (permalink)

    I am enjoying this topic and the responses to it. I agree with and cannot disagree with many things said.
    If you drug tested the cooks in New Orleans, you would not have many employees But yes, drugs and alcohol can ruin a kitchen and produce a true problem employee.

    Still, one job that I applied for had me sign a waiver allowing drug testing and a criminal background test, but also a credit history. I just think that is too intrusive. What is the statute of limitations regarding a past history for employment? I truly believe that people can grow and not repeat their mistakes.

    sinkiller(!!!) pointed out that that one place has many dependable employees who work there. If they are on probation, they are probably being tested by the probation officers.

    I like fieldthistle's and prisonchef's responses that touch on the older worker, I just turned 50 yet I feel that to a future employer, I appear as damaged goods. If I was as good as my resume states, why am I looking for just a cooks job? Personally, I worked in kitchen management and it crapped out my marriage due to the long hours and lousy days off. I have worked hard enough that I do and want to enjoy time off.

    prisonchef ===ps. when i turned 50 i gave myself the birthday present of never ever being an executive chef again. i love my part time job. i go in,i cook,i handle the lunch rush,get everything organized for the night guy and go home. no people problems. owners likes me because not once in 2 years have i ever been late or called in sick (well that and i have tripled his beef sales in a non-beef state might have something to do with it)===

    This is exactly where I am at. When I leave the kitchen, there is never the question of "What did he do all day? There is nothing prepped." Everything is done.
    Regarding his claims to tripling beef sales, at least it seems that he has some input that is appreciated. It's nice when the owner allows you to suggest some specials that work. It validates your experience and knowledge.

    I know enough not to be implacable in my attitudes and am adaptable to most situations, as I have seen and done it all. It is not that I am unwilling to do anything or tell them how to do it. I know better that that, yet I have found situations where the owner or chef are very insecure. I call it The Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome, they are afraid that they will be found to be standing naked...
    There is a big difference between suggestions and telling someone what to do. I am aware of that, still I find that is best to keep even my suggestions to a minimum.

    But I consider Fieldthistle's thoughts here,===There are many of us, in our 40's, 50's, and perhaps 60's who would like to learn, grow, and promote the businesses we work for...to prosper as we help the business prosper.===

    This is incredibly important to me. I remember reading that you should learn 50 new things every day. I still want to learn and do new things. A person my age has the ability do this. I like to be proud of where I work for and how I can make it profitable. I call myself the Dr. Frankenstein of the kitchen as I can resurrect food before it is dead.

    ====Perhaps this is the most important thing...keep all employees informed of what is going on, what new things are expected, of how they are doing... ...a well-informed employee will work harder or leave if they have a grasp of the future. The "need to know" model just makes an employee feel alienated.===

    Old saying I learned in the Navy, "I must be a mushroom. They keep me baffled and feed me B.S." I have worked in a kitchen, solo by myself only to learn that there was a party of 18 coming in at the middle of the dinner rush. This happened frequently. In fact, the owner got mad when I looked at the reservation book, he felt it wasn't my business to know this information!!!
    The most important thing to do, no matter how much you pay them and what their job is, the boss/chef needs to try to give out compliments for a job well done. I always did that.

    #22
    ann peeples
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/18 12:44:27 (permalink)
    Fantastic responses from all!I am a middle aged woman who decided to redirect my work life and now am a manager at a local sub shop within walking distance of my home.This is not a career building job,quite the opposite.I have excellent work ethics, treat the business as if it were my own, and can multi task better than any of our younger staff.And the customers like to see me as the majority are my age or older.My point is not to assume the customer wants to see young pretty things-eye candy is just that.Dont discount the older worker with fantastic resumes-most of the time they left their high paying jobs simply to regroup,i.e.have a life, not just work.Thats what I did and I couldnt be happier.
    #23
    Libationbrew
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/18 16:06:12 (permalink)
    Wow, thanks everyone for jumping into this topic! Guess we can all relate to it. All I know is, you really can't judge a book by its cover! Yes, employees represent YOU, as the owner of the establishment. I have nothing against 'older' workers (I'm 51). All I ask is that prospective employees know the basic skills of communication! Well, some people skills help too!
    As far as workers coming in intoxicated--would they go to their 'real job' drunk or stoned? Some would, yes. But my point is, just because you are a bartender, does that mean you can consume my alcohol while on the job? We had one bartender come in blitzed on a Saturday night (we had a band scheduled). What a mess! Sent her home early, had a talk w/her, verbal warning. Well, we did let her go a month later, for 'other things') anyway, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and yes, praise them for the positive, instead of always focusing on the negative ones, like so many of my bosses did in my 30+ years in the industry. I just hope people don't see me as a "soft touch" (because I am by nature) But my restaurant is finally coming together, and I really hope and pray that we can make it happen in the Dog-Eat-Dog world of this crazy business that I have a Love/Hate relationship with!
    #24
    prisonchef
    Cheeseburger
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/19 01:52:33 (permalink)
    fieldthistle,
    you hit the nail right on the head!!!!!!
    all work is honorable!!!!!!!!!!
    shame this basic tenant has been forgotten!!!!!!!!
    a wonderful way to reinforce it though (in my experience) is a let a line cook get uppity with the dishwasher and send him to the pit and bring the "pearl diver" to the line. works everytime!!! and if the line cook threatens to walk escort him to the door with the advice that it takes the lowlyest to make a team whole.
    your information idea has long been forgotten also and is in fact a great team builder (and also explains why i don't watch hells kitchen on tv)
    keep fighting the good fight. it is much better to be the only one who is right than to be part of the braying sheep even though, as we both know, the cost for doing this is high.
    jack
    #25
    John A
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/19 06:48:32 (permalink)
    "I like fieldthistle's and prisonchef's responses that touch on the older worker, I just turned 50 yet I feel that to a future employer, I appear as damaged goods."

    Hey DD,

    Don't let age be a factor, as long as you're healthy you can do whatever you want.

    Seventeen years ago, while still involved in aviation, I dedided to get a Florida Real Estate License. I've never used it but have met the continuing education requirement each two years and kept it valid. Yesterday I enrolled in a class to obtain my Florida Community Association Managers Certificate (CAM), it's needed to manage large condos/condo hotels. There are a lot of each going up in Daytona Beach, I think these guys are going to be in demand shortly so I'm positioning myself to be available. With my Real Estate License (Needed to rent condos), my CAM Certificate, and current experience as the GM of a large hotel, I should be in the drivers seat. I'll be 65 on my next birthday.

    Good Luck,

    John
    #26
    Porky Pine Kate
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/22 02:28:49 (permalink)
    Hi, I have to get in on this!

    I have owned several businesses and two happen to have been (one present) food service.

    The best people that I have hired in the past were the result of long conversations with the prospective employee. When I took the time to get to know the person, I had a better feel for what I was dealing with. What they wanted and were willing to put forth and if they had the right stuff. I hired some lulu's on the quick. Older women and men can be a good source, but in general, I'd have to say each case is different.

    A word on looks and please don't throw me out the door because of this story. It is an extreme case. I stopped to grab a sandwich at a FF place. The town I stopped in suffers from a severe lack of decent help, why I do not know. After standing at the counter waiting to be served at the golden arches for 15 minutes with their staff ignoring us and a line of people we left for another FF place. I have sympathy for less fortunate people as the next guy, but what I encountered was just strange, oddly disturbing and generally did nothing for my appitite. Everyone deserves work and a chance, but the counter woman here was a bad choice. The first thing I noticed was the woman had odd looking eye make up on. I tried not to look too hard but realized she had painted on eyelashes. Not subtle, very pronounced. Her very thick glasses only magnified the fact. When she spoke with a bit of a speech defect, I then caught sight of her dental situation. It wasn't pretty. She had a lot of trouble taking the order and some of the other people in that line at Macs were behind me now. It was slow going but no backing out at this point. When she turned to get someone to help her figure out what to do I noticed a hump , not just a small one but a large hump on her back. This in itself was not a problem for me but coupled with all the rest I was feeling a bit uninspired about food. Yes, I did feel bad for her, in many ways, but I was more hit by the idea that sometimes a person just isn't right for the job they are in. Please don't judge me harshly for repeating this, I very well know that this woman may have been a wonderful person, but from a business stand point, she was in the wrong job. I don't feel as though a beauty queen or hunk has to sever me, nor a genius, but a well suited person, with clean nails, a neat appearance, and at least a mundane appearance is important in the food business. If you are grumpy and work in the kitchen, no problem, but I want a nice happy person talking to the customers. If you are chubby, no problem, looks like my food is good. I know this sounds shallow on the woman with the less than pleasing appearance, but when it makes a dent in the bottom line, aren't we supposed to be a bit more discerning about our help?

    We all know that no one will work as hard for us as we will for ourselves, or it is a rare bird that will. As with PrisonChef, we intend to set up our stationary restaurant so that we can handle it as a two person operation, just as we do our mobile unit.

    I do apologize if I have offened, but we are in a very tricky business, food service, there are many considerations to take into account when hiring. I have nothing against this woman, but like it or not I would not have hired her to serve food. I might hire her to keep books, sell merchandise, or some other job, but not serve food.

    I have had good young workers, good older workers, but the end all is the one that wants the job and is suited to it.

    Porky Pine Kate
    #27
    ann peeples
    Sirloin
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/22 06:06:19 (permalink)
    I definately agree with you-some people are not suited for certain jobs.When serving food one must be presentable and able to take orders in a clear, quick concise manner.Unfortunately, in our society, people that have defects of the physical or mental nature tend to turn us off a bit, and that is normal.When I hired some challenged employees, i put them in positions that did not deal with the public alot.Prep work, dishwashing, etc.I wasnt hiding them, as these were incredibly important jobs in my operation.And by empowering these valued employees to be in charge of their"department", I had some of the most loyal hard working people ever.I now incorporate that practice with all my employees.
    #28
    Oneiron339
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/22 07:17:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by annpeeples

    I definately agree with you-some people are not suited for certain jobs.When serving food one must be presentable and able to take orders in a clear, quick concise manner.Unfortunately, in our society, people that have defects of the physical or mental nature tend to turn us off a bit, and that is normal.When I hired some challenged employees, i put them in positions that did not deal with the public alot.Prep work, dishwashing, etc.I wasnt hiding them, as these were incredibly important jobs in my operation.And by empowering these valued employees to be in charge of their"department", I had some of the most loyal hard working people ever.I now incorporate that practice with all my employees.

    In an ideal world, appearance wouldn't matter, but in fact it does, and I agree that there are some jobs certain folks are not suited for. The comments above highlight that fact and any business owner who wants to succeed will take that to heart. Forget the PC folks, making money is why we go into business and I would prefer to hire whom I want to achieve that goal. If it's "Hooters Girls" or tattoo-less, pierce-less "normal" folks, then so be it.
    #29
    doggydaddy
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1847
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    • Location: Austin, TX...got smoke?
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    RE: Hiring phase 1--HELP! 2006/08/22 07:52:32 (permalink)
    ===Don't let age be a factor, as long as you're healthy you can do whatever you want.====


    I don't think of myself as old. I try to convey a young attitude to both employers and employees. My resume says Culinary Chameleon, Adaptable to All Cuisines. This also means to all types of kitchens.

    I think ageism in this business rears its head when you see a classified that says 'Culinary School Graduates wanted'. I started cooking long before these schools reached the level that they do now.
    As a sous chef in S.F., one of the best compliments was from an apprentice from CCI that said "I wish you were my teacher..."
    Employers need to realize that I do have wisdom that I could give along with a willingness and ability to do it their way.

    Appearances are another thing. Handicaps can be overcome. Just the last week or so I went to one diner where it wasn't until I got the bill did I realize that the waitress was missing a hand. She was able to easily work the counter and the two top booths without having to handle the heavy trays.
    On a lesser note, last Sunday I went to Sally's Appiza and watched this lady who was pouring sodas and serving beers. My thought was that she was a waitress who was assigned the job for the day. No, as she walked away from the counter, she had a definite pronounced limp.

    So sure handicaps can be overcome. It is the recent wave of piercings and tattoos that do bother me. I say this as someone who got tattooed in the Navy, but I wasn't stupid enough to get one where it would be a problem in my later life. I could never marry a woman who has more tattoos than me...
    As for piercings, it is the ones that go through the eyebrows that seem to bother me the most. I used to be cool, but when I see so many people who follow these trends, well it's not cool anymore.

    mark
    #30
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