The chef is one of the most important people in health care food service. They determine the menu direction and lead the kitchen staff. A good chef can have a significant impact on patient satisfaction. Hiring for any leadership position is a monumental task, but keeping some important pointers in mind can make the process easier.
Start where you are
A common practice among many workplaces is promoting from within. If your kitchen boasts any staff members that have the right work ethic to handle more and larger responsibilities, as well as the right personality to lead other staff members, consider offering the opportunity to the individual. This way, your chef-to-be will already be familiar with the kitchen, the food, the staff and what is expected of them.
Put the word out
You will want to hire someone with experience, as hospital kitchens handle a large number of orders and can be fast-paced. Look on job-seeking websites, post ads or ask your food suppliers. Keep in mind that you are also considering their mentality. Food Service Warehouse pointed out that sharing a common philosophy is essential to finding a good chef. As a hospital there are strict policies to adhere to, so look for persons who follow direction well.
During the interview process, assess whether the individual shows a willingness to listen, a real understanding of the service quality expected of hospital kitchen staff, as well as a comprehension of how important it is to follow policies.
The first step after interviewing applicants is to check their credentials. This is critical, as professional referrals will be able to solidify the applicant’s experience. Personal referrals may offer better insight into their work ethic.
Even after the offer is extended and taken, it may be wise to give a few days or even a week for the person to try their hand in your kitchen. Be observant and make sure that they can handle the volume of work efficiently, work well with the staff and exhibit the ability to handle pressure. Hospital kitchens can be a very different environment from what they may have worked before. It may not suit them, and it may not suit your kitchen. A trial run may benefit both parties.
Once the chef has made your kitchen his or her home, remind your new hire of the importance of healthy food options and let him or her take charge. A good chef will enhance your menu and possibly increase patient satisfaction.