The rock star of your food business, your chef, holds the most valuable position in the house.

As a food business owner, may it be a restaurant or a catering service, it is nerve-wracking if this positioned is threatened either temporarily or permanently. 

And the situation here in Perth, Australia or all over Western Australia is not helping either. 

According to The West Australian, there have been several visa restrictions in 2019 that limit the number of chefs from other countries to work here. This lessens, even more, the pool of talents and manpower that the hospitality industry needs altogether. 

The usual reasons for needing a chef are the following:

  • Absence  – either temporarily or long term
  • Replacement
  • Additional manpower

Naturally, if your present chef is absent, you need someone to take over.

If your food business is failing in the food department and hiring a new person is the only solution, you need to have someone with the skills to take over.

Last but not least, if you are holding a huge event or if there is a significant influx of customers due to seasonal activities in your area, you need someone who is skilful at supporting your existing team for a period of time.

In all these situations, filling this position is time sensitive. 

You need time to look for the perfect person to fit the job, time to get him to familiarize with your system and time for him to create new dishes (if this is a priority for you to revamp your menu list).

So time is of the essence.

With this as a priority, where do you look for your chef?

  1. Use a recruiting agency 

Agencies have become the go-to for finding replacements quickly and discreetly. If you are in the process of replacing your present chef and you don’t want the person to know, this option is for you. There is no need to broadcast that you are on the lookout for new talent. Sadly, due to human nature, a chef’s performance tends to get worse when the person knows that he or she will be replaced soon. They may even intentionally create problems for you that may affect your profit and reputation. It is also an excellent way to prevent your competitors from taking advantage of this situation, with your business at its low.

I have been a chef for more than 15 years, and I know that when a chef is unavailable or has unexpectedly taken leave, the quality of food and speed of preparation in the restaurant rapidly deteriorate. I established Anytime Chefs precisely with business owners in mind. I know how valuable time, quality and reputation are in a food business, and Anytime Chefs deliver the promise of getting skilled, reliable and professional chefs to take care of their businesses at this delicate time. 

Right now, Anytime Chefs is strictly focussed on providing rapid short-term chef relief, but we are also assisting business owners in looking for chefs on a permanent basis. We have assisted over 10 venues this year alone in finding a permanent chef replacement or in creating their first kitchen team for brand new venues.

You may also want to know that, many recruiting agencies reserve collecting payments until they have found a suitable replacement for you.

Are you based in Perth and needing a chef now? Click Here

  1. Hire internally

Sometimes you may not have to look far. Check on your present sous chefs if they have the vital degrees and the know-how of chef tasks.

This can be a good thing for the following reasons: 

It provides a morale boost because you are offering an upward growth for your employees and when you hire someone already familiar with your system, the transition is faster to get everything back to normal (or even improve it).

  1. Advertise by posting ads (paper or online)

The old school method of creating an ad and posting it on approved posting locations is still an option. When hiring for people, you would want to cover a lot of ground to ensure that your poster is visible. 

Of course, a more accessible and more effective way is to post ads online. Post specifically for restaurant job boards where you are more likely to get the best and most experienced chefs. There are several job boards online such as Monster, Indeed, Poached, or even Craigslist (depending on your location).

And if you want to do job postings anonymously, you have an option to post “blind ads”. Details are not disclosed to applicants until they connect with you or your hiring manager. This is helpful if you do not want to alert the person you intend to replace.

  1. Advertise using Social Media

Facebook remains a juggernaut in social media reach, and smart business owners take advantage of this. If your business has a Facebook Page, you can create an interesting post which is shareable by your current followers to reach as many people as their networks allow. Facebook also has paid Facebook Ads, where you can put up your specific ad. 

The genius with social media is that you can create various forms of that ad to make it catchy. This appeals more to the younger bracket, both business owners and customers, so do your research if this will work for YOUR business. 

You can also make use of other social media platforms. At this age, it is not only a smart move, but a necessary one to have social media accounts for visibility and presence of businesses.

Note: Instagram appeals to a lot of foodies out there so it will be worth your while to create a following using this platform for your business if you still haven’t.

  1. Advertise using word of mouth

You are not limited by the written word alone when it comes to hiring. 

I remember a time when top restaurants are discreet with hiring and job openings are known only through word of mouth, or if an applicant stops by and asked for a trail.

Talk to your suppliers and ask if they know someone who is looking for a change. 

This method is most especially practical if the budget for marketing is an issue.

In Summary:

With the continued interest in food/dining and the ironic continued critical shortage of chefs here in Australia, the position of a chef is becoming a fragile and precious job. 

Sometimes chef issues are not person specific. It is easy to blame a person than digging deeper into your business system to look for contributing factors that affect work performance. You can check out my previous blog article on mental health to understand the perspectives and contributing factors that affect your chef. 

If a replacement is an ultimate solution, I strongly recommend connecting with recruiting agencies as they can provide ready available chefs. 

The challenge is for you to review these agencies for the quality of business that they provide and for what more they can offer.

Anytime Chefs is proud to be the only chef recruiting agency in Perth that provides authentic Italian Pizza preparation and service. So make sure that you are getting your money’s worth and that you are putting your business in good hands.

That’s it for this week.

As always, Professional Chefs on Call at Anytime!

Ciao for now,


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