Everything You Need For Hiring New Staff

As you close the chapter on summer and ready your kitchen for a new season, you may be feeling the effects of staff turnover. Or, you may be ramping up and are in need of some extra hands on deck as you expand. Regardless, hiring new staff is a big undertaking, and finding the right people is crucial in ensuring the success and growth of your business. Here, we’ve mapped out some guidelines to follow as you begin the hiring process.

Below is a list of potential kitchen roles you may require: 

  • Executive Director
  • Kitchen Administrator/Manager
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Incubation Services Manager
  • Program Director/Manager
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Development/Fundraising Director
  • Maintenance Manager
  • Facility Manager/Coordinator
  • Marketing/Communications Director/Coordinator
  • Accounting Specialist
  • Procurement Manager
  • Operations/Event Manager
  • Retail Manager

Kitchen Manager/Administrator Duties

A kitchen administrator is often the very vital, catch-all position for the person who manages day-to-day tasks including:

  • Marketing and recruitment
  • Onboarding
  • Scheduling
  • Billing/financial management
  • Special event management
  • Technical assistance to members or clients (regulatory compliance, business development, etc.)
  • Tracking performance and outcomes

In addition, their facility management duties often include monitoring the following:

  • Standard operating procedures compliance
  • Safe food handling procedures
  • Cleanliness and sanitation
  • Safety and security monitoring
  • Cleaning and shared-wares supplies
  • Refrigeration temperatures
  • Storage management
  • Waste management
  • Routine maintenance and equipment inspection
  • Deep cleaning

Application and Interview Questions

When screening applicants, you will want to focus on questions that give you insight into their experience and capabilities. You might also wish to include icebreaker questions that help build rapport and convey your workplace culture, such as “If you can only have one pizza topping for the rest of your life, what would it be? (cheese is included).” Here are some example job application questions and interview prompts:

  • Have you worked in a shared kitchen before? If so, what was your experience like?
  • What is your culinary background?
  • Do you have any relevant certifications or training? (such as ServSafe)
  • Please elaborate on your skill sets related to this position. (Ask specifics related to job description such as, “Have you ever owned or managed a business before?”)
  • Tell us about a time you managed conflict in the workplace.
  • Why do you want to work here?

Job Descriptions

Since shared kitchens require a wide array of skill sets to keep the lights on and the doors open, you may find yourself crafting some complex job descriptions. If you need staff to manage multiple duties or programs you will want to seek candidates with a specific set of skills and experiences. Overall, kitchen management requires facility management, food service knowledge, and administrative oversight, not to mention a high level of emotional intelligence to communicate with all types of people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Strong ability to communicate effectively is vital for kitchen managers. In addition to these core management skills, incubation programs generally require candidates with business training and a coaching mindset. Programs focused on serving immigrants and refugees often seek bilingual or multilingual candidates with cultural competency. Passion for your kitchen’s mission should be a consideration, as it helps to build strong team cohesion and create a rewarding workplace culture.

Use this Job Description Template as an outline for creating your job posting. 

Job Postings

Once you’ve created your job description, you’ll want to make sure it goes to the right place. LinkedIn, social media outlets, and the NICK are all great places for your posting to be seen and spread around by the right people. Looking for more outlets? Send us your job posting and we’ll share it with our shared kitchen community in the monthly newsletter!

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