Well it seems it’s that time of year again, when warm sunny days give way to cool evenings, and it is finally mild enough for a nightly stroll through the neighborhood in a light jacket or sweater. Restaurants are beginning to fill up again, and with the start of the busy season so begins the hiring frenzy. Every year around this time it seems cooks and kitchen workers get restless. They know other restaurants are hiring so they start looking for something better. We always seem to lose a few around this time, and it is probably the worst time to be replacing and retraining staff.
In the last month alone, I have replaced one dishwasher/prep cook, lost a second one, and now a third, and replaced a line cook, twice. I often wonder if well known chefs have this problem. I imagine a human resources department inundated with resumes from promising young cooks just clamoring to get their feet in the door of say, Daniel, or if classic French is not your thing, Momofuku. But when you are like me, a first time chef anonymously toiling away behind the scenes, what pull do you have to attract and keep good kitchen staff?