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Roman Trusov
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Where to start on the first day?

You can often meet a personnel fluctuation in a restaurant business and reasons may be different. Good team, congruence in the work, understanding and responsibility – all these compose 70% of business. Many investors don’t understand this important point. There are many directions which can economize and low costs, but personnel economy is not one of them. Everything should be in responsible limits, with individual attitude to each one. There should be full comprehension of price and motivation. It happens to face with a problem of low budget for a kitchen.  My staff got 9700 rouble while the average cook salary is 15000-18000 roubles. In the end I could achieve budget growth and equalized salary till average, but it was really difficult. I had young team and the main reasons they stayed were mostly respect, experience and amicable attitude at work. But one day cooks one by one decided to leave their positions. When you hire personnel, hold an interview you pay attention on many factors in speech and behavior. But even if you are a perfect psychologist you will never know how person works not seeing him at work. I have met such quiet person that I thought they couldn’t work, but it appeared they were so hard-working and responsible. That is why besides filling questionnaires I gave them a chance to work one-two days and show their possibilities. By the way, speaking about filling questionnaires - I don’t like it and I think that if a person want  to make himself known he will come with a perfect CV. Of course I gave questionnaires but I dropped out some information. First day at work is the most interesting. I always thought about it and tried to put myself on their places. You come first day, you don’t know anyone, anything, you don’t know menu, provision, rules. What should you do first? I, as a chief, first of all gave an introductory program on safety engineering, working space and so on. Then I tried not to show that I look closely after him as I didn’t pay attention. I put him in charge of an experienced cook and saw him out of corner of my eye. I can say everyone acts theirs differently. Some of them try to win colleagues favor with jokes, stories of his life and previous work. Such chatter-box will only speak but not work. That is why my attitude was not so good. Some of cooks don’t know what to do first. They stand, watch and follow their tutor. Of course here we face with the problem when tutor can’t find work for a new cook. But such persons are also not to be trusted; you can’t always say what to do. The cook must be some extent independent. There is some cooks who start cleaning the kitchen showing their diligence. Of course I like diligent personnel but cleaning will not bring knowledge. Your working place should be clean but don’t be a fanatic.  It is good and important feature but not at the first day. So what to do first? Every chief wants to draw new cook into his menu very fast, to see thorough, hard-working and responsible worker. I would recommend starting with a short sustained talk with colleagues to gain their favour. You can believe they are also very important. When chief asks colleagues’ opinion about new worker it can help you in your employment. But don’t go too far! Everything should be in responsible limits. Next action is exploring and preparation of your working place. Many cooks don’t pay appropriate attention to it. The work is going easier, more qualitative and effective when everything on its place and working space is clean. For a good acquaintance I would recommend on the third stage to introduce proper order in the fridge. Even if there is clean you will know which feedstock you have, where it is located and is it fresh or not. After you know the fridge it is important to learn technological map. You will not able to learn them in one day. I recommend to choose three-five the most popular dish and to learn by heart their composition, weight, cooking technology and to try to cook it yourself. When the chief sees that already on the first working day you prepare dish and it is right you will win his favour. Few recommendations to cooks  what you should avoid! Don’t argue with the chief and sous chief. They are always right! First day it can only worsen your position. Don’t ask many questions, think better! Work always qualitative. If you can’t do something – do it over. Try to keep the balance between qualitative work and searching common language with team. Tomorrow your friend will rise in his career and will take you with him. Don’t leave your working place dirty going to smoke, eat, and have a rest. In people most of all I appreciate dedication and try to develop such cooks and pull them up with me. Don’t let your chief down!

Kiril Sinichkin, chief, Vladimir city

I would know better the chief because he is the king of the kitchen and all pans and saucepans are only kitchen equipment without him. Then you should know the team because you will work in it. And after I would show my fervor and desire to learn new things.

Andrey Dudenko, chief, Riga

The most important don’t be slow-witted! I think you might show quickness at work, might be a little bit impudent, show your intelligence but unobtrusive.

Evgeniy Rystakov, chief, St. Petersburg

I would simply show my interest in this work on this place. I can explain what I mean. When you come to cook position you follow your own goal. This can be salary or professional growth possibilities (experience, knowledge) or career growth. And interest can be expressed in the goal.

Questions to chief:

I have been watching for long time after cooks at their first day. How they act. Just imagine: unknown place, unknown team. You must make an impressive to stay on this position. What would you do if you come to a new work? What would you do first?
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