Hire Right or Hire Twice!

“Although restaurant job growth shows no signs of slowing – 2015 will mark the fourth straight year with employment gains of at least 3.5 percent – there are indications that job vacancies are becoming more difficult to fill,” says the National Restaurant Association. Not just in New York, but the US as a whole, foodservice enterprises are struggling to attract and keep their team members. From the National Restaurant Association to the Washington Post, everyone is talking about the labor shortage. Thus, it’s more important than ever to ensure that you’re using the right strategies to attract the right talent. In this month’s Enterprise Insight, we will review three strategies that need to be in your toolbox and put to good use:

Define the Job

The purpose of detailing the job description is two fold: it helps target candidates and ensures a good fit. By really defining what the job is and communicating that, you can get attention from the right applicants. Obviously, you don’t want to hire just any “baker” if you specifically need someone for an artisanal, sourdough-driven bread program. Likewise, if the General Manager position for a café is really to be the assistant to the owner, but the job description doesn’t read as such, the candidate you interview won’t take the position.

Before posting any ads or interviewing any candidates, the best use of your time is to clearly and very specifically define the responsibilities and abilities required for the position. The more descriptive you can get here, the better for both you and the candidate.

Post Strategically

Once you’ve clearly defined the responsibilities and abilities the position requires, you can move on to advertising the opening through the proper channels. Just the way your description is targeted at a particular audience, you need to advertise in the appropriate channel to reach the right audience. Here are the strategies we use with our clients:

  1. Review your options for outlets from both a price and audience perspective, and post accordingly. For example, Good Food Jobs is a great place to advertise a Manager or Director position, but maybe not for cashiers.
  2. Post wide and far. You want to ensure that your opening gets as much awareness as possible if you want the best probability of get the best hire. Here are some outlets we use: Good Food Jobs, Culinary Agents, Harri, Culintro, Chef’s Connection, EasyPairings, Shiftgig, Poached, and Craigslist. Also, be sure to post to the career services of culinary schools across the country. Students in California may very well be looking for jobs in New York!
  3. There are two more outlets that are great, often over-looked options: your social media and existing team.
    1. People that admire, like, and/or respect your brand are definitely following you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Use that to your advantage and post there.
    2. Secondly, everyone on your team knows people outside of your enterprise that work in the industry, and most people like working with their friends. Consider offering a referral bonus to your team members for bringing in candidates that get, accept, and stay in a position.

Ask the Right Questions

Getting the right people interested in your post and in your enterprise for the interview is only half the battle. Interviews can mislead both employee and employer despite all previous efforts, so it’s the most important step in the process to get right.

When it comes to interviewing, we advise our clients to take great care in executing the following items properly:

  1. Doing Multiple Interviews: it’s important that as many people on your team get to interact with the applicant as possible. At the first stage, this means having at least two people sit down and do a traditional interview with the candidate.
  2. Interview for Technical and Cultural Fit: An applicant might be technically proficient at everything the job requires—but is a total pain to work with! That will inevitably end in disaster. Likewise, someone that’s a great fit for the company but unfit for the position will cause just as much trouble. Thus, it’s important to screen candidates for what they can do and how they behave.
  3. Schedule a Trail: For both front and back of house positions, it’s important to invite the candidates into the enterprise for a trail or stage once they’ve passed the interview phase. This way, you can get a true-to-form example of how they work and how they interact—reinforcing or correcting your impressions from the interview.

The labor shortage is definitely real, and it’s definitely putting real pressure on employers. That’s why it’s more important than ever to keep your hiring practices focused and polished. Remember: define the job, post strategically, and ask the right questions.

Padoca: Creative Bakery on the Upper East Side

Padoca BakeryTheir Success…“Padoca” is the Brazilian term of endearment for local bakeries.  Usually, these bakeries are fixtures of the community and run by familiar, friendly faces that know everyone in town.  Marina Halpern, who hails from Sao Paolo, owns New York’s Padoca Bakery, which opened at the end of June. The kitchen is in the hands of Rachel Binder, previously the pastry chef of Maialino, and from Israel originally.  TaraPaige Group worked with Marina and Rachel on conceptualizing, defining, and developing the business, and we couldn’t be more proud of what the duo is doing:

Pao de queijo—authentic Brazilian cheese bread puffs—are sold alongside sabich sandwiches—an UES favorite.  No cronuts here, but the bolo de coco is far superior—a traditional Brazilian cake with a hint of lemon and light and moist with coconut milk.  The drip and espresso are provided by Nobletree Coffee, which owns farms in Brazil and roasts in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  The made-in-house juices include pineapple-mint and an emerald bottle of kale, apple, and spinach, among others. It’s all good—seriously, all of it. The chicken empadinhas—think snack-size pot pie—haunts us. And with the cold weather coming around the corner, the bakery is starting to launch their soups. Thank goodness; having tasted those during recipe testing, we advise that you try them as soon as possible! The team has done a terrific job of balancing sweet and savory fare to provide something for everyone.

The space was previously a Wok n Roll Chinese restaurant, but you wouldn’t know it!  The bakery is now an inviting, comfortable setting with playful touches, much like the food. A beautiful set of windows overlook St. Catherine’s Park, and the walls and ceiling are clad with reclaimed wood. It’s hard not to feel at home in the space. The swing seat lights up children with excitement, and teapot pendant lamps add an accent of whimsy.  Whether just stopping in or looking to sip coffee with a friend, you’re going to be taken care of.

Take AwaysThe bakery-cafe segment in New York City is tough!  Between deli’s, bodegas, patisseries, and third-wave coffee shops, it takes more than muffins and iced coffee to survive.  That’s why it’s key to differentiate your brand by bringing something new to guests.  And that’s what Padoca Bakery has done.  Marina and Rachel have creatively integrated Brazilian, Israel, and American influences into a sweet, petite place at home on the UES with delicious treats and lunch fare priced affordably in a wonderful atmosphere.  We’re can’t wait to see Padoca grow into the community fixture it’s destined to be, and the type of place the Upper East Side so dearly needs.

Padoca Bakery: 359 E 68th St, New York, NY 10065 http://www.padocabakery.com

OddFellows turns into an Ice Cream Sandwich Shop

oddfellows-sandwich-shop03.w600.h400The OddFellows location on East 4th Street will transform into a sandwich shop this Friday. The menu will be entirely devoted to ice-cream sandwiches. Sam Mason’s menu will include items more appropriate for the colder seasons: ice cream and toppings stuffed into a brioche bun warmed on a panini press. There will also be customizable ice-cream sandwiches which offer a choice of flavor, topping crunch, and one of five cookies. OddFellows will continue to offer their unique favored flavors like corn-bread, vanilla bean, etc. and will offer cookies like spiced ginger, oatmeal and chocolate chip. However, while customers can customize their own ice-cream sandwich, there will be a signature creations menu including the Corn-bread Odd Pocket which is corn-bread ice cream, cornflake crunch, and blueberry compote inside a toasted brioche sandwich. Other signature sandwiches are S’mores, which has s’mores-marshmallow ice cream, marshmallow sauce, graham-cracker, and a chocolate cookie, The Classic, which is vanilla-bean ice cream, chocolate wafer, salted caramel and hazelnut, and the Chocolate Chunk, chocolate-chunk ice cream, coffee crispies, and hot fudge.

To read more, click here.

Burger King launches Halloween Whopper

28-whopper-black-bk.w529.h529Burger King unleashed the black Whopper, the first of American black-bun burgers. The chain is marketing it as the Halloween Whopper, as a limited edition Whopper. The black burger is otherwise an entirely normal Whopper with A.1. sauce slathered on top. With the release of the Halloween Whopper, mixed views and reactions towards the black bun is shared. Many show distaste to a black-bun, while others are raving about the festive buns. “A-1 Steak Sauce baked into the buns!!! Amazing!!!”

While this is America’s first black burger, Burger King Japan has already black bun burgers implemented into their menus. Burger King has also released that the U.K will also be getting black-bun burgers for the month of October. Burger King hopes to drive up their sales with the Halloween Whopper, on its creepy shock value. Fans of the black-buns can hope that with increased performance of the chain, because of the Halloween Whopper, the black-bun can be a permanent menu item all across America.

To read more, click here.

The Pope’s Visit was a Financial Disaster for Restaurants

pope-francisPope Francis has visited the Stateside, and generated an influx of people to the states. While the city had built up that the Pope’s visit would potentially cause an economic boon, contrary to belief, the restaurant industry saw a decrease in customers. Restaurant owners were excited about the millions of hungry pilgrims that would be drawn to the city. In Philadelphia, organizers predicted Pope Francis’s stay would generate nearly half a billion dollars for the city.

In New York City, David Chang was among the first to express his disappointment as he tweets “Love the new pope but he’s a restaurant cooler on par with the super bowl and oscar’s.” While in Philadelphia, chefs around own started complaining Saturday about the lack of customers, and faulting the city’s overeager security apparatus. Stephen Starr, owner of about 20 Philly restaurants, said that things were “worse than Hurricane Sandy, the city scared all of our customers away… What should have been a feeling of family and community was turned into a police and military operation.” Moreover, Marc Vetri’s famous Vetri was celebrating their anniversary with special half-off prix fixe, but did not acquire as many customers with loads of reservations open. Verti, also, complained about the myriad gates and road closures that “hurt small and large business alike” and eventually closed. Some restaurants didn’t even bother to open on Sunday.

To read more, click here.

Request for Proposals for Renovation, Operation and Maintenance

In accordance with Section 1-13 of the Concessions Rules of the City of New York, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, is issuing a request for proposals for the renovation, operations and maintenance of three snack bars and the operation of up to fifteen mobile food units at Orchard Beach, Pelham Bay Park, Bronx. Proposals must be submitted no later than Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 3 PM. There is a recommended meeting and site visit on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 11 AM.

More information on the RFP can be obtained on Thursday, September 17th through Thursday November 5 between the hours of 9 AM- 5 PM excluding weekends and holidays at the Revenue Division of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation located at 830 Fifth Ave, Room 407, New York, NY 10065.Or visit this site to download the RFP.

For more information contact Zoe Piccolo, Project Manager at (212) 360-3495 or at zoe.piccolo@parks.nyc.gov

Webinar: The ABC’s Of EMV

Tuesday, October 6 at 2 PM the New York State Restaurant Association will be hosting a webinar on How EMV security works, security at the POS, the liability shift, restaurant tip processing and who to contact for questions. Starting October 2015, credit card fraud liability shifts from the credit card company to the business itself. Businesses will now be liable to accept EMV security cards in order to protect their transactions and from fraud. While credit cards were always liable and took initiatives between business and customer fraud relations, a shift in liability will have all businesses in more alert. To learn more about the new business implementations that every owner needs to use, register for the webinar here.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 636 other followers