Calling all restaurant managers. I created this test because the interview process at most restaurants is soooooooo convoluted, it baffles me that you can hire people at all. I created this test and you can stop wasting people’s time and get the help you need. You’re Welcome.
Finding a great waiter is not rocket science and it’s definitely easier than brain surgery.
Yet the way most restaurants interview and pick their front of house staff is convoluted, outdated, and inefficient.
Good candidates are passed over simply being lost in the shuffle. One manager, for example, confided that he would bring in 50 candidates for the first round of interviews and could only spend about 15 minutes with each candidate before moving on to the next one.
Unless he asked a specific set of questions (which he didn’t) he would have never figured out who was qualified. He ended up wasting his time and all the applicants.
You quickly need to know how servers can handle themselves on the job. Can they open wine, can they pair it with food, and are they friendly and efficient?
A salon wouldn’t hire a stylist, without watching them cut hair first, and a restaurant wouldn’t hire a chef without the chef first demonstrating their cooking techniques.
So here is a fool-proof 10 question test that makes servers demonstrate their knowledge and how they handle customers. Basically the server is going to wait on you and explain his or her decisions.
First, set four tables in the style of your restaurant except leave some pieces missing on two of the tables. Also fill an empty wine bottle with water, you’ll need it in a few minutes. Now think of specific scenarios your servers have to deal with every day and pepper the applicant with scenario questions while they are completing this physical test.
10 POINT TEST
1. Have the applicant look at the four tables and describe what is missing or askew.
WHY: If a server cannot look quickly at four tables and figure out what is missing, then they need some more seasoning somewhere else. Politely thank them and move on.
2. Ask them to clear one of the tables, and then reset it.
WHY: If they cannot clear and reset the table exactly the way it was presented to them, well then again they need some more work.
3. Show them a menu item and ask them to walk up, greet you, and then describe that item as a special of the day.
WHY: By doing this, you can first see how they greet a table. Do they say “Good Evening” or do they say “What’s Up?” A proper greeting is one of first impressions, one can make. Done wrongly, and it can set the whole meal behind. Next as they describe the special, how do they transition to it? Do they make too much small talk, do they make any? Lastly, you find out how they describe the special. Even if you have a restaurant that changes its menu daily and you have no “specials,” a good server should be able to explain a special on the menu, especially with the dietary needs of some individuals.
4. Hand them the wine list and ask them to pick three wines they would recommend with that entree and describe why they chose those wines.
WHY: This not only shows if they know the difference between a French Bordeaux and a California Zinfandel, but it shows the sophistication of their palate. You immediately know their tastes and if they fit with your restaurant.
5. Hand them that wine bottle filled with water and ask them how they open it, and then to pour the water into your wine glass like they were pouring wine for a guest.
WHY: What is their style of opening wine, are they stiff? Do they make small talk with the customer? Do they say how much they like the wine? Now as they pour it, is it five ounces? Is it more? Is is less? Did they drip all over the place? Then ask them why they poured the wine the way they did. A glass of wine is supposed to be only five ounces. If someone has a bottle, then it is customary to pour only about three ounces into the glass so the customer can swirl it around to open up the wine’s flavor.
6. Have them serve you an empty plate and to describe the “special” a bit.
WHY: It is important to find out how they present your food. Do they simply say “here you go…” or do they overly describe the dish. Ideally you are looking for something in the middle.
7. Have them clear the plates and all the silverware like it was the end of the entree.
WHY: You find out if they can quickly clear a table and is it done with style.
8. Hand them the dessert menu, and have them pick one, and then describe it to you again like it was a special.
WHY: Again you see their style and if it meshes with the restaurant.
9. Have them serve you a mock dessert and see if they dress the table with the proper silverware for the dessert.
WHY: See if they are smart enough to bring a fork and a spoon with that piece of pie a-la-mode.
10. Have them serve you a mock cup of coffee.
WHY: You find out if it is properly presented. Is the handle in the 4-o-clock position? Is there a spoon with it? Did they provide sugar and cream?
If the applicant passes all these tests then they know something about fine dining. If they do it while you ask them questions concerning scenarios that your staff deals with on a daily basis, and they still pass, then you should hire them.
Why is it we have billions of humans on this planet now, while neanderthals died out (although some may disagree)? Mainly because we domesticated wolves into dogs. They followed our gazes and together we became better hunters than the neanderthals who didn’t use dogs. Simple yet cool. Here is the article from Scientific American
The dogs improved hunting success by increasing the rate at which the hunters encountered game. Finding game “is often the hardest skill to learn for human hunters,” Koster and Tankersley write. The encounter rate for agoutis—rodents weighing 2 to 8 kilograms—was nine times better if dogs were used; for armadillos, the encounter rate was six times better with dogs.
Photo is from the Scientific American Site.
Photo at top by Cyril Ruoso/JH Editorial.
Photo at bottom by Gorilla Photo Agency/Alamy
Eating 150 grams (less than a cup) of broccoli or cauliflower increased cancer survival rates of women in China. Here is an article about the study.
Cruciferous Veggies are basically all members of the cabbage family, and along with all types of cabbage, they include broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy.
The question most people have is, “How do I eat this crap without throwing up after?” my answer is to steam it with some garlic and mushrooms, blend it, add some butter and a little cream until it is all mixed, and eat it like it was mashed potatoes. It is good and good for you.
Photo Courtesy of Andrew Mager