10 Reasons Hiring Restaurant Staff Is Harder Than Ever

10 Reasons Hiring Restaurant Staff Is Harder Than Ever
Brenda Gottsabend, Flickr

Staffing a restaurant (and keeping it staffed) is one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks owners and chefs face. And turnover? The industry's nearly famous for it.

Although the hiring of both back- and front-of-the-house positions has always been a challenge, is hiring restaurant staff today harder than it's ever been?

Many Valley chefs and restaurateurs say yes. Here are 10 reasons.

See also: 10 Kinds of Restaurants Chefs Wish Existed in the Valley

Chef Dennis Delamater, The Post (Opening in February)

For a chef trying to find good cooks, it's very hard. More and more applicants with culinary school under their belt demand higher pay without quality, old-fashioned experience -- which is the most valuable base to have.

Chef Admir Alibasic, Ben & Jack's Steakhouse, Scottsdale

It's easier hiring people because of the way the economy is working at this time, but it's harder hiring people with quality experience.

Michael Brown Chef and Owner, Jamburritos Cajun Grille Express

Commitment to a job or career is not as it used to be. Employees are exercising their rights to move from job to job or, in some cases, no job. Most of the résumés I get show the average length of time candidates spend at one job at six months or less. 

Farah Khalid Chef and Owner, Curry Corner

Every restaurant has something specific that it demands from each and every employee. Apart from the set of skills they already have, it's very important for staff members to get along and create an environment that is comfortable for all. Finding that right mix of chemistry is not always easy.

Adam Allison Chef and Owner, Frank. Food Truck

There's obviously a job market and people looking for work. Whether or not they're the right person is a different story. I get résumés from people with no relevant work history (dentists, salesmen, construction workers, etc.) that are just looking for work. Once in a while you get a few that work.

Giovanni (Gino) Leonel Chef and Owner, La Prima Donna Ristorante & Catering

It is harder than ever -- if not close to impossible. I had people no-show on New Year's Eve, so I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that employers must find a strong sense of work ethic and talent when interviewing somebody.

Rick Phillips Owner, Bootleggers

Definitely seems harder due to the wonderful revitalized growth of restaurants again. The tougher part is going through all the training motions and then losing them. 

Curly Castaneda Executive Chef, Tilted Kilt

Due to the unemployment rate, there are lots of applicants for an opening but not all of them are qualified. If there is a candidate that is qualified, they're always looking for a part time job or want a schedule that will fit with their lifestyle. There's nothing wrong with that, but for the employer it's harder to accommodate his or her schedule.

Chef Nick LaRosa, Nook

I have found people to be unreliable and have no work ethic, or they want $16 an hour with no experience. I understand you went to culinary school, but graduating from a few-month long course does not make you a master chef.

Danielle Morris Co-Owner and Pastry Chef, Cork

People don't want to work.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Phoenix® online at

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >