I mentor many young cooks who are looking for work and lament to me on how they cannot find a good job. Almost all of them say that they have spent days or even weeks filling out applications and emailing resumes, all to no avail. The best advice I can give these cooks is get out there and get in front of the manager or the chef who is doing the hiring.
Face to face is still the best way to get hired.
Most chefs and managers do not have the time to read through an onslaught of emailed resumes, especially since a large portion of these applicants are not properly qualified for the job anyway. For instance, the last time I placed a job posting on Craigslist, I received over 100 responses and resumes. After a quick scan, most of these responses end up being deleted.
The hostess is yet another road block for the kitchen job prospect. In most restaurants, the hostess is seldom aware of any job openings in the kitchen and in fact will probably respond that they are not hiring just to avoid having to find an application or walk back and bother the chef.
The best way to find a kitchen job is to walk in the back door. After all, the back door to the restaurant is the shortest path to the chef. Think about it for a moment. Where do the cooks enter? The sales reps? The delivery guys? Exactly, the back door. The unwritten code is that those who belong in the kitchen, enter through the kitchen, and all others enter through the front. Walking in the back door immediately says “here is one of our own” to the kitchen staff as well as to the chef. Showing yourself as already being a part of the kitchen culture, builds instant rapport and gives you a huge leg up. I have seen this technique work many times! Give it a try and let us know how it works for you in the comments section.