Core Competency: Restaurant Back-of-House – Quality Orientation

How can you confidently hire people who will meet your performance expectations?  The first step is defining performance and the qualities you need in your team to be successful.  In our Foundations of Performance series, we highlight essential performance drivers within and across industries.  Hiring for these characteristics will increase quality of hire, fit, and retention.

Chef cutting vegetables

Bad Eggs Aren’t Just About Food; They Are Also About Employees.

Effectively managing ever-rising food costs is a more pressing concern than ever before as consumers push for healthier and more ethically conscious foods.  What if you could manage food costs while simultaneously reducing other costly problems like turnover, theft, and absenteeism?

Cage-free eggs, one of the most talked-about and costly consumer-conscious foods, are a good metaphor for broadening your thinking and actions in an effort to control costs.  While cage-free eggs and your hiring process are not often mentioned in the same sentence, tackling food costs with people can provide a competitive advantage.  You can gain competitive advantage by hiring people who understand the importance of doing the right things right to minimize costs and maximize revenue.

Food waste compounds the cost of food.  For example, a loss of one out of every two-dozen eggs – through order inaccuracy, poor food preparation, or storage – can cost thousands of dollars per year.  And that’s only looking at eggs and not the multitude of food products and supplies in your kitchen.  We know most sources of food waste are controllable through people.  From not following inventory procedures to theft and poor food preparation – hiring people with attention to detail and integrity can make a big difference.

First-In-First-Out inventory practices, cleanliness, team communication, and development are all controlled by your team – and can be improved by hiring the right team members.  How can you do this?  Hire team members with a drive to consistently produce quality work while also emphasizing the importance of quality to others.  Having a strong quality orientation means an employee consistently demonstrates behaviors that lead to performance and accuracy.  This is predicted by a cluster of personality traits, ranging from cognitive ability, to personality traits like conscientiousness and integrity.  Pre-employment assessments and tailored structured interviews can measure a person’s level of each of these traits, and also their potential to perform in your unique work environment.  By measuring traits related to quality orientation for your BOH positions you can ensure that food and supplies are being used appropriately.  In fact, Corvirtus assessments are linked to reduction in food waste by more than 10% and an 8X greater likelihood for consistently delivering quality work.

What's Next?

Hiring team members who share your commitment to quality and managing costs will significantly and positively impact your bottom line.  Although these are two very important characteristics to measure, we also know that having the ability to multi-task, follow directions, and maintain a positive mindset are also important predictors of performance.  Stay tuned, as we will address these characteristics in our upcoming Foundations of Performance blogs.

Considering adding assessments to you hiring process? Assessments are powerful tools that increase your accuracy in selecting quality hires: those who perform, fit, and stay.  To help you evaluate assessment providers, we’ve put together a checklist.

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Controlling loss can offset costs of using cage-free eggs.  Fast Casual (March, 2016).

Calculation for cost of eggs: One dozen cage-free eggs average $3.42. Losing 1/24 eggs is 4.12 percent loss. The average breakfast brand uses 120 dozen eggs each week.

The person-situation debate revisited: effect of situation strength and trait activation on the validity of the big five personality traits in predicting job performance.  Academy of Management Journal.  (2015).

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