Bakers Journal

Concepts for Success: How to hire right, Part 1

February 12, 2018
By Diane Chiasson

Hiring the right staff is a critical aspect of running a bakery. Use these tips to target the right candidates and then ask the right questions.

One of the most important and critical aspects of a bakery operation is in recruiting the right employees. Finding the right people to work in your bakery is not easy. Hiring can be very frustrating.

It is a known fact that the secret ingredient for success in the foodservice business is more often found in the attitudes of those who serve the food than in the food itself. As you often hear, employee satisfaction results in better guest satisfaction, which in turn will boost your bottom line.

Here is the first article in a series of two conveying important tips on how to hire the right employees.

The right job descriptions
The first step before the hiring process begins is to clearly define what you need for each job description, and to identify the skills needed for each position. Make sure that your job descriptions really fit the requirements of the position and be as specific as possible. Write down all of your ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ on paper first, and then rank your main core characteristics from most important to least important. You need to include a list of all the qualities your potential employees should possess.

When you are ready to search for your new employee, it’s time to put a job posting together. Make sure you describe each position very carefully. Potential applicants should know what to expect from the get-go, thereby eliminating the time and effort spent interviewing unqualified applicants. Your concise and detailed ad should describe your company brand and culture, as well as your bakery’s concept, style of service, and hours of operation. Define what type of bakery operation you run. Is it high-end, targeted at singles or families, sophisticated or fun? You should also write any other relevant aspect of each job description.

Ask around
Ask your current employees to recommend strong candidates from their networks. This can save you time, money and headaches. Also ask colleagues, friends, and family members to pass the word around that you are now hiring. These connections are a great way to quickly find employees as these prospective employees are already verified by someone you trust.

You should consider adding a new page on your website with a colourful banner right at the very top saying “Work for the best bakery in town”. Include a contact form at the bottom of the page and this will always make sure that you have plenty of candidates sending their information.

Other online resources to check out would be Craigslist, LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, as well as some colleges, high schools and community centres, and also at some events and festivals. Don’t forget to post flyers on your windows and in local coffee shops, supermarket and grocery stores, libraries, or bookstores.

The right questions
In order to streamline the interview process and to prioritize objective evaluation, you must first develop a clear picture of what kind of special person would be the ideal fit for your bakery. A list of standard questions will ensure that you don’t forget to ask the right questions. Here are some key suggestions:

  • Tell me everything about yourself.
  • What is your greatest strength and greatest weakness?
  • What made you want to change workplace at this time?
  • What do you dislike about your current job?
  • Did you ever work in a similar bakery before?
  • Why did you apply here compared to other bakery operations?
  • What do you know about our bakery? Have you bought desserts or anything else at our bakery before?
  • What kind of bakery or restaurant experience do you have?
  • What is your favourite and least favourite part of working in a bakery or restaurant?
  • What qualities do you think you possess for this job?
  • What things do customers do that you dislike?
  • Are there any people you would refuse to serve?
  • Give me an example when you gave excellent customer service.
  • Tell me about your most memorable bakery or restaurant experience.
  • How would you deal with a demanding or angry customer?
  • What do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies or favourite activities?
  • Have you ever had major conflicts involving your co-workers? How did you handle it?
  • What does being a ‘team player’ mean to you?
  • If your shift ends at 5:00 pm and your replacement hasn’t arrived by 5:15 pm., what do you do?
  • How do you feel about working an extra shift if asked?
  • What would you do if you knew a fellow co-worker was stealing?

Stay tuned for Part 2 on how to hire right.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years. She is recognized as the industry leader in providing innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or, or visit

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