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HIRING EMPLOYEES FOR

CAFES AND RESTAURANTS


- THREE KEY QUESTIONS

NIGEL A.L. BROOKS

THE BUSINESS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Article reprint
HIRING EMPLOYEES FOR CAFES AND RESTAURANTS
- THREE KEY QUESTIONS

Employers in cafes and restaurants have to address service, safety and


security issues in an environment where there is high potential for theft.
Therefore, it is important to ask situational based questions to prospective
employees that will determine how they will perform in emergencies.

I owned a European-style gourmet cafe and catering business for many


years, where service levels, and safety and security considerations were
extremely important to me.

I had a steady stream of job applicants, some with prior experience, and
some without. It was important to me to learn how candidates would
perform in emergency situations, because I knew that everything else
could be learned from routine procedures.

The interview began with me asking the candidate to give a one minute
overview of themselves, so to become comfortable talking. Then the
interview would really start. The candidates came prepared for questions
about their prior jobs. They were somewhat surprised that I asked three
questions about the future only, and not the past.

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Question 1:

"The cafe is moderately busy on the inside and you are behind the cash
register. All of a sudden, one of the customers collapses. What would you
do?"

The essence of this question is to determine how the candidate would


handle a medical emergency. I would expect them to:

● Examine the seriousness of the situation immediately, and call for


medical assistance if in doubt

● Ask if there is a doctor on the premises or near by

● Ask the customer what help they need if they are conscious

● Provide bandages if the customer is wounded

● Avoid moving the customer if they are unconscious

● Ensure that others keep away from the scene so as to give the
customer privacy

● Understand the dangers of giving unqualified first-aid

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Question 2:

"The cafe is moderately busy on the inside and you are behind the cash
register. All of a sudden, you detect smoke. What would you do?"

The essence of this question is to determine how the candidate would


handle a potential crisis, and apply quick judgment. If there is only a small
amount of smoke, then I would expect them to determine if they can put
the fire out right away. If there is a large amount of smoke, then I would
expect them to evacuate the cafe immediately, and call the fire service. I
would expect them to address:

● The cause of the smoke, and the extent to which it is controllable or


uncontrollable

● Under what circumstances should the cafe be evacuated or not

● When to call the fire service

● How to use the fire extinguisher

● How to take care of concerned customers

Question 3:

"The cafe is moderately busy on the inside and you are behind the cash
register. All of a sudden, someone walks right up to you and asks for the
money in the register. What would you do?"

If the candidate didn't answer with "give them the money," or something
to that effect right away, then it didn't matter what their answers were to
the first two questions. Also, it didn't matter how otherwise desirable they
may be - they were not hired.

In some cases I was asked if the perpetrator had a gun or a knife, to which
I told them that they wouldn't necessarily know. Asking that question
automatically eliminated the candidate. I was concerned that in a live
situation they would hesitate before acting, making the perpetrator nervous
and unpredictable.

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I passed on some otherwise good candidates who could not answer these
questions to my satisfaction. However, when considering the liabilities of
a restauranteur, safety and security are paramount - dead employees and
customers are not good for business.

When hiring employees it is useful to understand their individual


competencies and personal style characteristics, in addition to your own.

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For more information...

For information about audiobooks, books, earticles, ebooks, and eseminars


offered by The Business Leadership Development Corporation visit
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www.enterpriship.com

To assess your individual competencies in thirty minutes or less, claim


your opportunity for instant access when you go to
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About Nigel A.L Brooks...

Nigel A.L Brooks is a management consultant to entrepreneurs, business


enterprise owners, executives, and managers, and the enterprises they
serve. He specializes in developing the entrepreneurial, leadership, and
managerial competencies that build sustainable advantage from vision to
value. He is an author and a frequent speaker.

He obtained his professional experience as a partner at Andersen


Consulting (now Accenture, Ltd.), as a vice president at Booz Allen
Hamilton, Inc. (now Booz and Company), as a senior vice president at the
American Express Company, as president of Javazona Cafes, Inc., and as
president of The Business Leadership Development Corporation. He has
been a contributing editor for the Bank Administration Institute magazine,
and has served on boards of entrepreneurial networks. He was educated at
the University of Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom.

His clients are in the financial services, food services, high-tech,


manufacturing and distribution, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, professional
services, retail and wholesale, transportation, and government industries.

He has experience in North and Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

www.nigelalbrooks.com

About The Business Leadership Development Corporation (BLD)...

The Business Leadership Development Corporation is a professional


services firm that works with entrepreneurs, lifestyle business enterprise
owners, executives, and managers, and the enterprises they serve.

BLD develops entrepreneurial, leadership, and managerial competencies


that achieve performance excellence by building sustainable advantage
from vision to value through:

 Strategic Management Consulting


 Executive Coaching and Mentoring
 Professional Training via The Center For Business Leadership
Development (CBLD)
 Motivational Speaking

www.bldsolutions.com

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THE BUSINESS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
13835 NORTH TATUM BOULEVARD 9-102
PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85032 USA
www.bldsolutions.com
(602) 291-4595

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