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  • Writer's pictureThe League of Extraordinary Chefs

CASE STUDY: Award-Winning Resort Faces Frustrating Staffing Challenges

Maintaining a top-notch culinary team is essential for success.


In this case study, we delve into a real-life scenario where a renowned resort restaurant in the Midwest faced a daunting challenge - the revolving door of key culinary talent - and how they found a solution that not only rescued their reputation but also redefined their approach to solving this problem.


Challenge:

Every restaurant knows that the heartbeat of their operation lies in the kitchen. When the executive chef unexpectedly resigned from this esteemed establishment, a wave of uncertainty swept through the culinary team. In an effort to keep the fires burning, management opted for a "DIY" staffing approach and sought to hire locally. Feeling confident this approach would be a quick fix filling the void the previous chef left in the kitchen. The initial local hire, though promising, proved to be a mismatch for the role, leading to the chef's forced departure within 30-days of starting. A second local hire followed suit, meeting a similar fate. The consequences rippled through the kitchen, leading to an even bigger issue as the second local hire also caused the sous chef to quit as well. This left the restaurant on the brink of closure. With the loss of two key chefs and a shortage of viable local culinary staff, the establishment considered operating only 2-3 days a week.

Case study timeline of events

Solution:

The restaurant’s management team took a step back, recognizing the urgency of their situation, and decided they needed to reassess their approach. They turned to a familiar partner - the League of Extraordinary Chefs. Having worked with us before, they understood the value, dedication, and experience our team of culinary talent can bring.


Our solution wasn’t just a bandaid. We took into account the restaurant’s unique needs, culture, and culinary vision. Many organizations do not have the benefit of a local talent pool that is qualified, high quality, and a great fit. We strive to find the right match, not just a "body". When your reputation matters and your operation isn't running smoothly, you want a partner that provides tailored solutions. By tapping into our extensive roster of culinary professionals, we identified talent that not only possessed the skills needed, but also resonated with the values, culture, and standards of the restaurant.


Cost Comparison of “Buying” Local Staff vs. “Leasing” Our Talent:

The restaurant’s initial strategy of sourcing local staff appeared cost-effective on the surface. However, the rapid turnover, degradation of the kitchen atmosphere due to "bad fits", and subsequent loss of key chefs revealed the hidden costs of weak staffing decisions. The monetary and reputation repercussions of hiring mismatched talent were far greater than anticipated.


On the other hand, our approach provided a strategic solution that extended beyond immediate staffing needs. By leasing our talent, the restaurant benefited from a highly curated team that not only aligned with their culinary culture and vision, but also showcased consistency and commitment. The cost of our service paled in comparison to the potential revenue loss and reputation damage the restaurant faced from frequent closures, poor dining experiences, and a revolving door of team members.

Cost comparison of permanent hire chefs vs task force talent

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This case study underscores the importance of viewing staffing as an investment rather than an expense. Culinary excellence thrives when talent, passion, and organizational culture go hand-in-hand. Through a partnership with the League of Extraordinary Chefs, this restaurant not only overcame a challenging phase but also emerged stronger and more resilient in its culinary pursuits. The experience serves as a testament to the profound impact of strategic staffing decisions for a venue's success.


If you find yourself facing culinary staffing challenges, remember that the right partner can make all the difference. Connect with us to explore how our expert talent can transform your establishment.



 

About the League of Extraordinary Chefs

The League of Extraordinary Chefs was established in May 2021 when a team of chefs converged upon the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby. Arising out of extreme staffing shortages in the culinary industry, the League was born and has grown to a full roster of highly-vetted and qualified culinary professionals. We offer talent management and placement of extraordinary chefs & FOH hospitality professionals for hotels & resorts, sporting & entertainment events, conventions, top tier restaurants, and vacation ranches. From short-term (3-7+ days) to long-term (6+ months) to permanent placements, let us source the right culinary talent for your needs. #STAFFEXTRAORDINARY


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