How To Hire Staff At A Farm-To-Table Restaurant

As a farm-to-table restaurant owner, finding the right employees is essential to the success of your business. You need a team that is skilled and passionate about sustainable and local sourcing, as well as delivering an exceptional dining experience for your guests. 

In this article, we'll provide some tips and strategies for finding the perfect staff for your farm-to-table restaurant.

How To Hire Employees For A Farm-To-Table Restaurant

When it comes to hiring staff for a farm-to-table restaurant, it's important to consider the specific needs and values of your business. Look for employees who share your commitment to sustainability and local sourcing, and who have a passion for fresh, high-quality ingredients. In addition to experience and skills, consider the personalities and values of potential hires when building your team.

Hiring employees for a farm-to-table restaurant can be both an exciting and daunting task. It requires careful research, recruiting, interviewing and hiring practices to ensure you find the best possible candidates for your unique concept. Here are some tips on how to hire staff at a farm-to-table restaurant:

1. Define The Positions

Before you start your search, it’s important to define the position and create a job description that outlines specific duties, qualifications and expectations. This will help you narrow down your list of applicants.

2. Set A Budget

Establish a budget for all hiring expenses, including recruitment fees and salaries to ensure you stay within your budget.

3. Recruitment Strategies

Decide which recruitment strategies you’ll use to find the best candidates for your farm-to-table restaurant. You may prefer to post jobs online or advertise in local newspapers, but don’t forget about word of mouth and networking opportunities.

4. Run Interviews

Prepare for interviews by setting up clear and fair criteria for evaluating potential employees. Make sure to ask questions that will reveal the candidate’s knowledge, experience and passion for working in a farm-to-table restaurant environment.

5. Onboarding Process

To ensure a smooth transition from applicant to employee, create an onboarding process that includes orientation, training and job shadowing. This will help new hires quickly get up to speed and be productive in their roles.

Where to look for Farm-To-Table Restaurant staffing candidates?

When looking for the right people to staff your farm-to-table restaurant, there are a few places to look:

Social media

Post job openings on social networks such as Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Be sure to include hashtags to make it easier for potential applicants to find you.

Local colleges and universities

Many students in the hospitality, food service, and culinary fields are eager to gain experience in farm-to-table restaurants. Advertise job openings on college campuses or contact faculty advisors at relevant departments.

Restaurant industry associations

Organizations such as the National Restaurant Association (NRA) can connect you with experienced candidates. Join online or in-person communities to tap into potential applicants for your farm-to-table restaurant.

Local farms and food purveyors

Establish relationships with local farmers and food vendors who might be able to recommend qualified staff members for your farm-to-table restaurant.

Word of mouth

Don’t forget about the power of word-of-mouth referrals! Encourage current staff members to spread the word about your job openings, and you may find an ideal candidate through mutual connections.

By doing research on potential hiring strategies and looking in the right places for qualified candidates, you’ll be running a more streamlined and enjoyful operation.

What to look for in an ideal Farm-To-Table Restaurant employee?

When looking for an ideal employee to work in a farm-to-table restaurant, there are certain qualities and skills that should be taken into consideration:

Passion for local produce

Look for applicants who have a passion for eating locally sourced food, as this will help ensure they connect with the restaurant’s mission.

Food preparation knowledge

Candidates should have an understanding of how to prepare different dishes and be familiar with the local produce available in your area.

Awareness of health and safety standards

Applicants should be knowledgeable of food safety laws and regulations, as well as national standards such as HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points).

Attention to detail 

Farm-to-table restaurants require meticulous attention to detail in order for operations to run smoothly. Look for candidates who are organized, detail oriented and show enthusiasm for their work.

Understanding of customer service

Employees should be knowledgeable about customer service standards and know how to provide high quality service.

What employees do you need to hire for a Farm-To-Table Restaurant

When staffing a farm-to-table restaurant, there are several different positions that need to be filled. Depending on the size of the restaurant and the services offered, some may require more or fewer staff members than others. Here are some of the most common positions you should look to hire for:

Executive Chef

The executive chef is responsible for planning, organizing and directing the kitchen staff and daily operations. They must have a strong knowledge of cooking techniques, local produce and food safety standards.

Sous Chef 

The sous chef assists the executive chef in overseeing all aspects of the restaurant’s kitchen, including menu planning, food preparation, and staff training.

Line Cooks/Prep Cooks

The line cooks will be responsible for preparing dishes according to the executive chef’s specifications, while prep cooks typically handle the preparation of ingredients and food items prior to service.


Servers are responsible for taking orders from customers, presenting dishes and beverages in an appetizing manner, and providing excellent customer service.


Bartenders prepare alcoholic drinks for customers, as well as recommend food pairings with specific drinks. They also need to have a thorough knowledge of local liquor laws.


Dishwashers are responsible for cleaning and sanitizing dishes, utensils, and cookware.


Hosts or hostesses greet customers as they enter the restaurant and seat them according to their preferences. They must be friendly and knowledgeable about the menu items.

By hiring for these positions, you will be able to create a solid foundation for your farm-to-table restaurant.

How many employees does a Farm-To-Table Restaurant need?

The number of employees needed to staff a farm-to-table restaurant will depend on the size of the restaurant, as well as the services offered. For example, a small restaurant may require a minimum of three employees—an executive chef, a line cook and a host or server). A larger restaurant with bar service may need five or more employees—an executive chef, sous chef, line cooks/prep cooks, servers, and a bartender.

Regardless of the size of your restaurant, it is important to hire quality employees who have the necessary skills and passion for serving farm-to-table cuisine. By recruiting experienced staff members with an understanding of local produce and food safety standards, you can ensure that your farm-to-table restaurant will deliver excellent service and an unforgettable dining experience.

Finding Staff For A Farm-To-Table Restaurant

The hiring process for a farm-to-table restaurant can be challenging, but with the right approach and some careful planning, you can find the perfect staff to help your business succeed. 

By considering the specific needs of your restaurant and being open to new ideas, you can build a team that is both skilled and dedicated to delivering an exceptional dining experience for your guests.

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