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How to Hire a Cook in Canada

How to Hire a Cook in Canada?

Selecting professional cooks for your business can be tricky. Our team at Hookjobs is responsible for finding high-quality candidates suitable for your business. Despite the shortage of talent filling out vacancies in Canada, we hunt the most experienced cooks and introduce them to you.

Learning the details of each stage and the ins and outs of our screening processes for hiring a cook can help you find and hire the top cooking talents in Canada.

How we Help you to Hire a Cook in Canada?

All companies require someone to handle tasks such as hiring, training, managing salaries, and employee relations when it comes to hiring an expert. Our employment agency can assist in overseeing the HR-related functions of your cooking business and aid in any employment requirements you may have.

It’s clear that a cook is essential to any restaurant operation, which boosts the chances of success in the long run. So, now the question becomes how to hire a cook in Canada.

The following will answer the question by explaining the general steps we undertake to hire a cook, as illustrated in the flowchart.

How to Find and Hire a Cook in Canada

1.Understanding your Business and Needs

We write an initial inception report to better understand your business and requirements. By so doing, we can clearly understand what you have in mind when hiring a particular cook.

By writing the inception report, we also make sure that all applicants have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, which helps attract the right cooking candidates who meet the requirements for the position and whose personality traits allign with your business’s standards.

Writing an initial inception report in the recruitment process brings you the following benefits:

  • It serves as a guideline for the recruitment process.
  • This helps to ensure that the recruitment process is consistent and fair, reducing the likelihood of bias or discrimination in the hiring process.
  • It helps to ensure that the goals and values of your food business align with the candidate’s qualifications and experience.
  • The report also ensures that the cook candidate selected for the position can fulfill the responsibilities of the role and is a good fit for your business’s culture and values.
  • This helps to create a positive and transparent recruitment experience for all parties involved.

For writing the inception report, we ask you to provide us with the job descriptions for your position in order to better understand your needs and expectations. If you do not have a clear job description for your position, we will write you one through a mutual understanding of your restaurant’s values and missions.

By writing the job descriptions, we can help your organization ensure compliance with labour laws and regulations by providing a clear outline of the essential job functions and requirements.

How we Write a Cook Job Description?

It’s crucial to be clear and concise when writing a cook job description to provide candidates with enough details. Here are some essential elements to include:

  • Job Title: We clearly state the job title as “Cook”.
  • Job Summary: We provide a brief overview of the position, including the primary responsibilities of the job, the requirements for the position, and the desired qualities of the ideal candidate. We make sure to specify the essential skills and qualifications necessary for success in this role.
  • Responsibilities: We list the main duties and responsibilities of your cook position. This may include preparing and cooking a variety of dishes, maintaining inventory levels, following food safety guidelines, and collaborating with other kitchen staff.
  • Requirements: We also list the minimum requirements for the position, such as a high school diploma, certificate or diploma in Culinary Arts, a minimum of two years of experience in a commercial kitchen, and knowledge of food safety and sanitation guidelines.
  • Skills: We list the necessary skills for the position, such as strong cooking skills, attention to detail, strong communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to work flexible hours.
  • Personality Traits: We offer guidance on the specific personality traits sought by the establishment’s manager in a cook. Our team highlights attributes such as creativity, efficiency, and positivity that would make an individual suitable for the position.
  • Information about your Cooking Business: We also provide the job seekers with information about your business such as its mission statement or core values, to give potential candidates a better understanding of your business culture.
  • Salary and Benefits: We indicate the salary range and the perks for the position.
  • Legal eligibility: We finally indicate that the candidate must be legally eligible to work in your restaurant.

2.Job Posting

After writing the initial inception report, it is crucial to advertise your job vacancy. This method aids in attracting qualified cooks for your food business. At Hookjobs, we write you well-organized job postings by leveraging various social media platforms and channels to hunt the most professional cooking candidates for your business. But what do we include in a job posting?

When writing a job posting for hiring a cook, we provide a clear and detailed description of the role, responsibilities, and qualifications required.

Describing the role of the job may include the following:

  • Job Title: Cook
  • Location
  • Job Type: Full-Time/ Short-time
  • Salary
  • Job Summary: We write it according to the initial inception report. For example, [We are seeking an experienced cook to join our team for a full-time position. The successful candidate will be responsible for preparing and cooking a variety of dishes in a timely and efficient manner. The ideal candidate will have a passion for cooking and a desire to provide our customers with the highest quality food possible.]

The responsibilities we include are based on your business’s culture, mission, and values, which were already identified in the inception report. To illustrate, we may include the following:

  • Prepare and cook a variety of dishes, including appetizers, entrees, and desserts
  • Ensure that all dishes are prepared and served in a timely and efficient manner
  • Monitor food supplies and order stock as necessary
  • Maintain a clean and organized kitchen
  • Follow all food safety guidelines and regulations
  • Train and supervise kitchen staff as necessary

We also include the qualifications of your potential cooks in the job posting, as following:

  • Minimum 3 years of experience as a cook in a fast-paced environment
  • Reliable Cooking Certificates
  • Knowledge of food safety guidelines and regulations
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work in a team environment
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends

3.Resume Screening

Screening resumes is one of the most laborious aspects of recruitment, with the evaluation process estimated to require as much as 23 hours for a single hire. Given that job postings typically attract around 250 resumes on average, with a substantial percentage of them (ranging from 75% to 88%) being unsuitable, it is understandable that many talent acquisition managers find the task of sifting through a vast pool of applicants the most challenging part of their job.

To help you eliminate this bottleneck in recruiting, we carefully review the resumes submitted by cooking applicants to ensure that they meet your minimum requirements before we proceed with further consideration.

When screening resumes for a cook position, we consider the candidate’s qualifications, experience, passion, and skills, all of which being crucial in determining their suitability for the job. The following factors are considered during the screening process at Hookjobs:

  • Education and training: We take into account the candidate’s academic history and any formal culinary training or certification they may have attained.
  • Work experience: We examine the candidate’s previous employment records, especially those related to the food service industry, and the types of businesses where they worked.
  • Skills and knowledge: We assess the candidate’s specific culinary expertise and knowledge, including their familiarity with various cooking techniques and cuisines.
  • References: We examine the candidate’s professional references, particularly those who can speak to their culinary skills and work ethic.
  • Personal characteristics: We look for personal characteristics such as attention to detail, ability to work well under pressure, and team player mentality.
  • Certifications: We also consider any relevant certifications in professional cooking. But what are the most important cookery certificates in Canada?

Red Seal Certificate (or the Interprovincial Trade Standard (ITSS))

Provincial/Territorial Apprenticeship and Certification offices award the Red Seal Certificate, which is widely accepted across the country as evidence of exceptional skills in the culinary industry. To qualify for the certification exam, applicants must have 5,000 hours of practical experience in fundamental cooking methods and an additional 3,000 hours in more advanced culinary techniques.

Canadian Food Safety Certificate

Provincial government entities such as health departments or food authorities issue this certificate. To obtain it, individuals need to go through a certification process that includes completing a training program and passing an exam on subjects pertaining to food safety and sanitation in the kitchen.

ProServe Certification

 The ProServe Certification serves as evidence that individuals have undergone training on safe alcohol service practices in bars and restaurants. This certification remains valid for a period of three years.  

Food Handler Certificate

Working as a cook in Canada, individuals are required to acquire a Food Handler Certificate from their local health authority or food safety organization, which validates their comprehension of food safety practices required for safe food preparation and service.

University Diplomas and Degrees

Some universities and colleges offer diploma and degree programs in culinary arts, which provide students with a more in-depth education and may lead to management or executive chef positions.

The following table illustrates a few examples of Canadian universities offering diplomas or degrees in culinary arts.

University

Program Name

Location

George Brown College

Culinary Arts

Toronto, Ontario

Vancouver Island University

Culinary Management

Nanaimo, British Columbia

Niagara College

Culinary Management

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Culinary Arts

Calgary, Alberta

Humber College

Culinary Management

Toronto, Ontario

4.Job Interview

Once candidates have submitted their resumes, we conduct a job interview to verify their credentials and assess their fit for the position.

As part of our service, we conduct a comprehensive interview process to ensure that the cooks we introduce to you are verified professionals. During the job interview for a cook position, we ask a variety of questions to assess the candidate’s qualifications, experience, and suitability for the job. Here are some of the common questions we ask:

  • What inspired you to pursue a career as a cook?
  • What is your professional kitchen experience?
  • How do you keep yourself informed about the latest cooking trends and techniques?
  • Can you explain your approach to menu planning and development?
  • How do you handle stressful situations in the kitchen, such as busy service times?
  • Can you describe a situation where you had to overcome a challenge in the kitchen?
  • How do you respond to feedback and constructive criticism from colleagues or chefs?
  • Can you tell us about a dish that you created and are proud of?
  • How do you manage your time and prioritize tasks while in the kitchen?
  • Can you give an example of how you have worked effectively in a team to deliver quality service?
  • How do you ensure that cleaning, food safety, and food quality standards are met?
  • What is your experience with dietary restrictions and allergies?
  • How would you handle a situation where a customer is not satisfied with their meal?
  • How would you handle a situation where a co-worker is struggling?
  • What are your future career goals in the culinary industry?

When conducting interviews with potential cooks, we focus on creating a friendly and positive environment. We use questioning techniques that allow candidates to showcase their abilities and credentials while maintaining a welcoming atmosphere throughout the interview process. We also ensure that candidates are given the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.

5.Assessing the Candidates

After making sure the candidates have the necessary cookery qualifications and certificates, our recruiters will go on assessing the candidates through culinary skills tests. We take great care to make sure that all potential cook candidates are highly skilled and familiar with all of the rules and regulations.

To perform the test, the candidates need to complete a series of tasks in a kitchen environment, including:

  • Knife Skills: We ask candidates to demonstrate their dexterity in using tools and various knife skills, such as chopping, dicing, and mincing.
  • Cooking Techniques: We ask candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and ability to use various cooking techniques, such as sautéing, grilling, baking, or frying.
  • Recipe Execution: We also ask candidates to prepare a dish based on a specific recipe within a certain time limit. They will be evaluated on their ability to follow the recipe accurately, as well as the taste, texture, and presentation of the final dish.
  • Food Safety and Sanitation: We ask candidates questions about food safety and sanitation procedures, such as how to prevent cross-contamination and how to store food properly.
  • Menu Planning: For higher-level positions, candidates may be asked to create a menu that includes appetizers, entrees, and desserts and to explain the rationale behind their menu choices.

In addition to the abovementioned points, we also evaluate the candidates based on how they make use of resources, whether they recycle ingredients or waste them, knowledge of measurements, weights, and cooking techniques, oral comprehension, active listening, interpersonal skills, coordinating the kitchen team’s efforts, and communicating with the serving personnel.

By following these guidelines, we can find the ideal candidate for your establishment and ensure the success of your business.

After assessing the candidates, if need be, we may move on to the next step, which is training the accepted candidates according to the requirements and standards of your business.

6.Training Future Employees

Once the evaluation process is complete, if you need to ensure that the candidates fully understand your particular needs, we may provide them with some special hands-on training before hiring. Hookjobs is fully engaged in the training procedure, providing candidates with resources and monitoring their progress to ensure they acquire the appropriate skills. Here are some ways we train future employees to be hired as cooks:

  • Culinary Skills Training: We provide culinary skills training, such as knife skills, cooking techniques, and food safety procedures, to ensure that candidates have the necessary skills to work as a cook.
  • On-the-Job Training: We may also provide on-the-job training, where the potential cooks work alongside experienced cooks to learn the necessary skills and procedures for working in a kitchen environment.
  • Kitchen Simulation: We also offer a simulated kitchen environment where candidates can practice their cooking skills and techniques under the supervision of a trainer.
  • Food Preparation Practice: We provide food preparation practice sessions, where the cook candidates can practice preparing different dishes and receive feedback on their technique and presentation.
  • Menu Planning: For higher-level positions, we may provide training in menu planning, recipe development, and other skills required for creating and managing a menu.
  • Skills assessments: We can identify areas where new cooks may need additional training or support by conducting skills assessments. These assessments can ensure that the potential candidates are fully prepared for their new roles.

7.Drawing up a Contract

After the training sessions, the selected candidates who are ready to start working as a cook will be ready to sign a contract.

By seeking legal advice when drafting a contract, we help you draw up a contract with the selected cook. Writing a contract is done through the following steps:

  1. Identifying the parties involved: We begin by clearly identifying the parties involved in the contract. This should include the name and contact information of the cook, as well as your own details when you are hiring the cook.
  2. Defining the scope of work: We once again outline the duties and responsibilities of the cook. This should include details on the type of cuisine, the menu, the hours of work, and any other relevant information.
  3. Setting the payment terms: We clearly determine the payment structure, including the hourly rate or salary, frequency of payment, and any bonuses or incentives. The contracts also include details on how and when payments will be made.
  4. Establishing the length of the contract: We also determine the duration of the contract, and whether it will be a short-term or long-term arrangement.
  5. Including confidentiality and non-compete clauses: If necessary, we include clauses that protect your food business interests, such as non-disclosure agreements and non-compete clauses.
  6. Including termination clauses: We specify the circumstances under which the contract can be terminated by either party, including notice periods and any penalties or fees that may apply.
  7. Signing and dating the contract: Once the contract has been agreed upon, both parties should sign and date the document. We also make sure to keep a copy for your records.

It is also worth-mentioning that employers in Canada are subject to various legal requirements related to employment, such as minimum wage laws, overtime laws, and employment standards. We consult with lawyers and HR professionals to ensure that you are meeting these requirements.

Labour Laws and Regulations for a Restaurant Owner in Canada

As a restaurant owner in Canada, you must comply with a range of labour laws and regulations. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Employment Standards: The Employment Standards Act sets minimum standards for wages, hours of work, overtime pay, and other working conditions.
  • Workplace Safety: As restaurant owners, you are required to provide a safe and healthy workplace for your staff. This includes providing cookery training, protective equipment, and taking necessary precautions to prevent accidents and injuries.
  • Human Rights: Canada’s Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, and other factors. You must provide equal opportunities and accommodations to all your cooks.
  • Labour Relations: If you have a unionized workforce in your restaurant, you must comply with the Canada Labour Code, which regulates labour relations and collective bargaining.
  • Employment Insurance: You must deduct Employment Insurance (EI) premiums from your employees’ paychecks and remit them to the government. Your cooks are eligible for EI benefits if they lose their job through no fault of their own.
  • Taxation: You must also deduct and remit income tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP), and other required deductions from your employees’ paychecks.

 

In Canada, restaurant labour laws and regulations can vary by province, but there are also national laws that apply across the country. Some key restaurant labour laws and regulations in different provinces of Canada are depicted in the following table:

 

Province

Minimum Wage

Overtime Pay

Maximum Hours of Work

Vacation Time

Employment Standards

Ontario

$14.35 per hour

1.5 times regular pay after 44 hours in a week

Maximum of 48 hours per week, with at least 11 consecutive hours of rest per day

2 weeks after 1 year of employment

Covers things like hours of work, overtime pay, vacation time, and termination pay

British Columbia

$15.20 per hour

1.5 times regular pay after 40 hours in a week

Maximum of 8 hours per day, with at least 32 hours off in a row per week

2 weeks after 1 year of employment

Covers things like hours of work, overtime pay, vacation time, and termination pay

Alberta

$15.00 per hour

1.5 times regular pay after 8 hours in a day or 44 hours in a week

Maximum of 12 hours per day, with at least 8 consecutive hours of rest per day

2 weeks after 1 year of employment

Covers things like hours of work, overtime pay, vacation time, and termination pay

Saskatchewan

$12.45 per hour

1.5 times regular pay after 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week

Maximum of 16 hours per day, with at least 8 consecutive hours of rest per day

3 weeks after 10 years of employment

Covers things like hours of work, overtime pay, vacation time, and termination pay

Manitoba

$12.00 per hour

1.5 times regular pay after 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week

Maximum of 12 hours per day, with at least 8 consecutive hours of rest per day

2 weeks after 1 year of employment

Covers things like hours of work, overtime pay, vacation time, and termination pay

Quebec

$13.50 per hour

1.5 times regular pay after 40 hours in a week

Maximum of 12 hours per day, with at least 8 consecutive hours of rest per day

2 weeks after 1 year of employment

Covers things like hours of work, overtime pay, vacation time, and termination pay

New Brunswick

$11.75 per hour

1.5 times regular pay after 44 hours in a week

Maximum of 48 hours per week, with at least 8 consecutive hours of rest per day

2 weeks after 8 years of employment

Covers things like hours of work, overtime pay, vacation time, and termination pay

Nova Scotia

$12.95 per hour

1.5 times regular pay after 48 hours in a week

Maximum of 48 hours per week, with at least 24 consecutive hours of rest per week

2 weeks after 8 years of employment

Covers things like hours of work, overtime pay, vacation time, and termination pay

Prince Edward Island

$13.50 per hour

1.5 times regular pay after 48 hours in a week

Maximum of 12 hours per day, with at least 8 consecutive hours of rest per day

2 weeks after 8 years of employment

Covers things like hours of work, overtime pay, vacation time, and termination pay

Newfoundland and Labrador

$12.50 per hour

1.5 times regular pay after 40 hours in a week

Maximum of 16 hours per day, with at

  

What is the Average Wage for Hiring a Cook in Canada?

The wage for hiring a cook in Canada can vary depending on several factors, such as the cooks’ level of experience, the region in which they are working, job requirements, and the type of establishment that is hiring. Let’s discuss the wage for hiring prep and line cooks in Canada. Here are some potential costs to consider:

  • Wages: The average hourly wage for a prep and line cook in Canada is around 16-18 CAD and 17-20 CAD per hour, respectively, but this can vary depending on the region and the individual’s level of experience.
  • Benefits: As an employer, you may be required to offer benefits such as health insurance, dental insurance, and retirement savings plans to your prep and line cooks, which can add to the overall cost of hiring.

Strictly speaking, the average wage for hiring a cook in Canada can vary from province to province. Here are some general ranges for cook wages in different provinces and territories in Canada:

 

Wages in Different Provinces and Territories in Canada

 

Province/Territory

Average Hourly Wage Range

Range of Wages Depending on Experience and Qualifications

Alberta

$16-$18 CAD

$15-$25 CAD

British Columbia

$16-$18 CAD

$14-$24 CAD

Manitoba

$13-$15 CAD

$11-$20 CAD

New Brunswick

$13-$15 CAD

$11-$20 CAD

Newfoundland and Labrador

$12-$14 CAD

$11-$18 CAD

Northwest Territories

$20-$25 CAD

$18-$30 CAD

Nova Scotia

$12-$15 CAD

$11-$20 CAD

Nunavut

$22-$25 CAD

$18-$30 CAD

Ontario

$14-$16 CAD

$12-$22 CAD

Prince Edward Island

$12-$15 CAD

$11-$20 CAD

Quebec

$13-$15 CAD

$11-$20 CAD

Saskatchewan

$14-$16 CAD

$12-$22 CAD

Yukon

$20-$23 CAD

$18-$28 CAD

    

How to Enhance Job Satisfaction among my Cooks in the Restaurant?

Job satisfaction among your kitchen staff is crucially important, as it not only creates a positive atmosphere but also has beneficial effects on the quality of food served to customers.

By implementing the following strategies, you can help to enhance job satisfaction among your cooks and create a positive workplace culture that benefits everyone:

  • Show appreciation: Make sure to acknowledge the hard work and effort that your cooks put in every day. Show appreciation for their contribution to the restaurant’s success. A simple “thank you” or “good job” can greatly boost morale.
  1. Provide a conducive work environment in the kitchen: A clean, organized, and well-equipped kitchen can help to reduce stress and increase job satisfaction among cooks. Ensure that the kitchen is well-lit, well-ventilated, and comfortable to work in.
  2. Offer cookery training and development opportunities: Encourage your cooks to attend training and development programs that will help them improve their skills and knowledge. This can help them feel more confident and competent in their work, which can lead to greater job satisfaction.
  3. Give them autonomy: Provide your cooks with some level of autonomy in their work. Allow them to experiment with new dishes or to suggest improvements to existing ones. This can help them feel more invested in their work and can lead to greater job satisfaction.
  4. Create a positive workplace culture: Encourage teamwork, respect, and open communication among your staff. A positive workplace culture can go a long way in enhancing job satisfaction among cooks.
  5. Provide fair compensation and benefits: Make sure that your cooks are paid fairly and receive benefits such as health insurance, vacation time, and sick leave. This can help to reduce financial stress and increase job satisfaction among your cooks.
  6. Recognize and reward performance: Consider implementing a performance recognition program that rewards cooks for their hard work and achievements. This can motivate them to continue to perform at a high level and increase job satisfaction.

FAQs

Q: What types of cooks should I hire in my restaurant in Canada?

Depending on your need, some general types of cooks you may want to consider while hiring include a head chef, a sous chef, line cooks, prep cooks, pastry chefs, and grill cooks.

Q: What is the wage of hiring a cook in Canada?

A: In Canada, the typical wage for a cook is 37,050 CAD annually or 17.50 CAD hourly. Starting positions usually pay around 34,125 CAD per year, whereas seasoned professionals can earn up to 41,925 CAD per year.

Q: How many hours do cooks work in Canada?

A: In the restaurant industry, it is customary for chefs to work 12 to 14 hour shifts every day of the week, as this is considered to be the typical practice.

Q: Can I hire a foreign cook in my restaurant in Canada?

Yes, it is quite possible as long as you obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The foreign cook can then apply for a work permit, based on the LMIA and specific job offer, as well as meeting other eligibility criteria.

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