15 November 2008

Unusual approach to recruitment ...

| I-filed
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Gus’s Cafe have advertised in this morning’s CBR Times classifieds for a kitchenhand, a cook, floor staff and a barista – and specified “no experience required”!

Um, wonders, does this mean that Gus’s standards are so high that they take all recruits through rigorous training on hiring them … or that they don’t expect to ever attract staff with professional standards?

Whichever, it might be wise to avoid Gus’s till they get ALL their new staff up to speed – and until they’ve taught them, say, basic kitchen hygiene at least!

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He might have had a multiple personality disorder and been Gus White, Gus Black and Fred.

tylersmayhem1:32 pm 17 Nov 08

Because his head is on the pavement! And he only has one head. That you can see, at least.


Granny said :

How do you know it was only one Gus? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Because his head is on the pavement! And he only has one head. That you can see, at least.

tylersmayhem11:23 am 17 Nov 08

Actually AussieGal, commercial kitchen hygiene is something you need to learn BEFORE you start working with food, so people don’t get poisoned

I am also one who believes that best place to learn kitchen hygiene is on the job, with the expectation that the people teaching you know the standards thoroughly. WAY more can be learned on the job than in a classroom or from a textbook. If I was the owner, I’d rather teach people new to the industry in my kitchen, as they will be learning your expected hygiene policies from scratch, with little risk of an experienced hospitality staff member bringing possible sub-standard hygiene procedures with them.

As for the general comments about hiring people with little or no experience, again, I think it’s possibly a very smart idea. You can start with a “clean slate”, and instill the quality and expectations that you have for your particular establishment, minimising the likelihood of hiring an “experienced” staff member who might like to only do things their way. As mentioned already, hiring new blood allows to concentrate on personality, teamwork and potential. Skills can be taught. I have met plenty of less skilled hospi people who are willing to learn who I’d hire any day over others I’ve met who’ve been in the industry for years who thinks their way is the only way so f**k off.

I am one of the few Canberran’s who can say I’ve lived here for 98% of my life, and never had a drink or food at Gus’s for whatever reason or another. That said, I’d certainly not boycott them because they are choosing this method for hire. In fact, I might make the long overdue visit there shortly to see how it’s working out for them.

When you’re wrong you’re wrong, poptop.

: )

Losing or surrendering? 😉

Why am I losing all my arguments today?

Granny, truly there can only ever be one Gus Petersilka.

How do you know it was only one Gus? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Gus’ train their staff well and they had two of their staff come in the top 5 at the latest barista champs which proves it..

Gus’s cafe is correct. It depends on whether it’s a soft or hard s.

The trouble with Gus’s, is that it is called Gus’s Cafe. The cafe of Gus. The cafe owned by Gus. Therefore, it is Gus’s cafe. Not the cafe of many Gus’. Just one Gus.

I love Gus’ and hope I always do. It would just not be Canberra for me if Gus’ went. They have not let me down very often. I am willing to risk the new staff.

Concerning apostrophes – this makes me feel old. Our teachers would not have dreamed of letting us write Gus’s. I’m surprised I could even bring myself to write that! Now I will have to go and have a nervous breakdown or something.

I gave both my authorities for just that reason, miz, although I agree the comment regarding ancient names was a bit ambiguous [it also is from Strunk and White]. The point was that nyssa was being extremely testy about a ‘rule’ that is not as clearcut as s/he was suggesting.

As it turns out, nyssa appears to be correct about Gus’ Cafe, as that is how it appears in the Yellow Pages.

Depends on your authority or style guide, poptop. Proper names ending in an S can be used either way.

My Departmental style guide insists on the ‘s. However, others differ. New Hart Rules (Oxford University Press use it) states “It is traditional to use an apostrophe alone after classical names ending in s or es: Euripides’, Herodotus’, Mars’, Erasmus’ . . . [this] style should be followed for longer names; with short names the alternative, Zeus’s, is permissible.”

Not according to the Apostrophe Protection Society not Strunk and White, nyssa.

The Strunk and White rule is – singular nouns ending in ‘s’ get an apostrophe-‘s’ for the possessive: Loveless’s dog, the house’s price.

Plural nouns get just the apostrophe.

The exception appears to be for ancient names (so Jesus’ crib, Euripides’ play).

So chill out, stickler. =-)

Doesn’t the apostrophe after the S imply the next S?

Ok, I have to say it and call me a grammar nazi if you want but I don’t care.

It’s GUS’, not GUS’S.

FFS, the ‘ is denoting ownership…

Actually I-filed, you’re making an assumption that Gus’s wont be able to teach these newbies said standards. Are you the owner? No. So how would you know what goes on there?

Telling people to avoid a restaurant just because you think that new people can’t learn proper standards is a bit ridiculous.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy5:47 pm 16 Nov 08

Hi El – what IT job are you after. We aren’t hiring until Xmas due to our yearly 4th cost control activity, but there’s a very good chance for early next year.

Contact me at VYBerlina@hotmail.com


The company I work for struggles to get good staff, and we pay well into the 6 figures for anyone with a brain and some experience.

VY – This is relating to IT, yes?

After any staff at the moment?

Let’s all remember how much experience we had when we got our first jobs…

And as for hygiene, they can learn THAT too in the kitchen. Becuase I’m damn sure that most people have no concept of it. We did a melbourne cup thing at work, and after bringing in the groceries, set about unwrapping the stuff, plating it, cutting up the crudites and the fruit and cheese for the platters, the meats…

And I was the ONLY one who washed their hands before starting! And the only one who washed the flapping knife when I changed foods. The others said things like ‘scuse fingers…. what the hell does that do for all the dirty door handles, keyboards and phones you’ve been touching all day? ye gods.

Gus’s are being smart. If they find people with great attitudes, they can pick up those skills in hours. Too many employers are fixated on people walking in with “experience”. We used to get them demanding 5 years experience in waiting/bar work (5 years was some kind of magic number, evidently). Fact is, you can be experienced as hell and still suck. If you get someone bright, eager to learn, and who wants to be there, you can teach them what they need to know in no time.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy12:31 pm 16 Nov 08

I’ve never had particularly good food or service at Gus’, and tend to avoid the place as a result. Perhaps the management are thinking things can’t get much worse, so they’re trying a new approach. Hopefully it will work.

The company I work for struggles to get good staff, and we pay well into the 6 figures for anyone with a brain and some experience. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for some of these retail places to get staff. Most of the retail/hospitality staff I seem to deal with these days come from the shallow end of the gene pool.

Actually AussieGal, commercial kitchen hygiene is something you need to learn BEFORE you start working with food, so people don’t get poisoned … floor staff, sure – recruit newbies and put energy and attention into shaping them up (on full wages – thanks for pointing out that unethical practice Genie). But recruiting a cook with no experience would be, as I said, an unusual management approach at best. Gus’s should be particularly careful – it’s a very tainted brand, thanks to the dreadful old Gus himself.

I will be continuing to patronise Gus’s.

Some things are more important than the momentary flash of irritation from sloppy service; keeping Gus’s going is one of those things.

IMO, it’s better to work with the people who own it now and help get it up to speed than turn around in a year or so and realise that we’ve managed to kill another Canberra Icon.

Nothing wrong with no experience, but in Hospitality the hardest thing is finding staff with a 3 digit I.Q and enthusiasm.

I used to manage a couple of cafés in Melbourne, and work as a barista. SOme of my best staff didn’t know anything to start with but learnt super quick and had the necessary enthusiasm and people skills to thrive in hospitality. Others could make a coffee, but had the charisma of a damp teatowel and no idea what ‘haste’ was.

If the Gus’ Café manager can spot talent and is a good trainer, the café should be fine.

Seems poorly managed to me (particularly after reading post #4)

I managed a Cafe for 5 years and finding good hospitality staff is a nightmare.. Sometimes that person with no or little experience is also a gifted fast learner due to them having intelligence and common sense in large quantities…

I find coming on this site and saying to ‘avoid’ Gus’ until they get all their staff up to speed to be appalling, how about you run a business and close down or turn customers away because you are training one or two extra staff…


What a stupid post. People have to start somewhere you know. How ridiculous to assume that just because a person has never worked in a cafe before that they somehow lack hygiene standards.

I find this funny… Esp since I know someone who recently had a ‘trial’ with Gus’s Cafe. Even though they had several years experience working in hospitality – they were still expected to work for a well below average wage and only entitled to work the “quieter” shifts until they were up to scratch. No weekends either for at least several months.

Perhaps if they wern’t so tight on their wage they might keep staff around.

How about applauding them instead. Maybe advertise for people with zip experience and screen carefully, then train well…

The hardest thing is always the start

Gus’s standards dropped long ago. More inexperienced staff will make little difference to your dining displeasure.

Have a walk around your local shopping megaplex and count how many staff wanted signs you see. Even with an impending recession, the effects of the skills shortage are still being felt, particularly at the bottom end of the employment scale.

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