Full of twists and turns, the road to success in this industry is long and includes countless hours of hard work. Like any great journey, a long and fulfilling career in hospitality begins with a single step. Here’s a peek into what hospitality leaders look for when hiring new talent.


"I look for people who have a strong ability to communicate, who can articulate their thoughts and those who look you in the eye. A sense of humor is also a must. I look for human traits. People who can retain information and who are eager to learn. Organized in ways that I’m not. You can’t just hire yourself, I look to hire people that have strengths in different areas than I do."

Helen Johannesen, Owner of Helen's Wines and Partner and Beverage Director at Jon & Vinny's in Los Angeles, CA

"I'm always looking for people who are hungry, humble, and disciplined. Hungry to continually learn and improve, humble to know when they can be better, and disciplined to deliver up to our expectations. I'm always assessing and looking for the human side of people. You can train experience, but you can't teach character."

Jack McGarry, Managing Partner for The Dead Rabbit and BlackTail in New York, NY

"When looking to hire new cooks, I always look for people with a great attitude. I will gladly take someone green who is positive and proactive. You are spending 10+ hours a day with the same people day in and day out; the dynamic and energy within the team are very important."

Aggie Chin, Research & Development Chef for Brava Home in San Francisco, CA

"We hire people who have a passion for the industry, a positive attitude, and a helpful outlook on life in general. They need to be enthusiastic so that they can translate what we do and communicate it effectively. When it comes to skills, candidates need to have a real willingness to learn and be willing to be uncomfortable and step outside your comfort zone."

Stuart McDonald, Assistant General Manager of Double Zero in Atlanta, GA

"When it comes to hiring, I look for curious candidates, quick thinkers, and problem solvers. Skills do not matter as much as openness to being taught."

Leigh Omilinsky, Pastry Chef at Bellemore, Swift & Sons, Cold Storage Seafood in Chicago, IL