Casting the Right Talent for Destination Centers

By Margie Proctor
Hillphoenix Marketing & Design Specialist

No one would expect a cashier to assume the role of produce manager or butcher. The same goes for staffing Destination Centers. These roles require a genuine interest in food and robust people skills. Staff should be able to share product knowledge and engage customers – and enjoy doing it.

Culinary talent

Chefs and other culinary professionals bring authenticity and expertise to menu development, food preparation, and food presentation. To fully benefit from their strengths, don’t hide them away in an enclosed work area. Bring them out where shoppers can see them at work and be inspired by live food theater.

Obviously résumés matter, but they’re not the only consideration in hiring decisions when going this route. A chef or other pro who prefers to work behind the scenes won’t be a good fit. You want culinary professionals who are passionate about sharing what they do. They should be ready and willing to educate customers on how to cook the fish or chicken breast in their carts so that they turn out moist and tender or share ideas for preparing the Brussels sprouts on special.

Support staff: Select for attitude, train for skills

When it comes to servers and other support staff, the right attitude or disposition is essential and can be even more important than existing skills. Think part foodie, part people person. They should enjoy working with and learning about food and be eager to interact with and help customers. Unlike the specific skills and knowledge support staff need to fill their roles, this kind of engaging attitude can’t be taught.

Product knowledge and training

Customers are interested in everything from product origins and nutrition to cooking and pairing suggestions. Training and continuous education should be designed to keep staff current on trends, techniques, and product offerings.

By bringing it all together – crave-worthy selection, product theater, and engaging staff – your Destination Centers are where shoppers will look for the food experiences they want and the mealtime solutions they need.

Click to learn more about Destination Centers by Hillphoenix.

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