Success Stories

Ristorante Capri

At Ristorante Capri, owner Arturo di Rosa has built a loyal following among Indianapolis locals by serving consistently great-tasting Italian specialties made with top-quality ingredients.

Arturo credits much of that success to his team of dedicated cooks, who work hard to ensure that their guests enjoy their favorite flavors, prepared exactly the same way, every time. Arturo’s success in recruiting and keeping talented kitchen staff didn’t happen by accident. Instead, he has concentrated on identifying potential hires with “the right stuff” and on improving his kitchen work space to boost morale and make their time there more pleasant.

To begin his hiring process, Arturo looks for people with specific personality traits (drive/initiative, willingness to learn, and a cooperative attitude) rather than just job skills. Then to test these traits, he insists that all new employees complete a three-month trial period before he decides whether to offer them a lasting position on the staff.

This test period has several advantages. First, it sends a strong message from Day #1 that positions on Arturo’s team are earned through superior performance and cannot be taken for granted.

Second, it allows him to test how well new recruits perform under pressure. For that reason, he keeps their work schedules fully loaded.

Third, it lets him observe how well they learn and adapt to new tasks and challenges.

Assuming that they are invited to stay, Arturo empowers his cooks to give themselves raises. He explains that if, on their own initiative, they learn and then can demonstrate mastery of new kitchen skills which make them more versatile and valuable to the restaurant, he will gladly increase their hourly pay.

Money is important for retaining good employees. So is the quality of their work life. That is why Arturo has also improved kitchen conditions over time by installing brighter lighting, adding a skylight for more natural daylight, upgrading kitchen air conditioning to keep cooks comfortably cool at their busiest, etc.

Because he had the available space, he also added a comfortable break room with a TV where employees can relax between lunch and dinner shifts rather than feeling that they have to leave the restaurant.

Between performance-based hiring, pay for self-improvement, and a respectful, yet demanding work environment, Arturo finds and keeps good employees longer. In turn, his team operates efficiently with fewer mistakes, helping further boost guest satisfaction!