We’ll periodically update this page with articles, news and updates regarding Cupola Consulting and the work we are doing.

Foodservice Consultant publishes second Cupola Consulting article

Following on from the initial article in the Q119 edition of FCSI’s Foodservice Consultant magazine, we are delighted to share the second article in our series on maintaining professional standards in foodservice.

This article is about training and development in the foodservice industry, and what employees, employers, trade associations and recruiters should be doing to improve their standards.

Foodservice Consultant is the multiple award-winning magazine from the Foodservice Consultant Society International. The Q219 issue is available here as a digital edition:, and the article is on page 89.

If you want to cut straight to our article, we’ve repeated it below:

Interviews – preparation and technique from both sides of the table

In my first article for The Consultant I discussed personal development and training and the responsibility I believe the employee has to himself and equally that which the employer has to his team.

Let’s move on now and talk about interviews and preparation. Preparation doesn’t start when you’re looking for a job either – it should start now.

Employees - decide who you want to join and target them. You may not get there first time but understand what makes them your ideal and tailor your persona to grab their attention. Start to hone your experience, ensure your LinkedIn profile reflects however you want to be seen and if you tweet, follow those that your target follows, make connections and understand what drives their values.

When you leave an employer get a written reference from the most senior person possible, not a commitment to give you a reference if ever you need one, get it right then. If you can ‘frame the context and words’  yourself, all well and good but do not exaggerate your capabilities or experience because you will get caught out.

How many CV variations have you got? One? Probably insufficient unless you can easily tailor it to reflect your suitability for a particular application.

Are you going to use a recruiter? If so, understand what they should be doing for you because the employer will pay for their recommendations and success.

Again, before you even get to the employer make sure your recruiter has the ability and experience to give you a tough trial interview. If they can’t or won’t, have you got the right recruiter? Ask the recruiter how well they know the target employer, who do they know on the inside and what do they understand about their plans and strategy? This must be all part of your technique before you get to the interview. Don’t forget, be in the seat behind the wheel not on the passenger side.

Employers – so you’re either recruiting as part of your strategy or a ‘distress’ replacement following an individual’s capability review or a straightforward resignation.

Whatever the reason for the change, view it as an upgrade, not a like for like. Are you going to ‘advertise’ on social media or in the trade press (whether print or digital), will you use a recruiter or do you ‘know someone?’

Decide why you are choosing whichever route, or combination, but here’s a few pointers as a guide.

If you advertise yourself, other than to find out who might be thinking of a move, how will you frame the invitation? Don’t rely on your company name alone to sell the opportunity. Make the ad as precise as possible because it shows you know exactly what you want and makes it easier to select CVs for scrutiny. Most of all be prepared to sift through CVs and sort the probables from the possibles. The no hopers are easy to spot – aren’t they?

If you decide to use a recruiter, make sure they know what you’re looking for, brief them properly about what you expect from them such as pre interviews, properly crafted CVs with references and no time wasters or list fillers. Make them earn their commission; they will thank you for it and you will be the winner in the end.

A final thought on the subject of exit interviews. These are not always constructive from either party but if you learn one thing only from the departing colleague it could be valuable for future success.

Happy Recruiting.

Ed Loughton