Gaucho’s secrets to successful recruitment and training

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Employment, Skill, Recruitment

Tracey Smith, HR director at Gaucho, explains how the steak restaurant chain train and recruit. Pic: Rob Lawson
Tracey Smith, HR director at Gaucho, explains how the steak restaurant chain train and recruit. Pic: Rob Lawson
The key to hiring the right staff first time round is a strict recruitment process, thorough training, and giving staff room to grow.

That’s according to Tracey Smith, HR director of restaurant group Gaucho that currently operates 14 sites in the UK, one in Beirut and one in Dubai.

Speaking at this year’s R200 conference, held at 4 Hamilton Place in July, Smith explained to delegates the strict recruitment and training processes new employees must go through to secure a permanent place within the Gaucho team.

Each new recruit is put through the Gaucho training academy where they learn not only the skills required to carry out their role, but skills across the restaurant as a whole. At the end of the academy trainees must sit an exam where they must achieve a score of 85 per cent to secure a job – with no exceptions.

The cutthroat hiring process, she explains, is what has enabled Gaucho to improve its service standards and experience for the diner.

If you're looking to begin a recruitment campaign for your restaurant, pub or hotel, make sure you get in contact with our recruitment experts at BigHospitality Jobs. Call Jo Charity on 01293 610386 or email

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1 comment

Wine at Gaucho

Posted by Steve Evans,

Having supplied wine to Gaucho for about the last ten years I can attest that the Academy program and recruitment processes really help bring significant return on investment. Important to their wine success also is the leadership and transformational role played by Wine Director Phil Crozier. He is also one of the UK’s leading experts on Argentine wine. The depth and range of the wine-list has changed and innovated as the business has grown. Coupled with the strong service culture wine category growth has played a significant role in increasing spend per head to £65. When I’m involved in training sessions it pleases me that with the Gaucho team I need to start where I would finish with most other group businesses. That is we can get into real issues that enable the service team to become proper experts to their customers. Therefore I recommend to other restaurateurs that they get to know the Gaucho model as best they can so that the applicable learning’s can be taken.

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