Best way to be prepared is, to be prepared. Yea, we still have a couple months til opening, but doesnt hurt one bit to stock the rolodex with industry contacts.
Luckily, i can smell out industry peeps pretty well. Just came back from the local watering hole where i was sitting at the bar and noticed the house cook go up to a guy who walked in solo and grabbed a stool next to us. Its past 1am (likely coming in straight after dinner service -cue#1), he walked in comfortably by himself (cue#2), they are talking like pals (cue#3), basic math tells me 1+2+3= this guy must be in the industry himself. I was waiting for a moment to say hello and do some digging around when he swivels his stool towards me and my comrade and introduces himself. We get talking and sure enough he’s a cook who hails from the east coast, did some work at very reputable places, including one of my NYC faves (score!), and can butcher snout to tail = he’s a speedy one in the kitchen. Speed in the kitchen is essential for survival during service rush, so im keeping this one in the front lines come recruiting season=)