The job market has become more competitive as of late. Although some things are already starting to get better, the global pandemic’s impact on the economy can still be felt by many.
Due to a number of factors, it’s increasingly difficult for employers to find good restaurant employees.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the best avenues for you to find and hire talented restaurant staff for your business.
Where to Hire the Best Restaurant Staff
There are a ton of places where you can put up your advertisement, but, understandably, not all of them are going to be effective.
In this section, we’re going to discuss the three most powerful advertising spaces and initiatives to get you the best restaurant staff possible: online channels, offline channels, and personal recruitment.
Your Restaurant’s Website
Your website is one of the most practical and powerful methods of attracting potential new hires. After all, it’s one of the first things people look up online when they hear about you. Also, people who already like your brand and service are more likely to check out your site.
Make sure to create an easy-to-find page specifically for job vacancies to funnel your already-existing traffic to your posts. In addition, having vacancies posted on your site allows visitors to easily send in an application if they think they’re fit for the position.
Another advantage to having job vacancies on your site is that you have complete control over the content of your posts. Unlike on job boards or professional networking sites, you can fully customize the appearance and content of your posts on your own site to make them more engaging and exciting. Good content will boost your chances, especially if you have many positions to fill.
While your website affords you control and a guaranteed audience, posting on job boards will make sure that your job vacancy will be advertised far and wide.
Luckily for you, there are many reliable job boards around, like Indeed, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter.
Indeed started as a niche job aggregator and search engine and has now grown to become one of the most popular job boards around the world. According to its page, 65% of online hires in the US were sourced from Indeed.
This professional social networking site has a total user count of 766 million as of 2020, more than 170 million of which are from the US. Designed specifically for job seekers, you’re likely going to find more professionals and industry experts advertising themselves on LinkedIn than on any other platform, including skilled talent for managerial positions.
Another excellent platform for posting your vacancy is ZipRecruiter. This job board is one of the largest job recruiting and posting sites internationally. In addition, ZipRecruiter has features that Indeed does not, such as social advertising, an activity dashboard, real-time notifications, and customizable branding.
Restaurant-specific Hiring Sites
There are also specific job boards that focus solely on restaurant staffing and restaurant-related careers. That said, this also means that your base audience is much lower compared to traditional job boards and traditional social media.
Nevertheless, restaurant-specific boards are still great resources to find experienced team members.
On PoachedJobs, you can easily put up the job vacancies under specific categories such as kitchen, bar, barista, and floor. It’s a nifty site that specializes in supplying jobs that have everything to do with restaurants.
Another site for restaurant-specific hiring, Restaurant Zone has several recruiting services such as restaurant, hospitality, executive, and business, all of which you can use depending on what you need.
One of the best features of Culinary Agents is its matching algorithm, which helps recruiters quickly find talent to fill their open positions. Instead of searching manually, Culinary Agents will automatically match your open position with the available candidates and allow you to contact them directly.
According to Statista, over 70% of the population in the United States has a social media account, and this number is expected to increase by 2025.
From this, we can gather that social media platforms can be an effective advertising tool for your restaurant’s job vacancies, as long as you use them properly.
One of the most popular social media sites around, Facebook currently has around 2.8 billion monthly active users and over 1.84 billion daily active users. Getting your job vacancy exposed to even just a fraction of this number is already a big deal.
Since Facebook is a diverse melting pot of demographics, it means that not everyone on the platform is employable or even looking for a job. Still, Facebook is an effective way of exposing your job post to a large audience.
For better chances, be an active member and constantly update your vacancies. You can also post on relevant Facebook Groups.
Now that we’ve discussed online avenues, let’s take a step closer to home and discuss how you can find and hire talent from within your immediate vicinity.
There are three main ways to market your opportunities within your town or city: job fairs, schools, and apprenticeship programs.
Job fairs are one of the most popular means of recruitment, especially for sectors that have a reputation for high turnover rates, such as the restaurant and bar industry.
Job fairs drastically increase the traffic in a certain location and allow more people to see your recruitment team personally instead of through a screen. The way you conduct yourself and reflect your company culture in that arena could sway candidates to apply to your company instead of somebody else’s.
You should also consider attending job fairs for underrepresented or marginalized groups, such as people with disabilities, immigrants, and minorities. Not only will you fill your roster, but you will also significantly diversify your team.
Schools are some of the best places to hire talented staff. You can partner with schools to advertise your job opportunities within their gates and have them recommend you during their students’ career assessments, or invite your company as resource speakers.
Whatever method you choose, it’s a win-win scenario for both the school you’re partnering up with and for you.
Vocational schools focus on enabling their students with certain skill sets even before they graduate. Some of these skill sets could be restaurant or hospitality-based, in which case you have an opportunity to reach out and network. Advertise, ask to be resource speakers, and do whatever you can for exposure.
You can also advertise in your local area’s high school. Most working-age students right out of high school are eager for their first job, and some schools might even offer specific tracks for culinary professionals. This makes high schools especially useful for entry-level positions.
Ranging from professional culinary schools to vocational culinary schools, hundreds of culinary schools are in the country. Look for the one nearest in your area and network there to fill any kinds of professions, from entry-level to managerial.
You can also consider starting your own culinary career apprenticeship program.
You can network through the schools just mentioned or advertise through the internet. Regardless of your choice, a culinary apprenticeship program is a great way to fill empty positions while building positive relationships with people from your area.
Although you’ll likely be hiring untrained staff, the overhead costs of that initiative won’t be as much as hiring full-time employees. In addition to that, once the apprentice completes the program, there’s a high chance that they will stick with it and work for you, so you will have fully-trained talent ready to jump in when the time comes.
You can also hire via personal recruitment. This is done through internal hiring and employee referrals.
If you have a managerial or high-level position opening up, consider hiring from the inside instead of advertising externally. Chances are, there are already employees within your company that are qualified for the position.
Even if they’re not a hundred percent fit, you can put them up to the task and give them on-the-job development training. This might take a while, but on the plus side, the position is already filled, and you know you’re employing someone loyal to your restaurant and its values.
If there are no available employees internally, then consider asking your employees for referrals themselves. They may have someone in their circle looking for a job, and your employees themselves could be a walking, talking advertisement for your business.
To speed things up, you can add incentives for the referral effort. For example, you can give monetary or non-monetary awards to employees with the most referrals, the employees with the most people who stuck the longest, etc.
You can also hold an employee event where they can bring prospective candidates along to company-sponsored dinners or drinks.
Finding and Hiring the Best Restaurant Staff
While this list may be helpful for many restaurant and bar owners, it is in no way an exhaustive guide to the topic.
A lot of things still have to be considered if you want a winning strategy on hiring the best staff for your business, such as your budget, the content of your job listing, and your ideal hire. Remember, there isn’t a magic formula for success: you have to figure out what works for you.
Nevertheless, we hope this article gave you a good overview of where to hire the best restaurant staff!