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5 Unique Ways to Attract Qualified Food Services Talent

Attracting and retaining quality talent has been challenging for the food service industry since the Great Resignation began. The industry has been plagued with a labor shortage that continues to grow exponentially. 
Attracting and retaining quality food service talent has been challenging for the food services industry since the Great Resignation began. The industry has been plagued with a labor shortage that continues to grow exponentially.  Many restaurants have begun offering higher wages, better benefits, and more flexible schedules to address this issue and attract more candidates. But still, it’s not enough. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between April 2022 and October 2022, the food services industry lost approximately 5.8% of its workers — an average of 773,600 workers left every month — a larger increase than in any other job sector in the U.S. Despite these improvements, the “quit rate” continues to grow and has prompted hiring managers to consider more “out of the box” hiring solutions.

A more creative approach to attract qualified food services talent 

A new approach to attracting qualified talent is needed to compete for the best workers. The following unique ideas may work to entice quality talent to your business, especially younger workers considering a future in the food services industry:

1. Host walk-in recruiting events

Host a weekly walk-in recruiting event to get interview traffic into your restaurant. Recruiting events are traditionally large-scale, planned-out spectacles in massive banquet halls that can become overwhelming for potential candidates in the best of times. That’s why the idea to host a smaller meet and greet right in the store feels more welcoming and manageable. The idea, inspired by three Northeast business owners of several Chick-fil-A restaurants, garnered attention with their pledge to fill 250 full and part-time positions and become the region’s top restaurants. Promoting the event entailed appealing to the community in a press release that spoke to potential candidates about their philanthropic pursuits, scholarships, flexible benefits, and other perks. The primary purpose was to guarantee anyone an interview on the spot just for walking into their restaurant. Moving quickly is key when it comes to hiring, especially in food services. On-the-spot interviews are great, but also quick follow ups and consistent communication can make the difference between a new hire and one who loses interests and “ghosts” you.

2. Unique perks                                                                            

Experimenting with creative perks other than the standard fare like health and disability insurance may help find candidates who can become long-term employees. Many companies have successfully offered sign-on bonuses and unlimited paid time off so employees can take the time whenever needed. Here are some other perks that can entice new employees.
  • College or management training courses
  • Same-day pay
  • Generous employee discounts
  • Childcare stipends
  • Commuter stipends
  • Mentorship/shadowing programs
Offering some of these perks can set your business apart. In any case, make it clear that you are a business that cares about an employee’s wellbeing.

3. Highlight your business with a video.

Capture your restaurant and its company culture with an engaging video that brings your business to life. Hiring experts suggest you keep your video short, light, and relatable. Basically, emphasize how you practice diversity and inclusion, and encourage team camaraderie. Many restaurants report that a strong company culture makes hiring and keeping workers easier. 

4. Post on social media

Job seekers are more likely to locate and learn about companies through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram. By creating engaging profiles for your restaurant and posting regularly, you can reach a larger audience of potential applicants and build up your restaurant’s brand. Recently, McDonald’s created a customizable filter on Snapchat to help attract new candidates. This filter allowed potential candidates to view themselves in real-time as a member of the McDonald’s team. You can also use social media to share photos and stories inside your restaurant and highlight employees’ positive experiences.  

5. Optimize job templates 

The way a job is presented makes an immediate impression on a potential candidate. That’s why to grab their attention fast, a pre-written job template optimized for food services industry can be a great choice providing a faster, more efficient way to attract the right candidates to your business. These expertly written, ready-to-use descriptions are industry-tested and will help you stand out to the talent you want to reach on all the top job boards, like this assistant manager (Quick Service) template or this line cook template.  If you’re looking for more tips and help crafting a hiring strategy for your restaurant, Wizehire has trained hiring strategists ready to talk with you. Contact a hiring strategist to learn more!


Susan Sherman

Find your people. Grow your team. Meet your Wizehire.