How Restaurants Can Reduce Candidate Ghosting

The restaurant industry lost 2.4 million employees during the pandemic and still struggles to find reliable employees. 

What’s worse, up to 80% of applicants are ghosting restaurants. Prospective employees will apply, schedule an interview, and then never show up. Some jobseekers who actually do get hired by the restaurant never show up for their first shifts. 

Up to 80% of applicants don’t show up for a scheduled interview.

Losing an employee could cost a restaurant nearly $6000 according to Cornell University. The costs of advertising, recruiting, the selection process, orientation, training, and a loss of employee productivity is broken down here:

graphic showing the cost of an unfilled restaurant position

Unreliable staff means limited hours or spontaneous closures, which can damage your reputation and be detrimental to your business long term.

   Learn what your restaurant can do to reduce candidate ghosting rates with:

  • A quality job ad
  • Making the applicant feel important
  • Faster hiring decisions     

Write a job ad that makes you want to apply

A quality job ad makes applicants want to interview for the job and reduces your chances of being ghosted by applicants. 

You want to:

Use a clear job title that’s easy to find and not misleading. If you’re hiring hosts – don’t misrepresent the role with a “front desk agent” job title. Similarly, running a job ad for a “server assistant” when you’re trying to fill a dishwasher role – isn’t setting your business up for a good first impression. 

Using clear and honest job titles will help you attract people who are genuinely interested in the role.

Keep job seekers interested by making them want to work with you. Understand what motivates your current staff. If it’s your cross-training opportunities, family culture, or career advancement – highlight those perks and benefits in your job ad. 

Focus on what makes your restaurant standout and what they’ll get from working with you. This is also called your employer value proposition. Here’s how to write a great one.

Make it easy to apply for the job. Make it possible for them to apply online. The application should be mobile-friendly and short. 

60% of Gen Z job seekers will spend no more than 15 minutes on a job application. A Glassdoor study shows 58% of job seekers look for new jobs on their phone and 35% prefer to apply via mobile.

Personally confirm before the interviews 

Make the candidate feel important.  Let them know how excited you are to meet them. 

This low-risk, high-reward approach can increase the chances candidates show up to the interview. You’re in the hospitality business – be hospitable to applicants you invite to interview. 

Here’s a template you can use to speak or message applicants before the interview or if they’ve ghosted.

Proactive reminder

Empathetic follow-up

Close the loop

“Hey Katie! We’re looking forward to your upcoming interview with Greg on Tuesday, Jan 9th at 2pm EST for the food server position. If you can’t make it or have any questions, let me know.” 

“Hey Katie! We were expecting you for your 2pm interview today. Are you still interested in this role?” 

“Katie, we haven’t heard back from you, so we’re going to assume you’re no longer interested in the role. Best of luck to you!” 

Hire restaurant talent “on the fly” fast after interviews 

If they show up to the interview and they’re right for the job, be ready to hire on the spot. The more time you take to hire, the more likely a quality restaurant candidate will ghost. 

They’ll either receive and take:

  • another offer
  • better job
  • more pay elsewhere

Ready to grow your restaurant with a reliable team? WizeHire can help you hire the top talent you need, so you can get back to running your business at full capacity. Learn how we can help.

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