The Secret to Finding Employees: Hiring Tips for Restaurants

The Secret to Finding Employees: Hiring Tips for Restaurants

Everyone knows that the service industry is facing a pretty severe staffing shortage.  There are of course many contributing factors that we won’t be getting into today.  Regardless of the cause, what really matters is the solution.  If you are struggling to find employees for your restaurant, we’ve got a few pro tips to help you out below.

1. Incentives, incentives, incentives

The value of incentives is no secret. However, what you may not realize is that there are so many incentives beyond just high wages and benefits that your business can offer employees. You can incentivize people to work for your business in a variety of ways. If you are able, try offering a signing bonus for new employees, or a particularly generous employee discount program. Anything you can offer that sets you apart from other companies will help you in the hiring process. 

In addition to incentivizing potential employees themselves, you can also offer incentives for other people to help you find workers.  Try offering a referral bonus to anyone who sends an employee your way.  Word of mouth is one of the biggest ways companies are able to find work, and adding an incentive can keep you in the front of peoples’ minds.


When you’re looking for employees, make use of the internet and your social media channels as much as possible.  You may worry that your audience will tire of seeing your “Now Hiring” posts, but not everyone will see every single post you make.  Sharing one time on one social media site may reach 4 or 5 potential employees, but sharing multiple times on 5 or 6 different sites could reach hundreds more eyes. 

This advice doesn’t just apply to social media either.  You want to post everywhere you can in addition to your own social channels.  If you are a member of any relevant groups or pages, post there.  List your openings on multiple job boards to increase exposure as well. Anytime and anywhere it is relevant to spread the word that you’re hiring, be sure to do it.

3. Offer an easy application process 

Finding people who are interested in applying for your open positions is hard enough as it is.  Don’t make it any harder on yourself by requiring a lengthy or complicated application process.  While you obviously do need some information from potential employees to see if they would be a good fit, don’t put up too many roadblocks for them in the application process.  The last thing you want is to lose potentially strong candidates because your process is hard to follow, difficult to figure out, or just plain too long. 

When putting together your application, be sure it includes only relevant information and nothing extra.  Additionally, when you are sharing about your job openings, be sure to be crystal clear about how someone who is interested can apply.  Explicitly state the process and include a direct link whenever possible.  Making people search for your application, or struggle through it once they find it, will only hurt your company in the long run.

4. Create plenty of marketing materials 

Not all of your applicants will be found through digital channels. There could also be situations where you come across a potential future employee in person.  You’ll want to be prepared for these cases by having plenty of materials on hand.  Create flyers, banners, table tents, and any other relevant materials you can think of to spread the word about your job openings in person as well.  You can hang posters or banners around your restaurant, and keep flyers on hand to distribute to interested parties. 

By giving a potential applicant a physical material with all the relevant information, you are increasing their chances of actually applying.  This is just another way you can spread the word further, and make the application process as easy and seamless as possible.

5. Sharing is caring 

Unfortunately, as a business, your word about how great your company is to work for only means so much.  People are much more likely to believe information they hear from their friends, family, or other similar sources.  Thus, whenever possible, you will want to leverage others to help you share about your company and your job openings.  Ask your friends to share your posts.  Ask current employees to share with their friends, and tell everyone how much they enjoy working for you.  Ask your best former employees to leave your business a review on job sites talking about how much they enjoyed working for you.  Anyone who is willing to share for you can be extremely beneficial for your company and your hiring prospects.  

With the 5 tips above, you’ll be able to step up your hiring game and increase the number of applications you’re receiving in no time at all.  Times are tough right now for restaurants, but by making use of these methods and ideas, they’ll be just a little less tough for you!

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