Hiring Ideas for Restaurants: Fill Your Positions Faster with These 8 Tips

By Raubi Perilli

      Jul 22, 2021     Solutions    

Bars and restaurants weathered the storm of COVID-19 lockdowns and closures, and customers are finally back. But now, hospitality businesses are facing a new challenge: having enough workers to keep up with demand.  

There is a major shortage of restaurant and bar workers, making it difficult to staff hospitality businesses, serve a resurgence of new customers, and earn back losses from the last year and a half.  

Hospitality staffing is more important than ever. Most bars and restaurants now need to know how to market to customers -- and potential new hires.  

Here are a few ways you can attract talent to your business so you can start serving customers at full capacity and getting back to business as usual.

8 Hiring Ideas for Restaurants

Consider how using one or more of these hiring ideas for restaurants can help you fill positions for servers, bartenders, hosts, cooks, managers, and other hospitality roles.

#1) Offer hiring incentives.

An obvious way to attract new hires to your business is by making working there more attractive. That means offering better hiring incentives such as:  

  • Higher wages
  • Healthcare benefits
  • Retirement benefits
  • Profit-sharing
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Tuition reimbursement

Turn to your books to find out what your business can afford. If you aren’t able to serve your customers at full capacity because of short staffing, consider what you are losing if you don’t add the extra incentives.

#2) Offer sign-on bonuses.

If you don’t think your restaurant can sustain long-term hiring incentives, consider how you can provide one-time sign-on bonuses to attract talent. A bonus can help your bar or restaurant stand out from other businesses that are hiring.  

Just be careful that your bonus system isn’t designed to bring in team members who will quickly quit once they receive their incentive.  

Rather than give a bonus all at once up-front, consider giving the bonus out over time. For example, offer a $1,000 bonus that is added to a paycheck each month for ten months.

#3) Reward existing employees.

Keeping your restaurant or bar staffed isn’t just about filling open positions. It’s also about keeping people in their existing jobs. When you offer incentives to new employees (or when other businesses offer incentives to new employees), it can drive staff out of their current positions. They may feel undervalued if new employees get bonuses. Or, they may move to another job if it offers better incentives.  

As you create incentives for new employees, consider how you can also reward existing staff to prevent them from leaving.  

Recommended Reading: 10 Restaurant Promotion Ideas That Attract Customers and Drive Sales

#4) Encourage your team to help with hiring.

Your employees can be a great funnel for bringing in new hires. Tap into your team to see how they can help attract new applicants.  

Create an employee referral program that rewards your team if they recommend someone who gets hired. Also, show your team why hiring is good for them. Highlight the benefits they will get (more flexible hours, more help and resources, etc.).  

Recommended Reading: 7 Effective Low-Cost Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

#5) Show people why it’s great to work with your brand.

With so many open positions, hospitality employees now have more choice over where they work. They aren’t taking any job that is available. They are exploring their options, choosing companies they like and trust, and taking jobs they will enjoy.  

As you promote your open positions, don’t focus only on listing the associated tasks and qualifications. Also highlight the benefits of working with your company. Present your brand mission and vision, what your brand does to give back, and why other employees love working with your company.

#6) Host an open house hiring event.

If you need to fill multiple positions at once, batch the task by hosting a hiring event. Invite people to come in and interview while getting to know your brand. Host an open house where potential employees can sample your food and talk to your team.  

Related:6 Ways to Promote Your Event (That Have Nothing to Do With Creating a Facebook Listing)

#7 Post job openings.

Once you have a job ready to fill, you need to market it. Post job listings in places where ideal candidates are likely to see them.  

Restaurant Hiring Boards: While posting on general hiring boards is a good idea, it’s an even better idea to post on restaurant-specific job boards. Consider posting your listing on Culinary Agents, Qwick, and Sirvo.  

Your Website: If you are in the middle of a hiring push, don’t hide your jobs page at the bottom of your website. Move it front and center so all website visitors can see your open positions.  

Social Media: People who love your restaurant or bar and follow you on social media are ideal candidates for your open positions. Let your followers know that you are hiring on Facebook, Instagram, and anywhere else you have a loyal following.  

Local Area Sites: At MyArea Network, we have seen many of our restaurant partners struggling to fill open positions, so we decided to do something to help. We launched a job board to help local businesses connect with local talent in their community. Our job board in the Tampa area is now helping businesses reach thousands of workers in the community. Learn more and post your job on 813Area.

#8) Promote openings to your local community.

It’s often not enough to simply post a job opening. To stand out, you need to promote the open position. Once you create your job listing, get more eyes on it by using local marketing tactics to promote it.  

Leverage email marketing or text marketing by letting your list know you have open positions. Use geofencing to target people who are near your business. And, use hypertargeting on social media channels to get in front of people who would be your ideal candidates.  

Related: 9 Local Marketing Tools Your Business Needs to Start Using Today

Fill Your Open Restaurant Positions Faster

You need a full team to serve the many customers flocking back to bars and restaurants. Use the hiring ideas for restaurants from this post to start to attract (and retain) talent at your hospitality business.  

And, if you need assistance with spreading the word, MyArea Network is here to help.  

Contact us to see how our job board and local marketing tools can help you better promote your job ads and fill open positions faster.