In 2018, the National Restaurant Association calculated the industry turnover rate to be 74.9% annually, compared to 48.9% in the private sector. A report from CNBC puts the turnover rate at 130-150% for fast-casual restaurants. 

While turnover is partly the nature of this type of work, there are many ways you can reduce your turnover and save yourself time and money. One of the main ways you can do this is during the recruitment process. Keeping your restaurant recruiting standards high and putting a formal hiring process in place, you have a much higher chance of finding the right person for the job – not just the one that’s right there at the moment.

3 Tips and Tricks for Restaurant Recruiting

1. Write High Quality Job Descriptions

Just as you are evaluating job seekers to make sure they are the right fit for your restaurant, they are doing the same with you and your business. To attract restaurant recruits who are looking to dedicate themselves to a career in this industry, try putting a little more time into your job descriptions so they will be more inclined to apply.

Aside from just the basics – hours, position, daily functions, etc. – include some of the following information in your job description to get folks excited about applying.

  • Brief description and/or history of your restaurant
  • Information on company culture (are you family-owned? A small but mighty team?)
  • Type of food you serve (what’s your signature dish?)
  • Skills needed beyond basic job functions (empathy, team player, outgoing, passionate)
  • What is expected of them (attire, punctuality, attitude)
  • What they can expect from you (pay, benefits, career growth)

Restaurant Staff Tablet

2. Post Job Listings on Restaurant Recruiting Websites

After you’ve perfected your job description, the next step in restaurant recruiting is to get the word out about your open position. Posting your open positions in multiple places will get it seen by more potential employees, giving you a wider pool of candidates to select from. 

Here are a few places you should be posting your restaurant job descriptions:

  • On your website: Create a “Careers” section for your website and post any open jobs there. Make sure you have a form on the page that applicants can use to submit their information or provide an email address for resume submissions.
  • On your social media accounts: Just like you would advertise a promo or special, share an open job description and instructions on how to apply to your social media platforms. If you are willing to spend a little money to capture the best possible candidate, amp up your restaurant recruiting via Facebook ads.
  • On a restaurant recruiting website, such as the following:
    • Sirvo: This all-in-one restaurant recruitment tool allows you to post a job, view resumes, communicate with prospects, and more.
    • Culinary Agents: Part restaurant recruitment and part networking, this website will help you distribute your job posting across multiple platforms from one place.
    • This site specializes in upscale server, host, chef, and manager positions, as well as corporate restaurant jobs.
    • Poached: Restaurant recruiters can post any restaurant job for a small flat fee and view the resumes of potential candidates. 
    • The Restaurant Zone: This restaurant recruiting website will post your job and have one of their experts assist you with the restaurant recruitment process. 
    • While not exclusive to restaurants, this website is popular for those looking to find a customer service or hospitality position.

3. Take a Proactive Approach to Restaurant Recruiting 

Don’t just send your job descriptions out into the world and hope for the best! Many times you will find the best new employees by tapping into your current employees, other restaurant owners, or even friends and family. 

For your employees, you can encourage them to help you with your restaurant recruiting by setting up a referral program. If one of your current employees refers a friend and they end up getting hired, you can then reward the referring employee with a bonus, extra paid time off, a gift card, or something else. Many company referral programs will set up a probationary period rule where the new employee must stay employed at the restaurant for a minimum amount of time before the referring employee can cash out.

restaurant staff wearing masks

How Restaurant Recruiting Helps Reduce Staff Turnover

Like we said, restaurant recruiting is the first step in reducing staff turnover. When you choose the right employee the first time around – someone who really wants to be at your restaurant and not just looking for a paycheck – and treat them well, they are more likely to stick around longer.

This benefits you as a restaurant owner in a few ways:

  • Save time and money: The estimated cost of replacing an hourly worker is between $2,000 and $7,000 in most industries. Every time an employee needs to be replaced, you are spending time on recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding new employees, plus the money spent to post and advertise a job listing. 
  • Training: Each time a new employee needs to be trained, you are taking time away from yourself and/or your managers, and the guest experience suffers as well.
  • Reputation: Servers can make or break your business, and a new-hire won’t provide the same level of service or have the same expertise as a seasoned pro.

Why is turnover is so high, what is the actual cost, and how do you fix it? Find the answers in our Staff Management ebook.

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Written by   |  
Stephanie is a Providence, RI native and eight-year food industry veteran. As Upserve's Content Marketing Coordinator she creates materials that help restaurateurs, managers, and service professionals succeed. When she's not writing, Stephanie is most likely traveling, cooking, or trying new restaurants.
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