Small Restaurant or Large Chain – There Are Benefits You Can Provide to Land the Best Job Candidates

When you’re looking to add to your restaurant team, you will no doubt face a lot of competition. The labor market continues to be tight, and the most talented restaurant workers will be in high demand with a wealth of choices as to where they can work. What’s going to set you apart from similar restaurants competing for top talent? Chances are the benefits you are able to offer can play a big part. Businesses are growing more creative in an attempt to engage top candidates.

Here are a few suggestions for benefits that won’t break the bank.

Stay flexible

Many restaurant industry employees choose their profession because of the flexibility. Make sure your flexibility isn’t one-sided. Don’t expect them to be available on short notice if you’re unwilling to allow them to structure their shifts around what’s important to them.

For many, restaurant industry jobs are a second job they fit around education, day jobs or child care. Keep this in mind to retain your best employees. It’s not hard for good people to go to the competitor down the street, so don’t give them a reason to leave by refusing to accommodate their needs.

Be understanding

If they need to take family leave or time off for school closings or holidays, allow them to if possible. Employees who see your attempts to be understanding will work harder when on shift and will be more likely to stay with you for the long haul.

Get buy-in

One way to attract and keep top restaurant talent is through profit sharing. Not only are you rewarding them for their hard work and the success of the organization, it gets employees invested in keeping food costs down and tables filled.

Let them take the (social media) wheel

If you have workers who have a good eye for photography or a wiz with words, give them a chance to contribute to your social media accounts. Behind the scenes Snaps from the kitchen or well-lit pictures of daily specials will keep your feeds interesting and engaging, make individuals feel like part of the team and possible take a few tasks off your plate.

Focus on health

Because restaurant employees handle food and interact with people on a daily basis, it’s important to keep them healthy. Encourage employees to stay home when they are contagious or clearly ill. It can put a crunch on staffing levels, but diners don’t want servers coughing and sneezing near their food. Look into options for health insurance. While this can be a large expense for both restaurants and employees, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) launch the Restaurant & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust Health Plan last year, a program created to serve restaurants with fewer than 100 employees. Health insurance can help you attract top candidates and retain your best people.

Get creative

Some restaurants are finding innovative ways to offer benefits through partnerships with other businesses. For example, Starbucks is offering backup childcare through This gives employees peace of mind and allows them to remain focused on the job.

Talk to other businesses in the area to see what services they may be willing to swap. A fitness center, yoga studio or chiropractor might be interested in offering discounts on classes or services to your employees. In exchange, you can give them a free appetizer or dessert, or offer a discount on meals.

Find the Right People With a Restaurant Recruitment Expert

The experts at Horizon Hospitality can help with innovative strategies to find and retain top candidates. Our recruiting professionals are here to act as a resource for restaurant executives and managers. Contact our restaurant recruiters today to get started.



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