Hiring for Restaurants in Hours Not Weeks

What You Need to Know

  • Investing in your employees is key to staff retention.

  • Know what you want in a staff member before posting your job listing.

  • Use paid promotion on job listings to ensure your listing appears first.

  • Respond quickly to convert your job applicants to new hires.

  • Post listings on social media and encourage employees to refer their friends.

  • Ensure your social media presence highlights your great team.

  • Manage your restaurant’s online reputation on Glassdoor and LinkedIn.

  • Always keep job listings active to create a pipeline of potential hires.

Hiring for Restaurants Quickly

Hiring for restaurant staff has always been notoriously difficult, but today’s market makes it seem nearly impossible.

Between staff shortages, inflation and supply chain issues, finding someone to fill that open position in your schedule is going to take different employee retention tactics than what you may have used in the past.

Offering sign-on bonuses, employee referral programs and guaranteed raises after 90 days can help employee retention and help you find more qualified applicants. If all of this sounds like a pricey investment, then think again.

Rather than putting money into rigorous recruiting or burning out your employees from staff shortages, you can put your money directly into your employees and see a return in productivity and staff quality.

These tactics paired with the tips below can help you quickly hire for your restaurant in a challenging job market.

Improving Your Job Board Listings

Know What You Want

It’s good practice to lay out goals before starting any daunting task—especially posting a job listing. Gather your managers and brainstorm non-negotiables and core values for your ideal staff. Ask yourself what makes a qualified applicant, and what kind of employee do you want representing your brand?

These specifications will help improve the quality of your job description and speed up the review process when applications start pouring in.

To streamline the application review process even further, HigherMe offers a Knockout Question feature, which automatically disqualifies candidates who don’t have your desired skills or qualifications.

Use Paid Promotion on Job Listing Sites

“Free” is always more enticing than ”paid,” but trust us when we say paid promotions on job listing sites are definitely the way to go.

Free listings tend to lose ranking overtime and with scouting for talent in the restaurant industry being so competitive, relying on free job listings isn’t enough. Using paid promotions instead can help you reach the right people locally for a faster and more efficient hiring process.

Try using one or many of the job listing sites below. Using more than one site is key to diversifying your search.

Hospitality Online

Hospitality Online has 200,000 monthly visitors, plus a selection of filters and cross-posting options to help narrow your search.

Culinary Agents

Culinary Agents connects restaurant managers with talent job seekers in kitchen service including food and beverages.


Indeed is the world’s #1 job board, rounding up jobs from classified listings and job boards, then publishing them all together on one site.

Good Food Jobs

Good Food Jobs aims to change work culture in the food industry by bringing food businesses together to hire excellent employees.


Hcareers has an AI powered software that matches candidates with compatible job offers.

Post Detailed & Accurate Job Descriptions

Your job listing should always accurately depict the responsibility of the job role and the dynamic of your company culture. Most importantly: don’t lure in candidates with click bait.

Being anything but truthful will attract the wrong applicants for the job, which will contribute to more turnover and a longer hiring process. Don’t forget to use those core values in your job description to find applicants with similar values!

Last but not least, make sure to add a pay range. Adding a pay range boosts your post and generally works better with the algorithm on job listing sites like Indeed.

Streamline Hiring with Software

Time is not only of the essence when it comes to hiring for restaurants, but it’s also scarce. Thankfully, a little software can go a long way in streamlining this process for you.

You can now connect HigherMe with Indeed Apply to help you manage your application volume and automate your hiring process all in one place. HigherMe’s applicant tracking system integrates with Indeed Apply so applicants can apply directly from Indeed. This helps decrease drop-off rates and automatically syncs their information to one simple dashboard.

You can also quickly respond to your applicants from the applicant tracking software, which can help you schedule interviews faster and beat out the competition.

It’s a powerful screening tool to increase application flow, reduce candidate drop-off rates, and save time screening. HigherMe also offers integrations and the same benefits for ZipRecruiter, too.

Post Your Job Opening on Social Media

Social media is a beast that cannot and should not be ignored. Your audience on social media is already full of people who love your restaurant, so make sure you’re sharing your job postings and letting them know you’re hiring. You’ll be surprised by how much your fans on social media are willing and eager to help.

HigherMe also provides Text-to-Apply posters and company career page URLs that can be posted on your social media pages. This encourages people in your digital audience to apply by making the application process as easy as possible.

Employee Referral Program

Word-of-mouth has always been a valuable recruitment tactic, so why not incentivize your employees to help you with hiring. Get your employees involved by setting up a referral program where they refer their friends and post job listings on their social media accounts in exchange for a reward if it leads to a hire.

Start Using Passive Recruitment

So, we’ve covered job postings and ways to attract applicants. Now, let’s think: once someone sees your job posting, what will they do next?

It’s safe to assume they’re going to look at your social media accounts and website to do a little investigating themselves. You always want to be marketable to potential applicants, so here’s a few tips to up your branding for recruitment.

Update Your Online Presence

You can say you have great company culture and your team is like a family, but in this day and age you need to back it up with photos. Share team photos on your social media accounts and on your website to promote a strong sense of community among your team and to show potential hires how much fun it is to work at your restaurant.

You can capitalize on your employee referral program by incentivizing your team with bonuses or you can encourage your employees to share these posts to increase their reach. Getting your recruitment ad shared within your employee’s networks will certainly increase the reach of your posts. We’ve also seen employees receive bonuses for successful referrals coming from these posts.

Don’t forget to update your about me’s—on social media and your website—to include your company story, core values, and the open positions on your team. Link to your recruitment page either on your website or on HigherMe to direct users to available jobs. Here’s an example of what one looks like.

Manage Your Company Profile

Every applicant wants to know if where they’re applying to is an enjoyable workplace. So, don’t forget to manage your profile on job review sites like Glassdoor. While you’re at it, update your LinkedIn profile, too!

Keep Your Job Listings Active

Creating a positive online experience increases your brand loyalty and trust, which helps foster an online community and boost recruitment overtime. Once people get to know your brand, they’ll start reaching out to you for jobs and expressing more interest once your job listings are posted.

Even when you’re not actively looking for new employees, it’s a good idea to keep your job listings active online. You never know who will apply and when there’s an opening, you’ll be able to go through a backlog of qualified applicants to fill the position.

In Conclusion…

The quality of your restaurant and its overall experience depends on the quality of your staff. From the hostesses and bussers to waiters and line cooks— even managers, too— hiring the right people is crucial for the success of your restaurant. By following a few simple tips and using HigherMe, you can increase your application flow, quickly scan potential candidates, and finally find the right person for your team.

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