How to Find Great Restaurant Employees

Hiring today is as challenging as ever, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality to fill an open position. There are plenty of great restaurant employees out there—you just have to know how and where to find them.

By diversifying your recruitment methods, you can expand your reach, find more applicants, and finally fill those hard-to-fill positions.

Is it Better to Hire Online or Offline?

The short answer: You need both.

By having a balance of online and offline hiring strategies, you can cover all grounds to help you meet your needs and find the right employees.

Offline hiring includes using window clings, banners, stickers and A-Frames in front of your business to advertise that you’re hiring. It also includes good ol’ fashion word-of-mouth. It’s a solid strategy for getting quality applicants, but it generally takes more time.

Online hiring means posting a job ad on a job board or using any type of online medium for recruitment. It’s the best way to reach a wider audience and get more applications. It’s usually a quantity over quality strategy, but one that restaurant managers and owners can’t go without.

Using both types of recruitment can help you find more qualified applicants, but each comes with their own set of challenges and requires different techniques.

Getting The Most Out of Your Offline Recruiting

The best way to solve retention is to make your employees feel valued and rewarded. Consider offering higher pay and benefits to help your company stand out, like health, dental, 401(k) contributions, accrued PTO, or stock options. You could also offer something simpler like meal discounts and bonuses.

Above all, be honest about what you are offering as an employer. This is your opportunity to find quality applicants—and potentially long-term employees—who align with your company values.

Friends and Family

Check your network of friends and family first for trusted and reliable candidates.

Of course, hiring those closest to you has its own set of pros and cons, so be sure to vet your options wisely. If someone in your circle comes to mind, feel free to reach out to them and ask for help.


You can recruit customers who walk through your door by posting “help wanted” signs in your windows, but using Text to Apply provides a more streamlined application process. With a quick text or a scan of the QR code, any of your customers can apply to your open positions.

Culinary Schools

If you’re looking for kitchen staff, posting open positions on job boards at local culinary schools can help you find eager and hardworking employees. They are perfect for the job. They are already skilled, love food and working in the kitchen…what more could you ask for!

Culinary school students also need to put their lessons to practice. So, giving them some hands-on experience can be a checkmark they need on their resume and can entice them to apply to your restaurant.

Local Schools and Universities

Culinary schools aren’t the only place of education to find potential employees. Post your job ads on job boards at other local schools, colleges, and universities in your area. Even your local high schools could be considered if you’re in need of support staff.

Other Restaurants

Poaching employees—while not anybody’s favorite tactic— can’t be ruled out in such a competitive job market. If there’s a server’s or bartender’s work ethic that you admire, then take the risk and ask them to work for you.

Keep in mind: you may have to work on your negotiating skills to pull it off!

Getting The Most Out of Your Online Recruiting

Online recruiting is here to stay. 86 percent of businesses have adopted online hiring practices indefinitely.

Online hiring is competitive and you might find it harder to stand out compared to offline recruiting. For that reason, it’s important to review competitor listings and differentiate your post. HigherMe, a hiring software for restaurants, has written a great article on improving your restaurant hiring tactics, which is definitely worth a read.


LinkedIn is a great place to find candidates because it’s a business-focused social media site and their job board section is used across the industry.

It’s common practice for potential applicants to view your company’s online presence before applying, so always update your profile before you post your job ad.

Company Career Page

Your website is your first line of defense for branding. It should represent your company’s culture, personality, and news—including your hiring status.

Online branding is important in the hiring process. A whopping 75 percent of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before applying. So, how can you improve your online branding?

Well, 61 percent of talent acquisition professionals say a career page is the strongest method for company branding. So, start with your career page on your website before moving onto other online branding methods like social media.

Social Media

In a Glassdoor study, 79 percent of job seekers use social media when searching for a new job. So, be sure to post on Facebook and Twitter, and use Instagram’s engagement tools like story highlights or reels to show your company culture and hiring status.

Post on Online Job Boards

Because of the organic nature of job boards, you can expect an influx of applicants, however, they may not all be qualified. So, it’s important to be specific about what you’re looking for and what you offer as an employer.

Make sure your job description is detailed and appealing, and includes any benefits you may offer, like sick pay, overtime, or holidays.

Try Online Recruitment Software

Between all the different online recruiting methods, it’s easy to fall behind and become unorganized. That’s why HigherMe’s Applicant Tracking System was created so you can see all applications in one place regardless of where the job seeker applied.

HigherMe can help you weed through the abundant amount of applicants to find the right candidates who perfectly fit your needs and values.

By streamlining your hiring process with HigherMe, you can save 6 hours per hire, reduce no shows by 67 percent, and save your business thousands of dollars per year from hiring malpractices.

Things to Do Before Posting Your Next Job Post

Before you publish your job posting, you must do one thing first: be prepared.

This includes knowing what qualities you want in a candidate, which recruiting channels you’ll prioritize, how much time you’ll set aside each day to review applications, and how often you’ll check each platform. This is vital in today's competitive market and can only help you find more qualified and quality applicants

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