Hiring the Modern Restaurant Workforce

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Let’s talk about that “Help Wanted” sign making an eyesore out of your restaurant’s front window. After months spent dizzily running in circles, putting it up and taking it down repeatedly, you had enough and left it up for good. Why does it seem like every time you get a position filled, two more employees quit and you’re sent scrambling back to square one?  It’s no secret that the restaurant industry has long been plagued by an inability to hold onto staff members. Chances are a revolving door has set up shop in your restaurant’s entryway, and no matter what you do or how hard you try – it just won’t stop spinning.

The good news: it’s not just you feeling this way. The bad news: the whole foodservice industry feels this way.

Over the past 10 years, the annual employee turnover rate in the restaurants and accommodations sector has been substantially higher than the annual employee turnover rate for the entire U.S private sector. 2016 marked the highest reported annual employee turnover rate since the 2008 recession.


Staff recruitment and retention have long been major pain points for restaurateurs. Today, restaurant owners are also faced with navigating a future filled with visa shortages, minimum wage hikes, and siloed data sets that make it nearly impossible to keep track of ever-changing labor requirements.

Why did you join the restaurant industry?  Was it a passion for food? A natural knack for hospitality? Growing up in a family of restaurant folk? Just like you, front-of-house and back-of-house staff have their own motives for pursuing roles in restaurants. Unfortunately, our industry gets a bad rap for being a high-stress, low-paying work environment with little opportunity for career advancement. This makes staffing a restaurant even tougher.

Providing guests with an exceptional experience starts with great food and service, but without the right team, neither of these are possible. Though there are many socio-cultural, economic and environmental factors at play affecting today's restaurant hiring landscape, many – if not all – of them can be overcome with education, consistent employee engagement, a dash of creative thinking and a commitment to listening and improving your workplace culture.

Learn transformative hiring skills and master the hiring process from soup to nuts with a new interactive course from Toast – Hiring the Modern Restaurant Workforce.

About Toast: Toast, a new CHECK® Business Tools partner, powers successful restaurants of all sizes with a technology platform that combines restaurant POS, front-of-house, back-of-house and guest-facing technology with a diverse marketplace of third-party applications. By pairing technology with an unrivaled commitment to customer success, Toast helps restaurants streamline operations, increase revenue and deliver amazing guest experiences. Toast was named to the 2019 Forbes Fintech 50, 2019 SXSW Interactive Innovation Finals, 2018 Forbes Cloud 100 and recognized as the third fastest-growing technology company in North America on the 2017 Deloitte Fast 500. Learn more about Toast by visiting POS and Restaurant Management Platform.