Updated: Jun 24
By Jensen Cummings
If your restaurant is hiring (that’s all of you), it’s likely that your hiring posts fall well short of attracting talent and might even be working against you. Restaurants are not a great place to work, and that’s getting called out in a massive way right now. You can get pissed about it and blame “kids these days”, or you can recognize the problem and flip the narrative.
Let’s take a moment to imagine the plight of a restaurant worker who is thinking about applying for a new job. Put yourself in their shoes….
You plop down on your scuffed up second-hand couch in your dimly lit apartment with leftovers crackling away in the microwave. You’re just off another grueling nine-hour shift with no breaks and only a couple fists of stone-cold French fries to nourish your beat-up body and broken sense of self. You’re fucking done! It’s time to find another gig. Somewhere that will motivate your dedication and nurture your creativity and actually allow you to have the financial means you need to survive.
And all you find are a sea of ambiguous double talk words that say nothing about the restaurant and the job, that sells some bullshit version of, “hiring for a high volume upscale causal restaurant with competitive pay, based on experience...” You’ve been here before. In fact, it feels like every time you set out to find a new job you run into these job posts that don’t actually say a damn thing. From some of these vague descriptions you could be applying for a mom-and-pop restaurant or a Chipotle. You sink into your couch hoping that it swallows you whole and puts you out of your soul-sucking misery that is the shadow of the restaurant industry spinning of its axis.
Job posts are one of the first places we can see the burnout plaguing the restaurant industry. Most of them feel like we have given up, that we no longer know how to connect to our potential employees. I am not seeing much of anything that comes close to inspiring and enticing the most talented pros or those starting out in their own careers, to come work at your restaurant. If you aren't getting real and personal and telling restaurant workers precisely how you are investing in them through the four employee pillars of Wages, Benefits, Culture, Education, you don’t stand a chance.
If you want to learn more, check out this episode of our Best Served Podcast, in which we start the long and arduous road to finding that meaningful sense of belonging required to rebuild this industry anew.
Best Served grinds to support workplaces worth working, and that is why we are proud to collaborate with 7shifts, who has underwritten Best Served Tableside. 7shifts promotes being connected to the reality of the full employee life cycle both on the clock and off.
Jensen Cummings is a fifth-generation Chef & Certified Cicerone based in Denver, CO. His brands’ Best Served Creative and Best Served Podcast exist solely to unlock and amplify the worth and work of those who feed their community. From chefs to restaurant pros to farmers and every one in between, this work manifests with storytelling media, coaching, and strategy meant to acknowledge and empower people to do what they were meant to do. He is committed to hustle and communicate everyday to serve this mission. When he’s not out building a new model for restaurants that’s equitable, profitable, and sustainable, he’s spending precious time as a husband, a father, movie buff, beer nerd, and fan of the LA Dodgers.