What Does the 5% Unemployment Rate Mean for Restaurants?

Low Unemployment

While the latest 5% unemployment rate indicates the nation’s economy is strong, it means more competition for restaurants. One in every ten Americans is employed in the restaurant industry, and the improving economy means these workers have more options.

Labor trends. The surge in restaurant employment growth indicates there is a gap between job openings and available candidates. We are in one of the tightest labor markets we have seen in decades, and low unemployment and ample supply of jobs puts even more pressure on restaurant owners and operators. The competition for quality workers is very high, and the restaurant labor pool is shrinking. Check out our blog to learn tips for hiring in a tight labor market.

Labor challenges. As the U.S. economy strengthens and the unemployment rate decreases, restaurant owners and operators are likely to see recruiting and retaining employees becoming more of a challenge. Developing a solid hourly recruiting marketing strategy will give you a leg up in finding quality employees. Our innovative approach to recruiting casts a wider net to capture quality applicants. We distribute your jobs to the most popular online job boards and post to social media gaining the most exposure to your jobs.

Retaining employees. High turnover has been a constant struggle for the restaurant industry. In 2014, the National Restaurant Association showed the restaurant-and-accommodation industry had a turnover rate of 66.3%. Showing your workers who they can become within your organization is a great way to keep them loyal and reduce turnover. Devoting more resources to employee training and education can benefit you in the long run.

Are You Ready for the January Hiring Spike?

January Hiring Trends Blog

Hourly hiring is a seasonal game and the seasonal hiring trend does not end in December. January is a very important hiring month for hourly employers, as many seasonal workers are back on the market. Because of this, you need to develop a big presence in January to attract the best candidates for your jobs. Here are some tips to get you prepared for the new year hiring rush!

1. Post your jobs the first week of January. Many other employers will still be getting back into the work groove, playing catch-up with emails and voicemails. This will limit their time to post their open jobs. Posting yours before the rush can help you capture the best candidates.

2. Add seasonal SEO keywords to your job titles and descriptions. As discussed in our previous guide to Lean and Mean Job Descriptions, your job titles and descriptions are a vital piece in attracting quality candidates. Adding seasonal SEO keywords can help your jobs pop up first in January hiring searches. Our unique job distribution network allows your jobs to be posted to the most popular local job boards (think Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, Trovit, Neuvoo, and Juju.com), giving you the most exposure to capture quality, local candidates.

3. Adopt a one-click apply process. Job applications and old-fashion apply processes can take awhile to complete, deterring the best candidates from applying to your jobs. With our one-click apply process, applicants create one application on ZippyApp and simply hit Apply to submit it to your jobs. Applicants are also able scan your locations’ unique QR code and submit their application straight from their mobile device.

4. Simplify you Applicant Management System. How much time do your hiring managers take to sort through applications and candidate profiles? On average, studies have shown it takes about 30 minutes per application. Our simplified Applicant Management System allows hiring managers to filter, tag, and archive applications based on certain criteria, minimizing the time it takes to look for the information they want.

Are you an hourly employer with seasonal hiring tips to share? Leave your comments here!

5 Tips to Landing a Seasonal Job

Seasonal Job Blog

Are you looking to earn some extra spending money over the holidays through a seasonal job? You aren’t alone. Retailers are expected to add 755,000 temporary jobs this holiday season, and restaurant owners are preparing for high-volume traffic as shoppers wallets start to loosen for the holidays. This means the race is on to land a seasonal job!

While the “old way” of applying is still around, via paper applications and walk-in interviews, many companies have taken to mobile to streamline their apply and hiring processes (which is where we step in).

If you are looking to land a seasonal job, you’ll need to know what seasonal employers are looking for. Here are some things to add to your ZippyApp application so you can stand out from the pack and land the seasonal job you are looking for!

  1. Be flexible with your schedule.Are you able to work extended holiday hours and weekends? Hourly employers are on the lookout for you! A flexible work schedule is one of the first things a seasonal employer will look for on your application, so be sure to include the days, times, and hours you are available to work. But don’t say you are available certain days and times when you really aren’t – a tactic used by some just to land a job. Your employer will soon find out you are not as available as they initially thought, and could quickly find a replacement that offers a more flexible schedule.
  2. Play up your previous experience. Busy holiday hours means less time for training, so seasonal employers will be on the lookout for experienced workers. But just because you haven’t worked in a retail or restaurant setting before doesn’t mean you will be passed over. Do you have any customer service or customer support experience? Highlight those on your ZippyApp application.
  3. Show off your personality and attitude.Dealing with stressed out shoppers and diners is not something everyone can handle. Utilize our video resume feature to show off your positive attitude and bubbly personality. Then, give examples of how you have been able to turn a negative situation into a positive guest experience.
  4. Highlight your ability to multi-task. Seasonal job descriptions don’t mirror regular ones because oftentimes, seasonal workers have to wear many hats. Seasonal employers want to get the most they can out of each worker rather than have each worker do one set job. Include on your ZippyApp application all of the tasks and duties you have performed in past jobs, and include keywords such as “multi-task” and “fast-paced” to show you can handle busy holiday crowds.
  5. Demonstrate you are a fast learner.Showing you have exceled in past jobs can demonstrate to seasonal employers that you are quick learner. As we mentioned previously, seasonal employers don’t have much time and resources to train you during busy holiday months, so you will need to prove you can hit the ground running in your new role. Some ways to do this? Include that promotion you received after only a few months at your last job, or when you took on other duties that were not a part of your initial job description.

9 Steps for Peaceful Holiday Scheduling

Holiday Scheduling Blog

For hourly employers, ­­it is definitely not the most wonderful time of year. On top of the added stresses of hiring seasonal employees, creating seasonal schedules provides more of a burden. To minimize the risk of dampened morale, unhappy employees, and even legality issues, it is imperative to develop preventative measures to minimize scheduling issues. Here are 9 steps for peaceful holiday scheduling.

  1. Plan early. As mentioned in our previous Blog, always plan and be prepared for what is ahead. Holidays will always be an upcoming challenge for you. So will summer and back-to-school months. When you hire on a candidate, ask them what days, times, and holidays they would be willing to work. This can later avoid accusations of unlawful time off requests for religious-based lawsuits (Federal law states that you must make a “reasonable effort to accommodate employees sincere religious beliefs,” which means you must try and accommodate their time off requests for religious holidays). Also, be upfront and clear with your employees. Set clear expectations of black out days where no one gets to request time off.
  2. Don’t assume everyone wants to take time off. For some, like students back home from school break, the holidays allow for extra shifts, which equates to extra money in their pockets. Don’t assume your single workers don’t want to take time off, or that those with families want more time off. Most employees know their holiday plans in advance, so ask your staff to submit their time-off requests a month (at least) in advance so you can schedule accordingly.
  3. Release schedules for busy weeks well in advance. Create and give your employees their schedules early to allow flexibility for schedule adjustments – like shift switches and covers.
  4. Make note of seniority statuses. To be fair and avoid issues of demoralization, consider who has been at your company the longest and ask them what holidays, if any, they would like off.
  5. Consider who Has worked or is scheduled to work other holidays. Another fair tactic is to prioritize workers who have worked certain holidays previously, or is set to work a holiday already this season. This gives you reason to explain why one worker is getting the time off they requested over another.
  6. Be direct with seasonal employees. Your seasonal staff is there for just that – to keep you prepared for the holiday rush. Be upfront in your seasonal job descriptions and the number of hours, days, and times they are expected to work (we talk about this in more detail in our Guide to Seasonal Hiring).
  7. Try not to schedule consecutive shifts or coinciding shifts to the same workers. Not everyone wants to work all closing shifts, and especially shifts that coincide, like closing late one night and opening bright and early the next day. This is a great tactic to keep in mind for decreasing your turnover and retaining loyal employees.
  8. Alleviate the strain and spread out shifts. Breaking up long holiday shifts into smaller shifts evens out the strain. Also, utilizing shorter shifts is a way to monitor busy and slow times. Overstaffing and top-loading certain shifts can decrease profits, and make for unhappy employees (splitting tips with more workers means less money in their pockets too). Be flexible if it does get busier than you expect (you can utilize our “On Call” feature for times like this!) Or if it is slower than you expected, cut people and let them go home early.
  9. Incentive those who do work those holiday shifts. Incentives are a great way to attract, retain, and keep your employees happy. We are in one of the tightest labor markets we have seen in decades, and incentives make your brand stand out from the rest. A common incentive many companies offer during the holidays is time-and-a-half pay to those who work extra holiday hours/ shifts, but be wary as that can become expensive very quickly. You can also offer gift cards, more time off during regular seasons, priority pick on the next schedule, or even a small bonus to employees who work unattractive holiday shifts.

Do you have any holiday scheduling tips to share? We would love to hear from you! Comment your thoughts below.

Celebrity First Hourly Jobs

Did you know some of today’s most popular celebrities started their careers on the same path that you are going down — through the hourly workforce? In fact, studies have shown that one in every eight American workers has been employed by McDonald’s. Believe it or not, your not so glamorous restaurant job can be your most defining, and set you on the path to bigger and better things.

A new year is on the horizon – can you believe we are just 6 weeks away from 2016? In the next few weeks as we approach the new year, we are going to provide advice to help set you up on a successful career path. Today’s Blog will take a look at celebrity first hourly jobs, to help show that your first job can be the most crucial of your career path. So whether it’s a quick-service restaurant or retail store at the mall, every person has to start somewhere in their career. Here are a few big names you won’t believe started the same way you are!

Harry Styles: Bakery Assistant
Before hitting it big with One Direction, Harry Styles worked at a bakery.

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Get started in your career like Harry Styles — we have Bakery jobs on our Job Board!

Carly Rae Jepsen: Barista 
Before her viral music hit, Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen worked as a Barista to pay for rent while she pursued her musical career.

Carly Rae

Check out our Barista jobs on on Job Board!

Rachel McAdams: Worked at McDonald’s
Before The Notebook and Dear John, Rachel McAdams worked at McDonald’s. She describes McDonald’s as “a great place to work.”

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Check our Job Board for open jobs at McDonald’s near you!

Crystal Reed: Ice Cream Scooper
Before her days starring in Teen Wolf, Crystal Reed scooped ice cream.

Crystal Reed

Check out our jobs at CREAM Nation, Tin Pot Creamery, and other sweet shops here.

Beyoncé: Hair Styling Assistant
Before she ruled the world, Beyoncé swept hair off the floor of her mother’s hair salon.

Beyonce

Who wouldn’t want to follow in Beyonce’s footsteps? We have Hair Stylist jobs near you on our Job Board!

Madonna: Jelly-Filler for Dunkin’ Donuts
Before she was the Material Girl of the 80’s, Madonna worked a minimum wage job at Dunkin’  Donuts.

Madonna

To get started in your career like Madonna, check out our jobs at Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme here.

Jim Carey & Jon Bon Jovi: Worked as Janitors
Before Jim Carey started working as a stand-up comedian and Jon Bon Jovi was livin’ on a prayer, they used to work as Janitors to support themselves and their families.

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We have  Janitorial or Custodian job opportunities on our Job Board!

7 Benefits of Working in the Restaurant Industry

Tipping the waiter --- Image by © Adam Burn/fstop/Corbis

The restaurant business offers many benefits, which is why most restaurant workers express a lot of optimism working in the industry. The restaurant business is worth approximately $709 billion (yes, that’s billion with a B!), which leaves it as a place for tremendous opportunities and growth. Still not convinced? Here are 7 benefits of working in the industry that will help change your mind!

1. Opportunity for All: The restaurant industry is one of the few that provides job opportunities for all age groups – from Newbie’s to Veterans, Host to General Managers, there are job openings for any age group ranging from 16-65 (and over).

2. Tremendous Employment Growth and Career Advancement: It is estimated by 2025 the restaurant industry will employ 15.7 million workers – an increase of 1.7 million from 2015. For those who have worked in the industry, nine out of 10 claim it is a good place to land a first job, and 70% of all workers ages 18-65 have advanced to higher paying jobs. The highest-paying restaurant jobs can easily reach six-figures, and are attainable for anyone with the right experience.

3. Great Networking Opportunity: On top of providing tremendous career advancement, working in restaurants offers great networking opportunities. This is especially true of those who work in Front of the House positions — like Hosts, Servers, Bussers, and Bartenders — as these tend to be very engaging jobs. In these roles, you get to meet all types of people from different backgrounds. These individuals can turn into work connections, unearthing new opportunities.

4. Not You’re Typical 9-5 Job: The restaurant industry is one of the few that offers flexible working hours to fit around family and social lives. It is also one of the few to offer both part-time and full-time work, as many restaurants are open extended hours. Many younger employees make the most of what the industry has to offer and are also enrolled in school (if you are enrolled in school, check out our blog for some great tips on How to Handle Being a Full-Time Student with a Part-Time Job!).

5. Training Included: Many restaurants provide their own training program which can help workers develop their individual skill sets. This allows them to move into successful careers – regardless of their education.

6. A Rewarding and Lucrative Career: In regards to hourly pay, many restaurant employees make a hefty hourly wage, especially those who earn tips on top of their base pay — like Servers and Bartenders. Restaurant managers of many corporate and some private businesses earn very competitive salaries — not to mention quarterly and yearly bonuses. In fact, nine out of 10 owners and operators say they will likely work in restaurants until they retire.

7. Travel Opportunities and Job Security: Restaurants are located around the globe, and there are no indications it will slow down (remembers, that’s billion with a B!) Many corporate restaurant brands operate internationally, and are willing to provide placements or relocations.

What is your favorite thing about working in the restaurant industry? Post your comment below!

*Statistics taken from The National Restaurant Association.