If you want to know how to attract workers in a labor market that is experiencing severe shortages, you’re not alone. In May 2022, 4.4 million people quit their jobs. While many quit to move into other positions, this still makes it very difficult for businesses that need to recruit new talent frequently.

Restaurants that want to know how to attract skilled workers in a shortage must adapt their approach to match the needs of employees in the hospitality industry.

7 Tips on How to Attract Workers

Attract Workers

1. Offer Competitive Salaries

Restaurant workers have long relied on tips to offset the low wages paid in the industry. However, if you go anywhere in the country, you’ll even find fast food restaurants offering higher salaries than even a year ago.

Your employees want to be paid well for their time.

A few options that may work to attract employees are:

  • Raise the wage paid to employees, from chefs to wait staff
  • Offer bonuses when the restaurant does well
  • Provide free meals

Of course, you need to maintain your profit margins in the process, but if you want to attract talented people who are more likely to remain with your business, the steps above can help.

2. Bonuses – Again

Bonuses or offering a little something extra for joining your team will attract talent. You need to work on your restaurant’s working environment and atmosphere to keep these workers around. However, if you offer the right bonuses, it may bring highly qualified staff to your door.

A few ideas here, include:

  • Benefits for workers who are full-time
  • Offering bonuses based on the restaurant’s performance
  • Provide additional vacation time for excellent workers

Waiters and waitresses are often working long days and nights, but they still have a family who needs them. If you offer additional time off to these employees, especially if their child is sick or a family emergency arises, they’ll appreciate it.

You can also hold fun bonus events, such as raffles to win a gift card or something similar.

Employees want to know that they’re valued. If you can let them know the value that they provide, you’ll be surprised by how your retention rate will skyrocket.

3. Add Employees of All Ages

Diversity in age is key to a healthy restaurant atmosphere. A lot of restaurants want to make their establishment livelier, but this is a difficult task when everyone is the same age. You want to add people of all ages:

  • Teens
  • 20s and 30s
  • Etc.

When you add a staff of all ages, it helps provide a unique insight into the business world. Younger workers will fight for equality and fairness in the workplace. Additionally, these workers will bring energy to the workplace to make it fun and exciting.

4. Create an Environment Worker Love

Learning how to attract skilled workers in a shortage comes down to offering a work environment that workers will love. People still need to work and pay their bills, but these same individuals want to make a difference in the workplace, too

You need to reevaluate your workplace to ensure it’s:

  • Fair
  • Diverse
  • Fun

Negativity in the workplace will begin to spread and is something you’ll want to avoid as much as possible. For example, if you have a staff that is overly negative, you need to sit down with them and discuss how positivity will spread. Patrons will not want to come into a restaurant that has a feeling of dread, either.

Workers need a few things to appreciate their work environment:

  • Encouragement from owners and managers who let them know that they did a great job
  • Tools and equipment to make their job easier
  • Training to help them fit in 

Choosing employees based on cultural fit is also going to be the job of owners and HR teams. Hiring employees who already have the traits you desire will ensure that they fit in the workplace faster.

5. Work on Allowing Flexibility

Business owners need to run their businesses and have rules in place, but there’s a fine line between running a business and forgetting that your employees are human. One of the top ways that restaurants attract talent is by offering flexibility in the workplace.

how to attract skilled workers in a shortage

You can offer flexibility in a few ways:

  • Offer shorter and longer shift hours
  • Allow workers to switch hours with each other
  • Provide workers with other options

The last point is a tad confusing, but it’s one of the most important. Waiters and even chefs need a change of pace once in a while. You can offer this change by allowing them to take on other roles if they wish.

For example, perhaps the waiter is having an off day and may help with food preparation rather than waiting tables.

Finally, when possible, allow workers who have been diligent employees the flexibility to take off when they need to rather than pressuring them to work day and night.

6. Provide Workers With the Tools to Succeed

If you want your workers to excel, you need to offer them the tools and equipment to do their job. Whether you need to stock up on personal protective equipment, add a prep station or buy a new oven, ensure that your staff has everything they need to excel in their positions.

7. Carefully Vet Candidates

If you want to attract the right workers to your business, you must vet them properly. You should do everything in your power to ensure that workers are responsible, friendly, and a good cultural fit.

You can do all of these things by:

  • Conducting background checks
  • Reviewing resumes to learn about the person’s average retention time
  • Use social media to learn if the person is a dedicated worker

Unfortunately, a lot of candidates will not be a good fit for your business. However, there will be plenty of potential hires who are a great asset to your workplace.

Now that you know how to attract workers, it’s time to put the tips above into practice. As employees demand more for their time, your restaurant must remain cutting-edge and stay ahead of the competition if you want to maintain high employee retention rates.