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Restaurants gear up for hiring spree

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Photo: McDonald’s/Newscom

Job-seekers take note: If you want to work, the restaurant industry is hiring, with the number of job openings expanding significantly during the first quarter of 2013. Online hospitality job board reports its number of job postings increased by 100 percent in the first quarter of 2013 when compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the number of restaurant jobs increased nearly this much. Instead, the figures indicate an unusual amount of recent hiring activity in what is a high turnover industry in the first place. Seasonal staffing needs in some parts of the country also affect overall numbers and restaurant industry growth, slow as it is, also contributes to the total.

It’s all good news if you’re seeking a job. There are plenty of openings from which to choose. But the situation could be problematic from the restaurant owner’s point of view. When’s there’s this much activity on the hiring front, finding highly qualified new employees, let alone keeping the good ones you already have, could become an ongoing challenge.

Here are a couple of the top takeaways from the hcareers report:

• Cashier, cook and host(ess) positions were the top three in-demand non-management positions during the first quarter of 2013, as indicated by employer postings. Looking at full-year results from 2013, cook positions were the most in-demand, followed by waiter/waitresses and banquet server. “Entry level opportunities like these, requiring a certificate or diploma, or little formal experience at all, will continue to provide new hospitality professionals entry to the industry in 2013,” the site predicts.

• Assistant restaurant managers, food and beverage restaurant management and administration were the most in-demand management positions in the first quarter of 2013. Assistant restaurant managers were also the most frequently listed management-level positions in 2012, when the next most-frequently sought employees were sous chefs and restaurant managers. “Positions like these, requiring advanced culinary and management experience and, in some cases, a corresponding degree, will continue to yield promotion and employment opportunities in 2013,” hcareers concludes.

Online job boards like are just one tool restaurant operators can use when they’re seeking new employees. Word of mouth, in-store signage and online sites like Craigslist and NRN Job Plate are also effective in bringing job-seekers into your restaurant.

But because hcareers defines “hospitality” broadly, its numbers can give restaurant operators a good perspective on some related hiring trends. This report is based on data collected from Jan. 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013 and is comprised of nearly 188,000 hospitality job openings placed by more than 12,000 organizations within the hospitality industry. The same type of employee who works in your restaurant might also be able to find work on a cruise ship, in a casino, at a hotel or resort or in one of the other a dozen or so other sectors where hospitality skills come into play. Keep these related industries in mind as you develop your hiring strategy.

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