26% of Restaurants In The USA Cannot Find Cooks + other staff in the “labor pandemic”

Restaurants are struggling to find and retain talent and staff across the USA, as they develop safe work environments for those who are coming back. Below you’ll find some tips to combat the hiring shortage.

Over 25% of Restaurants In The United States Cannot Find Cooks, Another 17% Cannot Find Servers

With the “labor pandemic”, new staff are becoming hard to find, with 26% of restaurants are looking for cooks and line cooks, 17% are looking for servers and 7% are looking for bartenders.  

7shifts, the all-in-one team management platform built for restaurants, wants to help restaurants find and retain better talent so they can emerge stronger and recover quicker from the pandemic.

Restaurant Job Postings
Number of Postings by the Type of Jobs Posted (data provided by 7Shifts)

Key findings from the internal 7shifts data

1) The top 3 jobs restaurants are hiring for include: Servers, Cooks & Line Cooks, and Bartenders. 26% of restaurants are looking for cooks + line cooks, 17% looking for servers, and 7% looking for bartenders.  

2) The hardest positions for fill for restaurants are Cooks + Line Cooks, Managers, and Bartenders. Only 23% of cooks + line cooks postings have applications, 37% of manager postings have applications, 56% of Bartenders postings have applications. 

3) Employee Health Check tools prevented the spread of approximately 500+ COVID-19 cases and were used over 1.5 million times by employees during the pandemic.

Editor’s note: Food safety training and knowledge has never been more important during these times. The ServSafe Manager Certification verifies that a manager or person in charge has sufficient food safety knowledge to protect the public from illness. The data suggests it’s imperative that your managers are certified. To study for the exam, here you can find a list of free ServSafe Manager practice tests.

4) By implementing and using restaurant technology, operators can reduce staff turnover by 13%. Saving over $6.000 in costs to hire new team members for a 10 person team.

Tips for restaurants to combat the hiring shortage

  1. Determining what roles you actually need to fill
  2. Writing a good job description
  3. Understand where to look for restaurant-specific candidates
  4. Look for these 5 emotional skills that Danny Meyer advises on: 
    1. Optimistic warmth
    2. Intelligence
    3. Work Ethic
    4. Empathy
    5. Self-awareness and integrity
  5. Ask great interview questions using the STAR method

How a tool like 7shifts helps restaurants with hiring

Create job postings quickly: Build and create job postings in just a few minutes with a simple job post builder.

Get more information on candidates: Add custom questions to job postings, which candidates will be required to answer.

Get your team’s help with hiring: Share job posting links directly with your staff and social media to source more candidates from referrals.

Never miss an applicant: Enable email notifications for new applicants so you can quickly act on new applicants and get them hired quickly

Data methodology

Data is taken from internal 7shifts platform data from over 18,000 restaurant locations and 500,000 restaurant employees and users across the world, 90%+ from North America.

Restaurant jobs data of +2,400 postings are
taken from approximately 1,800+ restaurants across North America, both Canada and the United States from June 1st to August 22nd, 2021.


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