[Data] The State of Restaurant Hiring in 2021

[Data] The State of Restaurant Hiring in 2021
7shifts Staff

By 7shifts Staff

The pandemic has backed many restaurants into a corner. Having been forced to close for weeks to months at a time due to lockdown protocols, restaurants are having a hard time finding staff now that things are opening back up.

7shifts, a team management platform for restaurants, found interesting insights into the types of job positions that restaurants are having a hard and easy time filling.

A view into restaurant job postings

According to 7shifts internal data, the top 3 jobs restaurants are hiring for include: Cooks & Line Cooks, Servers and Bartenders.

  • 26% of restaurants are looking for cooks + line cooks,
  • 17% looking for servers, and
  • 7% looking for bartenders.
Number of Postings by Job Type   7shifts data

While line cooks and cooks seem to be in the most demand when lumped together, servers are notably the most sought after employee for restaurants.

Server demand: When looking at the reasons why servers are in such high demand, it's easy to assume that servers on the frontline may be hesitant to return to work with the pandemic still causing issues in the United States.

Cooks & Line Cook demand: While there is no clear reason for this demand, there is evidence that suggests that many in the industry left for other, more stable careers when the pandemic put their positions in question. While a line cook may not be as prestigious as a chef, they are essential to the restaurant's kitchen staff.

A view into restaurant job applications

7shifts internal data also highlights the most sought after jobs by potential candidates and employees including:

  • 32% of applications are for barbacks
  • 12% are for servers, and
  • 11% for general crew members
Number of Applications by Job Type   7shifts data

Coming in first with the largest number of applications is barbacks. Servers are the second most applied for positions, meeting the demand for server jobs at restaurants.

Many restaurants also opened up jobs for crew members, with descriptions saying they are responsible for helping all around the restaurant, both front of house and back of house. Restaurant workers may be open to more versatile positions.

Retaining current and new talent

Turnover of a single restaurant employee can cost restaurants up to $6,000 in costs, according to 7shifts. From hiring, onboarding, training and other employee-related expenses, it's important the new hires that are found will stay on the team. A great tool to help with that is restaurant technology, operators can reduce staff turnover by 13%.

Job Openings vs. Applications

Comparing the number of postings to the number of applications, there are some interesting outliers.

The hardest positions for fill for restaurants are: Cooks and Line Cooks, Managers and Bartenders.

  • Only 23% of cooks and line cooks postings have applications,
  • 37% of manager postings have applications, and
  • 56% of Bartenders postings have applications.
Number of Postings vs

First, the need for a barback is significantly less than the number of applicants that restaurants are receiving for this position. Barback job postings only make up about 5% of the total job postings, while being about 30% of all job applications.

The next largest discrepancies we see are from the cooks and line cooks. Combined they make up 26% of all jobs posted, while only making up a meager 6% of all job applications -- and with 23% of postings having an application.

There is a clear shortage in cooks and line cooks given the demand in job postings and the sparse applications from potential candidates.

While crew members were in the top 3 for number of applications, it seems this type of position fills well for restaurants, with applicants surpassing the number of available job postings.

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 is taken from approximately 1,800+ restaurants across North America, both Canada and the United States from June 1st to August 22nd.

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7shifts Staff
7shifts Staff

7shifts team of writers and experts in the hospitality industry.