Now Hiring! How Operators Are Sweetening the Deal for Job Seekers

Now Hiring! How Operators Are Sweetening the Deal for Job Seekers

Any restaurant who’s staffing up these days knows that hiring has been extra difficult as we come out of the pandemic. It seems that just as consumers are getting more comfortable eating out, finding employees is more challenging than ever. Check out some of the more creative and competitive recruiting tactics that operators have been using to attract new employees.


Make applying easier than ever.

To attract new hires, more than 100 McDonald’s California locations utilized their drive-thru windows for on-the-spot interviews. No appointment was required and applicants could either stay in their car or head to a designated interview area. Taco Bell joined in and also held drive-thru interviews at select locations.


Additionally, McDonald’s created the capability for job seekers to apply by simply texting a dedicated number or asking their smart speaker to “Help me get a job at McDonald’s.”


Even smaller-scale operators can take a cue from these chains by designating a section of the dining room for on-the-spot interviews and inviting applicants to come in anytime via signage and social media.


Provide incentives.

Incentivizing is the oldest trick in the book for attracting customers. But in today’s market, operators could benefit by using the same tactic to recruit employees.


Half Shell Oyster House is incentivizing both current employees and new hires. Referred employees will receive $600 in bonuses over the course of their first 90 days, with the referring employee receiving a $200 bonus once their referral makes it through training.


Chipotle is offering current employees referral bonuses ranging from $200-$750, depending on the position they help fill. As far as incentivizing new hires, the chain has raised its average wages to $15/hour.


This spring, Applebee’s rewarded applicants through their “Apps for Apps” program. Anyone who applied for a job on a designated day in May received a coupon for a free appetizer.


Host a giveaway.

Shrimp Basket Restaurants are raffling off a car. New and existing employees get an entry for every 30 days they’re employed at one of the southeast chain’s locations, through September 2021. The winner can also opt for $22,500 in cash. It’s worth noting that smaller prizes, such as cash giveaways or extra paid time off, can still create lots of excitement for employees and applicants.


To share your recruiting ideas and get additional inspiration, head to our Facebook or LinkedIn page. And visit our Resource Center for more tips and trends.



Join Our Team for a Chance to Win a Brand New Car!, Shrimp Basket, 2021.

Meisenzahl, Mary. SoCal McDonald's Drive-Up Hiring Day, Insider, May 2021.

SoCal McDonald's Drive-Up Hiring Day, McDonald’s, 2021.

We Are Hiring!!, Half Shell Oyster House, 2021.

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