- In order to hire 2,500 new workers — including delivery drivers, hourly associates and managers — in a tight labor market for restaurants and food service, Donatos held its first "dinnerview" event on May 19. The interviews will take place on Wednesdays in all of the company's local restaurants.
- The "dinnerviews" consist of walk-in interviews that don't require an appointment, at which jobs can be offered "on the spot." Applicants will then receive a certificate for a free, large one-topping pizza.
- Donatos is among the companies that has seen “significant sales growth” during the pandemic. It plans to expand its footprint and open new locations, making the current labor shortage especially acute.
The restaurant industry, in particular, faces a severe labor shortage in the wake of pandemic recovery — meaning many companies are trying creative tactics to find workers and keep them on board.
The U.S. recorded 8.1 million job openings in March, the highest number since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking it in 2000. Accommodation and food services were a big force behind the openings, speaking to why restaurants in particular are in a rush to find talent.
Mass hiring events have been one tactic many restaurants have tried with varying degrees of success; Chipotle hired 13,000 with a goal of 15,000 at such an event in January. Chipotle has also hosted virtual events through platforms like Discord, Restaurant Dive reported.
For this reason, retention has become a major focus of restaurants and food service companies, various experts told Restaurant Dive. Companies are turning to cross-training, clarified paths to career growth and improved benefit offerings — including low or no-cost college education — to keep workers on. Some reports indicate, however, that the issue could be deeply tied to wages alone; when one ice cream shop raised its minimum wage to $15, for example, it was flooded with applicants, according to reporting from MSNBC.
But restaurants are far from alone in dealing with a talent shortage, and reports say the problem could only worsen; a study released by Emsi earlier this month found that U.S. employers may be facing a “demographic cliff” that could severely limit job force growth.