Many restaurant job ads are shorter than those you see from other industries. They’re often missing key details such as the “About Company” section and have few if any, details in the “Responsibilities” section. 

According to Sara Anderson, director of workforce development at the National Restaurant Association, it costs nearly $2,000 to replace an hourly restaurant employee. It’s better for your bottom line (and your sanity) if you can get the best employee for the job. When it’s time to hire a new employee, you need to put out a great job post that will attract the right attention. 

Here are a few things to watch out for in your next restaurant job ad –

The “About” section is important to ensure you find the right employee

Include the basics such as what type of restaurant you have (fine dining, fast-casual, etc.) and the cuisine you serve, but most importantly, showcase your company’s values. Millennials and Gen Z make up a large percentage of food service workers, and they place a lot of stock in the values of their employers. Whether you’re focused on local ingredients or committed to inclusive hiring practices, these job seekers want to know what your business stands for.  

In addition to highlighting your restaurant’s core values, the “About” section is also a great place to focus on the overall tone of your job post. Using a tone that reflects your restaurant’s personality means people who will be a good cultural fit are more likely to apply. 

If you run an upscale restaurant that maintains a very professional tone with staff, then the default “corporate speak” job description will work perfectly. If you have a laid-back crab shack on the beach where employees joke around with customers and each other, your job post should be cool and casual. 

Set upfront expectations by detailing job responsibilities

We know why you like to skip this part (or put bare-bones info here) — the responsibilities of non-management restaurant positions are typically similar across the board. Servers take orders, run food, and do side work. Cooks do prep work and cook food to order. Hosts answer the phone and seat guests. 

Though the core duties of these positions stay the same, there are always differences between restaurants. Don’t worry about figuring out what the differences are, just focus on your restaurant. Take time to think about the details. What side work do your servers do? Is the kitchen staff responsible for inventory? Does the hostess sometimes need to take server shifts? 

These details are important. They make sure everyone knows from the start exactly what will be expected of them. Putting this information in your job posts means that a job seeker who applies is acknowledging that they are willing to do every aspect of the job. 

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

What real restaurant workers want to know

We did a small, informal poll of over 20 restaurant employees to find out what information they want to see in a job post. Most responses included the standards you’d expect (pay rate, full-time or part-time, hours of operation, etc.), but a few stood out.

“As a server, I would like to see managers include the average number of tables their servers get each shift. I know this is never a set number, but an average will help me decide if it’s worth it to apply there.” — Cora Lee, FOH, 2 years

“You know what would be nice? The name and location of the restaurant. At least half the job posts I see on Craigslist are missing one or both.” — Lisa, BOH, 4 years

“It would be nice to know how many hours they expect to have for you each week. Part-time could mean 30 hours or it could mean 10. That’s a big difference. I also like to know the number of hours in an average shift.” — Marcus, BOH, 8 years

“I don’t like to see job posts that are negative. Things like ‘If you can’t be on time, don’t bother applying’ are a red flag to me that the management will be awful.” — Melissa, FOH, 5 years

So, what did we learn? 

  1. It’s important to include information that will give the job seeker a good idea of how much money they are likely to make at your restaurant. Include the hourly rate in your job post, but clarify it by adding the average number of hours a BOH person works each week or the average number of tables a server gets each shift. 
  2. Include your restaurant’s name and location if you’re posting on a site such as Craigslist that doesn’t require you to add that information. 
  3. Keep your job ad positive. Taking the example from above (“If you can’t be on time, don’t bother applying”), you can make it positive by simply saying, “We value punctuality.” 

If you’re ready to find the best employees for your restaurant, we can help!