It’s a problem. You can’t find hourly workers or good managers. Your good people show up for awhile, then disappear. You need new staff right now. All common headaches for restaurant owners.
But what if there was a hands-on website that could help you with turnover issues or comprehensive hiring needs. This is what RestaurantZone offers, says co-founder Matthew Rodgers.
Rodgers, who lives in New York City, left his finance job with First Republic Bank after five years. An entrepreneur at heart, he wanted to start his own niche online business and realized the opportunities in the restaurant industry. “And so, my business partner, Kenny Benavides and I created a first version of our website, it was very basic, kind of like a Craigslist, allowing restaurants to post equipment and jobs and different things like that. It was a basic classified ad site.”
That’s when the magic happened. “Creating the site opened up a lot of conversations with our clients and we shifted our business model rapidly to focus exclusively on hiring,” Rodgers said. “We had myself, my business partner, and a few other employees crammed into my apartment on the Lower East Side, cranking away and working with our clients figuring out how we could help them. And it turned out hiring was the pain point that we kept hearing over and over again.”
Rodgers and his team first focused on small restaurants owners in New York but RestaurantZone has now branched out to restaurants across the nation, including larger restaurant chains. “Employee turnover can be a serious problem sometimes. We provide the solutions to make hiring easier. It helps you combat turnover problems and staff your restaurant.”
The technology developed by RestaurantZone is a key factor that sets it apart from the competition, Rodgers explains. “We have developed a very fast, efficient and accurate technology that gives you pre-screened and curated candidates so that you spend zero time posting on restaurant job boards and sifting through irrelevant candidates. It’s better quality restaurant staff talent at your fingertips,” he said.
Also, RestaurantZone offers a personal level of attention to clients that other traditional job boards don’t. “We tend to focus on customizing solutions for our clients. We offer restaurant recruiting services and can pair clients with internal recruiters to really get them candidates with specific skillsets or backgrounds. Or we can customize larger email campaigns for restaurant openings to drive large volumes of qualified job seeker talent to your job openings. Or drive candidate traffic to apply on a company’s career site to learn about a brand earlier in the hiring process. We have many options tailored for each and every client, depending on what they need.”
So when the company hears things from clients like: ‘This is a very tough location for us,’ or ‘We can’t get line cooks & sous chef candidates,’ or ‘We’re opening a new restaurant and we need to hire fast,’ RestaurantZone will structure a solution to match those kinds of hiring needs. “And if we can’t solve it, we’ll point them in the right direction,” he said. “We help mostly with the process of introducing job-seeker candidates and helping our clients find them. We can also reach out to job seekers to help clients find the right candidate, as well.”
RestaurantZone is now has one of the largest candidate pools of restaurant & hospitality talent nationwide, according to Rodgers. On its website, internal connections, candidates from over 100 job boards, regional culinary schools, recruiters and sources on and off the Internet are available and accessible to potential employers. And it’s open to recruiters too. “RestaurantZone is an excellent human resources tool,” said Rodgers.
But how can an algorithm find the perfect candidate? “We’re not at a place where a robot or a machine learning program can identify that. You need a human touch and technology, which is why we combine both,” Rodgers noted. “We use our technology to say, ‘here are your five people we really think are good’ but at the same time, we have human eyes looking at the resume and interviewing the candidate or maybe texting or calling the candidates, saying ‘here’s what’s out there, here’s something that could be a fit for you.’ You need both. I’m a big fan of keeping that personal touch.”