Hire the Best: Creating Value-Driven Restaurant Job Descriptions

By: Ginelle Testa

5 Minute Read

Nov 18, 2016

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If I were to apply to work at a restaurant in Boston, I’d have SO many options. What would draw me to one over the other? To start, I’d look at cafes or restaurants that I knew had values similar to mine - places where I could see myself spending a lot of my time. 

I’ve had a job crush on the restaurant Life Alive since discovering it in college. A vibrant vegetarian spot with a few locations throughout Massachusetts, it has encouraging phrases painted on the walls like “Be Here Now.” Its plants are overflowing between serene fairy sculptures, which called to me while tattooed food runners brought me my Green Goddess bowl. When I dug a bit deeper into potentially working at Life Alive, their recruiting ads and enticing job descriptions really peaked my interest.

Restaurant job descriptions and recruiting campaigns that reflect the values of your business are crucial to bringing in those all-star servers, chefs, and managers you’re looking to keep around. This blog post will look at some examples of engaging value-driven recruiting campaigns as well as creative restaurant job descriptions for front- and back-of-house employees.

What are value-driven recruiting campaigns and why do they matter?

Values are standards. They’re who you are as a restaurant. Your culture, practices, environment, employee contentment, and success communicate the status of your beliefs. Sharing these through recruiting campaigns will bring in the right employees for you. 

Values are becoming increasingly important for candidates when choosing a place of employment, especially for millennials. More than 50% of millennials (which will make up 75% of the workforce in 2025) say they would trade a reduction in pay for a job that aligns with their values. 

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According to a 2016 Glassdoor survey, values are among the top five things that job hunters seek when searching for a company to work for. What does this mean for you? Encapsulate the beliefs and practices of your restaurant and communicate them effectively through value-driven recruiting. Let’s look at two examples.

Examples of Value-Driven Recruiting Campaigns

Life Alive - Value: Down-to-Earth

Back to that Life Alive recruitment ad I mentioned. Everything in this poster sends a down-to-earth message: the animated colors, goddess-esque woman representing job roles and salaries as ascending chakras, bowl of hearty veggies, benefits, and the description.

From the very start, where "grow with us" can be seen, it is made obvious that this is a restaurant that promotes self-care, yoga, massage, nutrition, friendships, and is definitely giving a crunchy, earthy vibe.

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Examples of Engaging Restaurant Job Descriptions

Job descriptions should be engaging, illustrating the day-to-day tasks that are enmeshed in the culture you’ve painted for the candidate. These descriptions are what will cinch the employees attention. Glassdoor found in its 2016 survey that “76% of job seekers want details on what makes the company an attractive place to work.” Show your prospects what’s attractive about a day in the life at your restaurant! Let’s look at examples of job descriptions.

Texas Roadhouse

Chain restaurant Texas Roadhouse was ranked in the top 10 best places to work in the restaurant industry. With a quick, simple, and catchy job description like this, it's evident what kind of environment they hope to create for their staff.

pasted_image_0_4-1.pngThis Service Manager position (pictured above) has a good description, but let’s use it as a starting example to make it even better.

FOH Service Manager Description

"Our service managers are committed to legendary food and legendary service. Your role managing the front of house staff is an important one! You’ll be leading a team of of “Roadies” through a shift and ensuring customers are receiving quality food and hospitality in a fun environment. Although no day at the Roadhouse is quite the same, a day may look like...

  • Hearing that Sarah, a mom of 3, has a complaint, then remedying the concern with the appropriate solution - ranging from free desserts to comping the whole check. 
  • Supporting a new staff member who is struggling with a challenge.
  • Sharing positive feedback with a server who’s doing a great job!
  • Spotting a bucket of peanuts that is upside down on the floor and delegating staff to clean-up. 
  • Remaining calm and knowing what to do, even when Jim the line cook cuts himself with a steak knife. 
  • Staying organized with important tasks like schedule management and interviewing a potential new employee."

Simply adding a bit more descriptive text (in the same conversational tone) and some bullet points on likely occurrences help take this job description to another level entirely.

California Pizza Kitchen

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California Pizza Kitchen also has some sweet marketing around their culture and workplace. Let’s make a mock job description for a back of house employee!

Pizza Cook Description

"Our pizza cooks are at the center of rolling out our innovative pizza! As a pizza cook, you aren’t afraid to try bold combinations and know what it takes to make an amazing pie. Crafting pizza isn’t simply a job to you, but it’s a creative work of art. You’re ready to make Instagram-worthy food that will have customers’ mouths watering with every bite."

Creative Job Descriptions and Value-Driven Recruiting Campaigns

Anyone can write up a run-of-the-mill job description for a new restaurant job, but that will just result in run-of-the-mill job applicants. Your employees are the ones who will be in the kitchen making food for your guests and the ones on the floor making memories for your guests. If you want to hire the staff that your competitors won't be able to, develop in-depth, clear, and exciting restaurant job descriptions.

Taking the time to create descriptions and campaigns that highlight why your restaurant is the place to be working will be well worth the effort when stellar candidates submit applications and show up for their first day on the job! 

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