Three Tactics to Decrease Hiring Costs in Food Service

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP
November 23 2016
One of the most cost-prohibitive areas for food service businesses lies in the often-continuous process of employing labor to do the work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, job separations in accommodation and food services are outpacing hiring rates and contributing to a 5 percent increase in job openings over last year.

Adding to the difficulty in finding quality employees is the basic cost of living, which often cannot be met by a single position in food service where the worker makes a median wage of $9 per hour. While the younger generations attend college at a higher rate than previous ones, sky-high college loan costs keep many eligible job seekers from choosing positions in food service once they graduate. When recent graduates realize that they can get higher-paying entry-level jobs in other industries, open food service positions become especially hard to fill.

The low national unemployment rate also doesn’t help. Competition for top talent is growing fiercer as we reach full employment, and employers are having to offer higher wages, increased benefits, or job flexibility to fill open positions. However, many food service operations can’t or won’t jump on the competitive employment package bandwagon for low-skill work.

Faced with so many challenges, how can food service operators fill open positions with quality talent while decreasing hiring costs?


Tactic 1: Offer More Flexibility

As job seekers diversify their lives to include part-time schooling, contract work, and other obligations, they are becoming more interested in flexible work options. According to a 2015 FlexJobs survey of more than 2,600 participants, “[F]lexible work options would make 82 percent of the survey’s respondents more loyal.”

Food service operations that offer flexible work options, such as part-time shifts and temporary contracts, can retain talent longer. They can also save on the hiring costs associated with high employee turnover. Additionally, employees with access to flexible work options have a better chance at balancing life and work, which has been shown to decrease stress and improve productivity.


Tactic 2: Give Good Employees a Reason to Stay

Nine out of ten food service managers began their careers in entry-level positions, so entry-level employees do stay on to move up in the business. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employers that provide opportunities for advancement are better able to retain great talent that will help the business succeed for years to come.


Tactic 3: Conduct Background Checks

Food service operations need customers to thrive, and customers want good service. Repeat customers are particularly important: They spend two-thirds more than new customers do. Since good customer service contributes to repeat customers, quality staff can improve operations.

Professional background screening is one of the most reliable ways to ensure that the staff you hire will contribute to a positive customer experience. Experienced and accredited background screeners like InfoMart provide criminal history searches, drug tests, credit checks, and more to help you choose the best employees.

Contact us today to learn more or get a free quote on experienced and compliant background screening for your food service operation.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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