Three Strategies to Decrease Hiring Costs in Food Service

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP
January 25 2018

High attrition rates are common in the food service industry, and they have increased annually for the past five years. With turnover costing employers roughly $3,500 per employee, the benefits of retention ultimately show in the bottom line. Finding quality employees is made more difficult by the cost of living, which often can’t be met by a single position in food service (where workers make an average of $10 per hour). Hefty loans push college grads into higher-paying entry-level jobs in other industries, and competition for top talent is growing fiercer as unemployment rates drop. Faced with these challenges, how can food service operators fill positions with quality talent while decreasing hiring costs?


Strategy 1: Understand that Modern Job Seekers Crave Flexibility

As job seekers diversify, taking on part-time schooling, contract work, and other obligations, they are becoming more interested in flexible work options. According to a 2017 FlexJobs survey of more than 5,500 participants, “79% of respondents said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options.” Jobs in the gig economy, including heavy hitters like Uber and Lyft, will steal workers away from the food industry for exactly this reason.

Food service operations that offer flexible work options, such as part-time shifts and temporary contracts, can retain talent longer. They can also decrease 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.


Strategy 2: Offer a Reason to Stay

According to the National Restaurant Association, nine out of ten food service managers began their careers in entry-level positions, proving that entry-level employees do stay on to move up in the business. Eight out of ten restaurant owners start their careers in entry-level positions as well. Dedicating effort towards the active retention of your new employees—including cross-training and a robust internal promotion process—has the potential to see a much greater ROI than the cyclical churning of talent systemic to the industry. Greater benefits packages and employee engagement initiatives are a good place to start.


Strategy 3: Conduct Background Checks

In order to thrive, food service operations need customers, and customers want good service. Establishing trust in your brand with repeat customers is especially important; a study by Adobe’s CMO claims that loyal customers eventually spend up to 67% more with your brand. Since good customer service contributes to repeat customers, quality staff can improve operations. Professional background checks are 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 provide criminal history searches, drug tests, credit checks, and more to help you choose the best employees.

Worried that background checks take too long for your fast-paced hiring process? Technology similar to InfoMart’s ASAP ID allows for immediate identity authentication and data entry by auto populating the information at the beginning of candidate’s background check. Solutions like this add to the positive image of your brand both internally and externally by hiring fast and decrease hiring costs. Contact us today to learn more or get a free quote on experienced and compliant background screening for your food service operation.

Still not convinced that background screening is worth the money? Keep reading to learn why you can’t afford not to screen.

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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