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Looking Ahead to 2017: Why On-Demand Works for Foodservice

As the New Year quickly approaches in the coming weeks, we’re here to share a new blog series, “Looking Ahead to 2017: On-Demand Trends.” Check back each week as we highlight various trends across industries.

The“gig” or “freelance” workforce is now mainstream, with hourly workers finding their way into a variety of roles within many different industries. Foodservice is one of those industries. In this space, employee turnover can be high, given the sometimes undesirable hours and shifts (ahem, nights and weekends), the pay is relatively low, and the skills needed are very specific. Today we’ll tackle a couple of reasons why on-demand work makes sense for the foodservice industry, for both workers themselves and the companies that utilize them.

End the scheduling Jenga

When you’re in the foodservice industry, you’re usually working over the weekend, in the evenings and on holidays. After all, that’s when most consumers are out at restaurants and bars and attending social events. Managers do their best to fairly schedule their workers, but not every shift works for everyone, every time. More often than either would like, managers and workers find themselves trying to re-arrange and swap schedules to get every shift covered. The hassle of this week in and week out just adds anxiety to an already high-stress industry.

With the on-demand model, workers choose the shifts they want to work according to their schedule, so you know they’re going to show up and be ready. Workers never have to worry about being stuck in a repeated shift that they don’t want or stress over finding someone to take their place. For managers, there’s no last-minute changes or calling employees on their day off to cover for someone.

Most foodservice skillsets are transferable across companies

Workers in the foodservice industry are expected to have a pretty defined set of skills to be effective. All bartenders, regardless of where they work, must have generally the same working knowledge and skills. Same goes for banquet servers - there is a certain set of skills required to handle dinner service for large groups. Because many of these positions require minimal facility or company-specific knowledge, on-demand work can help companies fill shifts quickly and reliably. For workers themselves, working on-demand in this industry gives you a chance to work at fun venues and events. And whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned veteran, there’s always new skills to learn and buff up your resume.

December 6, 2016 | Tricia Cagua