Pizza Today - February 2021 - 31

F

inding talent has always been
a challenge, and the
COVID-19 crisis made the
task even tougher. Pizzeria owners
say the process of attracting, hiring and onboarding workers has
changed, and some new procedures
will remain in practice in 2021.
According to the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics, there were
2.1 million fewer jobs in food services and drinking places in October 2020 than in February 2020.
Although there are many laid-off
restaurant workers, operators are
having trouble filling positions in the
current job market.
" It has been extremely difficult
hiring team members since the pandemic, " says Kim Bui, director of
human resources for Rancho
Cordova, California-based Pizza
Guys. " Some of the challenges stem
from people still hesitant to rejoin
the workforce due to the pandemic,
people not wanting to work in the
restaurant business because they
feel it is unstable, and competition
from other restaurants that are also
hiring. "
To find talent, Pizza Guys has
turned to Facebook, Instagram,
Nextdoor and Indeed. The brand
also posts hiring messages on its
digital menus and on its website. " In
the past, we barely posted hiring ads
on social media, " Bui says. " Now,
they are one of the main sources we
use to let candidates know we are
hiring. " There are also box toppers,
and current team members can earn
bonuses for referring friends and
family.
Others say the pool of applicants
is expanding. " Prior to the pandemic, Austin was a very competitive
restaurant market when it came to
hiring, with lots of new restaurant
development leading to an incredibly tight labor market, " says Steven
Dilley, owner and founder of the

two-location Bufalina in Austin,
Texas. " That has changed, at least
temporarily. "
Bufalina is finding applicants
through word of mouth, recommendations of current employees, and by
checking their email inbox. " We've
received more unsolicited resumes in
the past couple months than we usually receive in a year, " Dilley says.
Virtual Interviews
Employers are also relying on digital communications for interviews.
Cincinnati-based Dewey's Pizza is
meeting applicants via phone calls
and video chats. " We always put a
premium on meeting someone face
to face for that interaction, " says Joe
Schlotman, director of organizational development. " But now there
is also this recognition of safety and
respecting space. "
Video meetings enable Dewey's
Pizza to connect with an applicant
sooner than in-person, and allow
management to experience the candidate's tone of voice, body language
and eye contact. The next round of
interviews takes place at one of the
restaurants. " There are less people
in the building but there is always
a manager and a team member, "
Schlotman says. By having a team
member participate in the assessment, the worker plays a role in hiring a coworker, and feels accountable
during training. Also, it helps free
up managers to handle COVID-19
related operational changes.
Zoom interviews are an option at
Pizza Guys too. " Although it may
not be as personable as an in-person
interview, the candidate feels safer
and more comfortable having the
option to interview virtually, " Bui
says
Showing Up
Joe Sitzmann, owner and president of P's Pizza House, says he

relies on social media to recruit
workers, but some applicants fail to
show up for the interview. Others
are hired but do not come in for
their first day on the job. " It's almost
comical, " says Sitzmann, whose two
locations of P's Pizza House are in
Le Mars, Iowa and Dakota Dunes,
South Dakota. " It doesn't seem to be
an exclusive issue. I talked to others
in hospitality. " One theory is that
laid off workers who are collecting
unemployment benefits are applying
for restaurant jobs merely to satisfy
the requirement that they continue
to seek employment.
Another factor that makes this job
market challenging is that as states
have limited capacity, or as customers in general have decided not to
dine out, his staffing levels have
varied. " I can say we are fully staffed,
because we have less revenue, "
Sitzmann says.
Chris Ernest, director of operations for Nina & Rafi in Atlanta, has
also seen people fail to appear for
interviews. " For every 10 interviews
you have two people that show up, "
he says. " You talk to them, communicate, set up an appointment time
and they don't show. Are they finding a better opportunity? That's what
we need to look at. "
New Ways to Train
Onboarding has also changed.
Ernest says with the pandemic,
keeping the restaurant clean and safe
has become a large part of ongoing
training. " We talk about sanitation
every day, " he says. " We talk about
wearing gloves, wearing a mask that
covers the nose and mouth. It's just a
constant reminder, and we're doing it
numerous times throughout the day. "
The job descriptions have changed
too. As more orders shift to takeout
or delivery, Nina and Rafi added staff
for Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
" We have someone triple checking

F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 1 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 3 1


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - February 2021

Pizza Today - February 2021
Commentary
Digital
Conversation
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Man on the Street
Building Blocks
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
PPP Forgiveness
The Current Job Market
Ins and Outs of Expanding
Latin-inspired Pizzas
Adding Sandwiches
Pizza Expo 365
Small Market Mom & Pops
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - February 2021 - CT1
Pizza Today - February 2021 - CT2
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Pizza Today - February 2021
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Cover2
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Commentary
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 4
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 5
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 6
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 7
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Digital
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 9
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Conversation
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 11
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 13
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 15
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Building Blocks
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 17
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 19
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 21
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 22
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 23
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Destinations
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 25
Pizza Today - February 2021 - PPP Forgiveness
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 27
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 28
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 29
Pizza Today - February 2021 - The Current Job Market
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 31
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 32
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 33
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Ins and Outs of Expanding
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 35
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 36
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 37
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Latin-inspired Pizzas
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 39
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Adding Sandwiches
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 41
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 42
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 43
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Pizza Expo 365
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 45
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Small Market Mom & Pops
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 47
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 48
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 49
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 51
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 53
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 54
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 55
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 56
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 57
Pizza Today - February 2021 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 59
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 60
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 61
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 62
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 63
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 64
Pizza Today - February 2021 - 65
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Cover3
Pizza Today - February 2021 - Cover4
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