A Taste for Recruitment, Job Market Trends in Restaurant and Food Services

Hiring for online deliveries should be the key focus, especially if you are taking the D2C route.


The restaurant food services job market has worn a deserted look ever since the second wave began. Employees suffered from job losses, pay cuts, and were forced to change their career paths this year. But now that the curve has flattened, restaurants are scrambling to hire people to recover the losses quickly before talks of a third wave emerge. If you are looking to venture into this space, you need to be aware of the pitfalls and the opportunities in the food job market so that you can hire with precision.

Has recruiting halted?

The Restaurant industry came to a standstill early this year, with mass layoffs and a complete full stop on recruitment efforts. But once again, restaurants are looking to salvage the losses incurred during the second wave lockdowns. They are taking advantage of the lockdown lifting and have resumed hiring for key positions like Bartenders, Restaurant Managers, Waiters and Kitchen Staff. Recruitment is picking up from where they had left off in the Food Services business.

Current Recruitment Trends in Restaurants and Food Services

Disinterest among food service job seekers

Currently, only 10% of job seekers in Restaurant & Food Services are seeking urgent job opportunities. Since food businesses are struggling to cope with losses, being employed only means low wages, pay cuts, fear of being laid off, and nil tips earned since operations are no longer happening in full capacity. Finding suitable candidates who are actively applying for jobs and willing to work for meagre employment benefits will be tough for businesses.

Low salaried jobs

The industry is currently unable to entertain or fulfil high salary demands of workers joining or re-joining the workforce. As such, low salaried jobs are trending since industry standards have significantly dipped. Competitive salaries are no longer being offered to otherwise high paying jobs like Executive Chef and Restaurant Managers.

No employment benefits for recruitment in the unorganised sector

The unorganised sector in the Restaurants & Food Services industry comprises solopreneurs or families selling RTE (read-to-eat) meals through roadside stalls, dhabas, food carts, and street stalls. They were once the biggest employment generator and contributor to the workforce in the industry. However currently, employees being hired in these firms will be unable to enjoy benefits since the unorganised sector cannot afford to provide them.

Good news for job seekers – Hiring activity saw growth of 15% in June 2021

As per ‘Naukri Job Speak Index’, a report by Naukri.com, the job market saw a 15% growth in the month of June and is recovering post the second wave. This is good news for job seekers since hiring activity was up by 87% in June across Hotels and Restaurants ever since recruitment took a nosedive with the onset of the second wave.

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Competitive salaries are no longer being offered to otherwise high paying jobs like Executive Chef and Restaurant Managers.

What’s in it for me?

The Restaurant and Food Services Industry is one of the largest consumers of skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled staff in the country. But due to lack of Government support and relief measures like moratorium on rentals, tax compliances, interest payments, it’s not feasible to hire salaried employees, especially for luxury hotel and restaurant chains.

As per the current job market trends in this sector, the salary standards in the industry have been thwarted. You can offer low salaries but make sure to consider the needs of employees trying to make a living in this space. If you are opening a food business, focus on hiring for online deliveries. You will need a fleet of delivery executives especially if you are going D2C and a complete Digital Marketing team to improve outreach and orders. Hiring must be very precise, and your staff must run on limited capacity to reduce the possibility of Covid transmission.

DU Desk
DU Desk
Stories from DU Desk are the collective efforts of our in-house authors, guest authors and subject matter experts who collate and distill their ideas and thoughts to bring out actionable insights for our readers.

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