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Restaurants offering sign on bonuses amidst hiring crunch

Copper Onion - sauteed mushrroms with egg (Copper Onion)

Many theories abound for the current hiring crisis in the hospitality industry. While some posit that the government’s Covid-stimulus actions are causing workers to sit care free at home, data (and critical thinking if that’s your thing) from the DWS shows that really isn’t the case.

For the most part the industry has seen an unprecedented year long talent-drain as an entire workforce has decamped for safer harbors. The problem was always hiding in plain sight for those who dared look (hint: dining out in the states is crazily cheap, unsustainably so perhaps). With the likes of Amazon, Ebay, Discover and more increasing their Utah presence, many have turned to perceived steadier positions, with potentially better pay, benefits and hours in some cases.

Savvy-operators have of course tried to turn the tide by luring fresh faces into the business. Both Franck’s and Copper Onion have recently been waving $500 signing on bonuses for line cooks as has the McHenry Group (Ginger Street, Oakwood Fire Kitchen etc); I seemingly spot another every other hour, I spotted UTOG brewing offering $200 just this morning for example.

The picture is a carbon copy in the fast food world albeit scaled up. The behemoth that is McDonald’s recently committed to upgrading hourly pay rates and many familiar chains are offering signing bonuses for new employees; Chipotle are going as far as dangling free college tuition to those who put in more than 15 hours a week. The whole industry needs workers en masse; Taco Bell alone are recruiting for nearly 50,000 positions, even after a focused hiring drive event.

Speaking of which the Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association (SLARA) have a job fair event coming up here in just a couple days time. If you’re in the market to re-join the hospitality world, or start anew, now looks like a great time to pick and choose. The SLARA event will be held at Boondocks (75 Southfork Drive in Draper) on Wednesday, May 19th from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.

In attendance will be 50 different local businesses pitching for your skills and time. All attendees will receive a “passport” to be stamped after talking to hirers. Get 10 businesses to stamp your passport and you’ll be entered into a draw for a range of prizes.

If you can’t make the event this week, also bookmark our Utah restaurant jobs page here – data that’s pulled directly from SLARA who are currently working to help businesses fill all those vacancies.

Image credit, Copper Onion, sautéed mushrooms – want to help cook it?

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