Writing restaurant job descriptions that will attract talent

Although labour shortages are slowly evening out, many restaurants are still struggling to attract and retain the top talent they need to build the business. Competition is fierce as staffing has certainly been a concern for the foodservice industry in recent years.

Although industry has always struggled with attracting and retaining top teams, it’s more important than ever now as the industry continues to recover. Studies show that only 54 per cent of restaurant employees reached 90 days of working before quitting last year, and that’s only four per cent below the pre-pandemic average.

It’s not enough to add a “help wanted” sign to your restaurant anymore, you need to advertise your business where potential candidates are looking, entice them to apply, and then convince them they are a great for for your restaurant. Start by attracting top candidates and then focus on retention. If you’re trying to grow your restaurant team, making sure that your listing is appealing is the first step.

There are a few tricks and tips to keep in mind when composing your job description that will help you get attention and stand out to potential team members.


Write the job description with your perfect employee in mind. What are they looking for? How would they perform? What would they need to want this job?

The description of the role needs to be as specific and concise as possible. Too much description can scare candidates and not enough can make you seem vague. In this section, describe the job duties in point form, including the requirements you are looking for from each candidate. Be specific if you need someone who is also a barista, for example, that skillset needs to be highlighted so qualified applicants apply.

Remember to make the description interesting and engaging. Chances are that candidates are applying to multiple jobs, so you want your listing to interest potential employees, have them remember the listing, and get excited to work for you when you call for an interview.


Including the salary or salary range in the description is important. There is a perception that if the salary is not included, it’s because the restaurant has something to hide or that they are not planning to compensate their staff fairly. Build trust with your applicants by being transparent in your job listing.

Many applicants can only afford jobs with a base level of pay and omitting the salary means that they will likely not even apply, for fear of wasting their time going to an interview for a job that does not meet their financial needs. Do your research to offer compensation that is within your budget but that is also competitive, if you want to stand out among the rest of the restaurants.

Wages have increased significantly in the last few years, so remain competitive by offering and advertising salaries that are attractive to candidates. Research today’s rates and stay within or above the average to stay relevant in the marketplace. The old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ may not always be spot on, but to get the best (and save on turnover costs later on) you may have to raise your wages.

RELATED: Are your restaurant’s wages competitive?

Sell your restaurant

Although you are seeking staff, you need to sell yourself, too. Give applicants a reason to apply – whether that’s salary, culture, perks, flexible ours, or whatever your restaurant offers that can make you stand out as somewhere candidates want to work. Include details about your culture and mission in the description, too. Studies show that values rank in the top five factors candidates consider before applying to a job, so being clear about what’s important to you and how you run your restaurant can help you attract like-minded staff. People want to work where they fit in with aligned values, so you need to communicate that right away, before candidates even apply.

Employee turnover is expensive, so attracting and retaining strong talent is important for the success of your business. Writing a stellar job description is the first step in successfully attracting and retaining top candidates for your restaurant. Craft descriptions that allow your restaurant to stand out and seem like a place where talented candidates want to work, so you can fill those spots, build your team, and work on growing your restaurant.