We’re in the middle of a staffing crisis, and it’s complicated.
Restaurants have long struggled with hiring and retaining hourly employees—even before the pandemic. But now we’re reaching all new lows… or highs, rather. Despite a 10% increase in hourly wages, many former restaurant employees have left the industry altogether. The ones that have stayed are turning over at 140%, the highest rate in two decades.
There are many factors that are (and could be) playing into this, which makes the crisis so complicated. But, it doesn’t make the problem any less real for general managers and business owners who are trying to keep lights on.
To keep stores staffed, many are calling upon family and friends to fill shifts. Complicating matters further is that GMs are also currently spending a lot of time covering shifts, which means they aren’t using that time to hire, grow the team, or improve the customer experience.
Many QSRs are staffing at a burnout pace, and it comes at the price of overworking their GMs and team members, overspending on overtime, and under-delivering value to their customers.
Traditional methods of finding and hiring employees no longer work. That’s why NRD Capital’s Fuzzy’s Taco and Frisch’s are taking the path that empowers them to secure interviews in under two hours.
A Better, Faster Way to Hire—For Everyone
“Here’s the thing. Managers have a lot of responsibilities on their plate: four walls, customers, employees, HR, hiring—they have a lot. We make it hard on them, but Workstream makes it easy,” said Kevin Rychel, VP of Operations for Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.
For Rychel, the pressure placed on GMs to run successful restaurant operations and find good workers during the hiring crisis was becoming overwhelming. With more than 20 years of QSR experience, Rychel knew he couldn’t keep supporting the same hiring practices and processes and expect different results. So, he began looking into new solutions. He vetted 15 different hiring platforms and ultimately chose Workstream, a hiring platform and mobile app that uses automation and SMS text to streamline how QSRs source, screen, and onboard hourly workers.
Fuzzy’s saw success immediately and has since rolled out Workstream to 47 locations. But the rollout didn’t end there.
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is owned by NRD Capital, a prominent middle market private equity firm that is known for innovative approaches to equity and venture investing. During a business review between Fuzzy’s and NRD, Rychel informed the board about the success Fuzzy’s was having with Workstream. Intrigued and impressed, NRD Capital’s team investigated further and concluded that it was time to recommend the adoption of Workstream’s cutting-edge platform across its other holdings starting with Frisch’s Restaurants.
The Proof is in the Efficiency
Using Workstream's hiring platform built on text automation, Fuzzy’s Taco is able to engage applicants as soon as they apply—without needing the GM to step away from running the restaurant.
“The ability to talk to candidates almost immediately is incredible,” Rychel said. “Before Workstream, we had a lot of applicants, but by the time we got around to reviewing them, the applicants had already been sitting in the queue for three months. Someone else had hired them. Now, we can talk to applicants so quickly. It’s so fast that our district manager can get someone in for an interview in under two hours.”
And in today’s hiring landscape, it’s all about speed. Why? Because the applicant that applied for a job likely also applied to work at five or six other places too.
“We were losing on hiring because we didn’t respond to applicants fast enough,” said Darrin White, Frisch’s Chief Operating Officer. “GMs don’t have time to sit and respond to email, and when they do, it’s infrequent. Automating communication between us and the applicants increases our chances 10 to 1,” White said.
Workstream takes the friction out of the hiring process for the applicant and the hiring manager. Applicants can apply for a job within a matter of seconds. Through Workstream’s automated SMS Text Messaging, a qualified candidate will then be prompted to schedule an interview and, from there, receive text reminders of their appointment (which minimizes ghosting). The GM, on the other hand, posts the job from their phone and takes interviews that appear on their calendar.
Since implementing Workstream, Fuzzy’s hiring process has evolved, allowing GMs to focus more on running successful restaurants and less on back-and-forth phone calls with candidates and interview no-shows that were previously taking up so much of their valuable time.
“When our GMs found out about Workstream, they kept asking how to get it,” said White. “Workstream gives GMs and district managers 2-3 hours back in their schedules daily.”
By engaging applicants faster and minimizing the time managers spend on hiring, Fuzzy’s Taco and Frisch’s are becoming more efficient—and fully staffed.
“All corporate locations are now 90% staffed, and that’s 100% because of Workstream. We were tapping family and friends, the neighbor’s kids. Now, we don't have to.”
Now Is the Time to Lead
With no end in sight to the current hiring crisis, QSRs are discovering that Workstream gives them a meaningful advantage over their competition. While competitors continue to struggle by using traditional hiring methods, NRD’s Fuzzy’s and Frisch’s are taking a giant leap forward in hiring and retaining the best workers in their geographic areas. For NRD Capital, however, implementing Workstream is about more than just getting ahead of today’s QSR hiring crisis.
“Eventually, the staffing crisis will be less impactful than it is now—but we don’t know when that will be. Either way, we’re going to get ahead of the competition and take the lead by being a first adopter with Workstream,” said White.
Are you a QSR franchise owner or GM who is tired of falling behind your competitors because you are still using traditional hiring methods? Schedule a call with one of our Hiring Specialists.
Workstream is a hiring platform that helps employers get 4x the number of qualified applicants. The world's most trusted brands use Workstream to optimize job board postings, automate screening and interview scheduling, communicate via text message, and streamline the onboarding/training process. See what all the buzz is about by scheduling a demo or email us email@example.com!