How hospitality businesses are using TikTok to tackle staff shortages

25 July 2022 by
How hospitality businesses are using TikTok to tackle staff shortages

Hospitality businesses have been turning to TikTok to boost recruitment amid industry-wide staff shortages, with some job posts attracting hundreds of applicants.

Last year the social video platform exceeded one billion users worldwide, 43% of whom were between 18 and 24-years-old, according to DataReportal.

Pho, Honest Burgers, and Slug & Lettuce are some of the restaurant chains that have posted recruitment campaigns to the social media site in a bid to draw its users into the industry.

Kenny Blair, owner and managing director of Scottish bar and restaurant group Buzzworks Holdings, launched a "huge campaign" on TikTok last year to tackle a shortage of front of house staff.

This resulted in 862 job applications, with some venues having to create a waiting list to accommodate for the high numbers of interested candidates.

Jamie Halsall, chef patron at Cin Cin in London's Fitzrovia, has been advertising job opportunities and sharing clips of his Italian dishes on TikTok, "to keep up with current trends and market towards a slightly younger audience".

He added: "Our rationale is that if your followers and loyal customers see vacancies, they already know who you are and therefore can champion you far more effectively to friends and relatives than a job listings site ever could, which is extremely useful and helps us to stand out.

"We get followed by a lot of industry people who have come across the posts and apply immediately after seeing [them], so I'd say it can be very effective."

TikTok has also made a mark in the foodservice sector; BM (previously Bartlett Mitchell) has been using the app to post explainer videos and recipe clips, which have received six million views.

BM does not to use TikTok to advertise jobs directly to its 37,000 followers, but the company said its popularity on the app had led to a 900% increase in visits to its recruitment website, a 14% reduction in the ratio of open vacancies to employees and a 9% increase in the number of applicants for specific roles.

Michaela Mulvey, digital marketing manager at BM, said: "It's not a short game; it requires a long-term investment and providing value to the people interested enough to follow you. Advertising vacancies is beneficial to a business but provides little value to the viewer."

Mark McCulloch, founder of the Hospitality Rising recruitment campaign, said TikTok needed to be taken more seriously by the hospitality sector.

Hospitality Rising has not yet launched its TikTok channel, but McCulloch intends to do so.

He said: "I always look at other industries and how they are using things and try to bring it into hospitality, because a lot of the time we are slightly behind.

"The message to hospitality would be: it's not niche anymore; it's not just for the young. That's where people go to find everything."

Image: DenPhotos / Shutterstock

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