How to Appeal to a Younger Workforce

Posted by Brandon Tucker

Brandon was the Marketing Content Specialist for SpeedLine Solutions from 2019 to 2022. He ensured the content we provided was the top-notch quality we are known for by staying up to date on industry trends, tips, tricks, and best practices to help our customers' businesses grow.

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It is well-documented that pizzeria owners struggle with labor shortages; 72% of restaurant operators list employee retention and recruitment as their biggest challenges. So anything that you can do to position your business as an ideal workplace will significantly benefit both you and your employees. And with 69% of restaurant workers being younger than 25, it’s especially beneficial for you to find ways to make your business appealing to Gen Z applicants. Here are a few ways that your restaurant can attract a younger workforce. 


Make Applying as Easy as Possible

If you’re over the age of 40, you’d probably be shocked to learn how many members of younger generations have abandoned job applications because the process was too complicated. From their perspective, spending 5 minutes or more on a single application might not seem efficient, especially when they are likely applying to dozens of different places simultaneously. 

Let’s do a little experiment: It takes 21 to 80 applications in order to land a job on average. If someone is spending an average of 5 minutes filling out each of these applications, they can expect to have to invest as much as six-and-a-half hours applying to jobs before finally getting an offer. 

So if you can find ways to reduce the time it takes to apply to your jobs, you can make it much more appealing to future applicants. And one of the best ways to do this is to choose a more mobile-friendly application process. 

With 58% of job seekers using their phones to apply for positions, a mobile-first approach can significantly affect the number and types of applicants you receive. Making this change can be as simple as allowing candidates to link to their online portfolio or LinkedIn profile instead of having to upload a resume or enter information into 50 different boxes. 

You don’t need to make drastic changes to your process to cut your application time in half. Even reducing the application process by 10% can lead to a combined 3.8% increase in job applicants across mobile and desktop users. You need to make sure that you remove any significant barriers that might hurt your applicant numbers.


Use Advanced POS Tools to Provide Flexible Scheduling

The thing about having younger employees is that they’re often quite busy with other areas of their life. They likely have school, active social lives, and various extracurricular activities that they need to have the freedom to do. So if your roles require strict time commitments, they’re going to be far less appealing to Gen Z workers. 

Many employers are worried that if they hire too many people with limited availabilities, then it’s going to leave them shorthanded a lot. But there’s an easy way to get around this. With the right POS scheduling tools, you can easily create a schedule that fills each shift with the required number of people without conflicting with their limited availability. And the best part is that it won’t take hours to generate this schedule; it’ll take only minutes. 

Speedy Tip

With SpeedLine’s Store Manager system, you can set restrictions on when someone works, how many hours they work, and what position they work. This comes in handy when much of your workforce is teenagers who must abide by federal and state child labor laws and have very restrictive schedules.

Once you’ve upgraded from a cheap POS to one with the proper restaurant staff scheduling tools, you should clarify that you accept people with all kinds of availabilities. When younger prospective applicants see this message included in the job description, they’re more likely to apply. 


Collect Employee Feedback

One of the most frustrating things to experience is the feeling of not being heard. Everyone wants their opinion to be valued, and workers who feel like their employer listens to them are 4.6 times more motivated to perform better at work. Teenagers and young adults tend to get a bad rap these days; understandably, your Gen Z employees might be coming to work feeling like their voice is unappreciated. 

By regularly collecting employee feedback, you can make your pizzeria far more appealing to these younger workers because they’ll feel like you are actually interested in what they have to say. An easy way to do this is a suggestion box outside the back office, regularly scheduled Google Forms surveys sent out to employees, or asking for feedback at opening and closing staff huddles.

Speedy Tip

Collecting customer feedback can be equally as valuable as employee feedback. Try using receipt links, emails, and POS reminders as starting methods for collecting opinions from your customers.


Invite Employees to Bring Their Passions Into the Workplace

As previously mentioned, Gen Z individuals tend to participate in many extracurricular activities; this is a great way to connect with them. For example, if you know that some of your employees are huge DnD or Magic: The Gathering fans, you can host events and invite them to play their games at your restaurant as part of an official games night. If you’re lucky, this will quickly catch on and you’ll soon have several groups of dedicated customers who come to eat and play at your pizzeria every week. At the very least, you’ll have some employees who feel grateful to have a workplace that so openly accepts their passion.

But if hosting game nights aren’t quite your thing, then there are other ways that you can incorporate your employee’s passions into the restaurant. For example, if you have a worker who enjoys graphic design, allow them to put their skills to use. The next time that you need to make new advertising materials, try giving them the opportunity to create the materials themselves. You can pay them an additional fee just like you would with any other freelancer, and as a result, they’ll be delighted that their workplace is directly investing in their personal development.


Incentivize Employees to Make Social Content At Work

If it seems like Gen Z is constantly staring at their phones, even when they’re at work and not supposed to be using them, that’s because they are. With 31% of Gen Z feeling uncomfortable after only 30 minutes without their phone, it’s not surprising that so many are sneaking peaks when on the line or in-between serving customers. Use it to your advantage rather than getting upset with them for the occasional peek at their phone.  

With the average Gen Z spending 4.5 hours on social media each day, most of them are well-versed in smart pizza marketing tips. Meaning you have a small army of marketers at your fingertips who can help to improve your pizza marketing strategy. You can put this to use by encouraging your staff to whip out their phone and make some great social media content for your pizzeria. 

As soon as there’s a lull in orders, your older employees might be more comfortable just doing some cleaning or organizing around the restaurant, but your younger staff would probably love nothing more than to jump on their phones and film something for the company Snapchat or come up with ideas for the corporate TikTok accounts. You’d be surprised what kind of delicious photos and videos your Gen Z employees can make in only a few minutes. By taking on this marketing strategy, you’ll likely see significant improvements in your restaurant's online advertising and may even catch the eye of an influencer or two. Plus, you’ll position your business as a great workplace for any Gen Z individuals. 

By simplifying the application process, upgrading your scheduling system, collecting employee feedback, and incorporating your employee’s passions and habits into the workplace, you can make your restaurant the most appealing option for any Gen Z applicants. If you’re looking for other ways to improve your pizzeria labor, check out our webinar on how to better attract and retain pizza restaurant employees.

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Posted on Fri, May 27, 2022 @ 08:05 AM.
Updated on May 27, 2022 @ 3:30 PM PST.

Tags: Employee Management, Social Media Marketing

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