Nashville-based hiring marketplace offers free services to help restart restaurants
MAY 7, 2020 10 AM
Halle Hayes at the mayor’s daily briefingPHOTO: FACEBOOK.COM/FOHANDBOH
When foh&boh (pronounced “foe and bo”) first rolled out its suite of services earlier this year to help connect restaurants looking for front-of-house and back-of-house workers, staffing conditions in the Nashville hospitality industry were challenging. Restaurant owners bemoaned the shortage of qualified applicants and the fact that workers would jump to a new position at another restaurant for a small raise in pay. How the times have changed!
Conditions could still be described as challenging, but in completely different ways. A huge percentage of former hospitality workers are now unemployed or furloughed, and as restaurants reopen for dine-in service, owners may very well find themselves in a bind even trying to locate their former workers — who may have spread to the winds to find safer harbor with family. Things will have to move quickly as restaurants restock their larders and fire up their grills again to begin accepting patrons into their dining rooms, and staff will need to be trained to handle the new realities of safely working and serving food in the COVID-19 reality.
This is where foh&boh comes in. The company is the brainchild of Nashville entrepreneurs Halle Hayes and Mary Pillow Thompson, and their offering is sort of a matchmaking platform for restaurant management and employees. The two are already the co-founders of of Versher, an employment company that connects professional women to the Nashville workplace and have spread their expertise into the specific vertical of hospitality.
What’s unique about foh&boh’s program is an algorithm that matches the needs from both the restaurant and worker side, thereby reducing friction and back-and-forth communication that currently exists with other online hiring platforms. Potential candidates create their own profile on foh&boh by answering a series of questions about what is important to them, including their desired hours, location, compensation, culture, management philosophy, benefits, etc., and they can also upload a photo and a video showcasing their talents. Restaurant management is connected with candidates who are the best match for the job, and they can schedule an interview using the platform’s calendar integration technology.
“We give candidates the ability to showcase who they really are,” says Thompson. “For example, we have a line cook who has uploaded a video of himself chopping an onion blindfolded, and a bartender making and serving her signature cocktail. It’s fun to see candidates using the platform to show off who they are. You don’t get this from a résumé.”
Hayes recently appeared during Mayor John Cooper’s daily coronavirus press briefing to make a very generous offer to the Nashville restaurant community. “As Nashville restaurants come out of this incredibly difficult time and businesses reopen, we want to support the industry to the best of our ability,” she said. “Our goal is to help restaurants who need employees and hospitality workers who need jobs to find one another faster and more effectively and to help everyone in the industry get back on their feet and get back to work. In support of that, we plan to offer our services to restaurants for free as they reopen for 60 days.”
So if you’re an employee looking for a future gig or a restaurant manager getting ready to start hiring back, you might want to take advantage of their offer by heading to foh&boh and setting up a profile.
Online Hiring Platform foh&boh Stands Ready to Help the Hospitality Industry was originally published in foh&boh on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.