NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As restaurants reopen to full capacity some are hoping an app fills their kitchens with workers.
Nationally, more than 8 in 10 restaurants are not staffed at levels they were pre-pandemic.
On-demand hiring app GIGPRO is posting open jobs in Nashville. Forty restaurants or businesses are on the app advertising open shifts daily.
"Mainly what we look for on GIGPRO is just hands to help," said Chad Newton, co-owner of East Side Banh Mi. "And what's kind of great about it is lots of the folks on there are actually really experienced restaurant folks, so they pick up things quickly."
According to the creator of GIGPRO, the app connects businesses with workers to cover shifts after an employee calls out sick, doesn't show up or the business needs to bridge the gap between being understaffed and overstaffed.
Chef Ben Ellsworth designed the app after running into those situations.
"We all got 40 people in our phone that can wash the dishes," Ben Ellsworth said. "Finding the person that is available is impossible."
The process is straightforward. Businesses post a gig and all local workers using the app are notified through their cell phones. Workers that are interested can apply with a single click, and then businesses get to select which of the applicants they would like to hire. Once the gig is completed, businesses pay the person and rate their performance.
"You know if they don't pan out, you never have to invest another dime in them," Ellsworth said.
For East Side Banh Mi, this could become the primary way they get help in the future.
"Instead of having to hire someone fully and do all the on-boarding, you can get them for a shift or two or however long you need," Newton said.
There are 625 workers using the app in Nashville. The app is also up and running in Charleston, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina.
"We're trying to institute a behavior change. If we're going to attract people back to this industry a lot of the industry is going to have to get with what the workforce wants and they want a higher rate of pay and they want flexibility," Ellsworth said.
Signing up and posting gigs is free. GIGPRO charges the business a 15% fee of the total gig rate once it is completed.
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