Hiring Gen Z

Jul 28, 2021

by Rita Imerson – Operations & Training Consultant


The generation born between 1997 and 2012 is currently entering and becoming a large part of the hospitality industry workforce. Characterized as “technology natives,” this generation is financially focused and entrepreneurial as well as competitive. They want to be heard, they are diverse demographically, and they prefer independence.


hiring restaurant waiters
Gen Z restaurant workers taking a break


Understanding their core characteristics helps us identify hiring strategies that will appeal to this generation while also determining how to retain and develop them.


Some Restaurant hiring strategies that appeal to younger job seekers:

  • Seamless online or app-based applications
  • Make sure your hiring platform isn’t glitchy or too many steps
  • If you require a resume upload, consider eliminating the input of job history as it’s repetitive and may turn away candidates with limited time
  • Consider initial video interviews
  • This may be more comfortable, especially for first-time job seekers
  • Don’t make assumptions based on the casualness of appearance or attire
  • Fun and engaging social media that highlights current team members
  • Messaging to job seekers that business education will be a part of the job experience
  • Sharing company values that are community, environmentally and socially positive
  • A relaxed and fashionable dress code
restaurant staff
Gen Z wait staff

Retention Strategies for Gen Z Team Members

  • A robust orientation, onboarding, and training program in which expectations are focused and clear
  • Constant check-ins and communication
  • Make sure their feedback is captured and followed up on
  • Use of an app-based scheduling platform
  • Flexibility in scheduling
  • Assistance with financial planning and budgeting
  • Fun benefits that appeal to younger people
  • Amusement park passes
  • Free meals at local restaurants
  • Movie gift cards
  • A “give back” benefit, i.e.: time off for volunteering or participation in an organization led community program