MRM’s Daily Bite features news from Snagajob, &pizza, Harri, Rutgers University Newark and Gourmet Dining and IHOP.
Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at email@example.com.
Snagajob’s Holiday Hiring Guide (Infographic)
Snagajob released its 10th annual Holiday Hiring Survey. Findings reveal employers are taking new steps to accommodate today’s tight labor market, with an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent — the lowest in more than a decade.
According to the data, 77 percent of employers will face challenges hiring seasonal workers this year, taking 14 percent longer to secure seasonal staff than it did in 2016. As a result, employers are finding new ways to bridge the gap: 35 percent plan to offer current employees more hours to cover open shifts, a third of hiring managers began recruiting for seasonal positions as early as September, and more than a quarter (28 percent) are offering health insurance benefits to seasonal employees.
“In order to attract and retain top talent, employers need to give workers want they want most — hours, schedule flexibility and stability,” said Snagajob CEO Peter Harrison. “With most hourly job seekers able to secure a job in less than a week, it’s clearly a job seeker’s market, and employers must pay close attention to this group’s preferences if they want to staff up adequately for the holidays.”
With one in three job seekers getting hired after submitting only one application, hiring managers are getting creative — 51 percent of this year’s seasonal hires will be rehires from last season, and a majority of employers (93 percent) plan to retain seasonal workers after the holidays are over. Additionally, 91 percent of hiring managers across all industries report they will pay seasonal employees more than the federal minimum wage this year.
Additional findings from Snagajob’s holiday hiring and State of the Hourly Worker surveys include:
- The majority of employers (89 percent) plan on filling seasonal positions by November, which remains steady year over year. However, given the tight labor market, they recognize it will take longer to fill positions this year. In fact, only 43 percent expect to have positions filled by October, down from 55 percent last year.
- Likely in response to workers’ demand for more hours, employers offering more than 20 hours a week increased almost five percent year over year.
- 75 percent of hourly workers use mobile devices to search and apply for positions, up from 25 percent in 2012. This year, for the first time, job applications from mobile devices exceeded those from desktops and laptops.
- As in past years, retailers account for the majority of holiday hiring, including a fast growing range of fulfillment center jobs; Snagajob found that hourly workers are two times more likely to search for retail jobs than other industries.
For its holiday hiring report, Snagajob surveyed 1,000 employers from the nation’s retail, restaurant and hospitality industries.
&pizza Secures Funding to Fuel Expansion
&pizza, top photo, closed a round of strategic funding from RSE Ventures to accelerate growth in major East Coast markets, including planned expansion to Miami, Boston and the debut of four to six new shops in New York City in 2018. Founded in 2012 and helmed by CEO, Co-founder and Creative Director, Michael Lastoria, &pizza currently operates 23 restaurants in Washington, D.C., New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
RSE Ventures was co-founded by Stephen Ross and Matthew Higgins to back forward-thinking entrepreneurs in the sports, media and entertainment industries. Ross is the Chairman and Founder of the global real estate firm Related Companies and principal owner of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. In addition to vast residential, commercial and mixed-use real estate holdings, Related and Ross have invested in experiential consumer-retail brands including cultural phenomenons, Equinox and SoulCycle, and utilized their real estate and operating expertise to help them purposefully expand their footprints across the United States. Ross and Related’s experience and relationships nationally are an ideal fit for &pizza’s strategic goals.
Under Higgins, RSE has founded or helped incubate numerous companies, from the Drone Racing League, to RESY, and the International Champions Cup, the largest independent soccer tournament in the world featuring the biggest brands in the sport. Higgins also serves as Vice Chairman of the Miami Dolphins. Both Higgins and Ross will join &pizza’s board of directors.
Matt Higgins said, “It’s our aim at RSE to arm innovative and socially conscious brands with the tools they need to command their categories. Michael Lastoria has already upended the fast casual food space by fostering an enviable and authentic company culture through his financial commitment to &pizza’s most valuable asset – its employees. We look forward to supporting Lastoria as he brings &pizza’s inclusive message, smart business and superior product to new markets.”
RSE’s investments in sporting events, marketing, technology and public relations firms have expanded of late with partnerships in the restaurant world. In late 2016, RSE made a significant investment in Momofuku, David Chang’s renowned restaurant group, which includes full-service, fast casual (Fuku) and bakery (Milk Bar) concepts. Higgins also sits on the boards of both RESY and Milk Bar.
&pizza guests are encouraged to indulge in HIT (signature) pies, like the American Honey (spicy tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni, arugula, red pepper flakes, goat cheese, Mike’s Hot Honey) and Moonstruck (mushroom truffle, garlic ricotta, mozzarella, mushroom, grilled onion, goat cheese, fig balsamic), as well as build their own pies with an array of toppings, which include local non-GMO produce and other high-quality ingredients, often sourced from local partners called “Little Giants.” In an effort to encourage customization and provide a compelling value proposition, toppings are unlimited and carry no extra charge. A full spread of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian offerings are also available. The brand’s innovative menu includes house-made beverage offerings such as craft &SODA and small batch &TEA.
While &pizza’s critically-acclaimed pizza and craft beverages fuel the brand, it’s the people-first approach to business that distinguishes it from other growing concepts in the space. &pizza CEO, Co-founder and Creative Director, Michael Lastoria, is a passionate advocate of the Fight for 15, and his employees, known collectively as “the Tribe,” are all paid a living wage. As a result of the brand’s inclusive values, more than 100 tribe members and guests have chosen to get tattoos of the company’s ampersand logo.
Michael Lastoria said “We founded &pizza to create something entirely new. We wanted to create a scalable business that’s built on sound moral grounds. And that’s why we thrive. We challenge ourselves at each stage of our development to do the morally sound thing as well as make the sound business decision. We pay a living wage. We source from small businesses. We support our communities. We have an active charity arm. We support our people, we urge them to be themselves, we give them all of the support we can to help them thrive. And in return, we find that our Tribe is engaged, supportive, active in informing us about their thoughts and opinions, and generally true believers in the brand and happier in their work.” Of the investment, he added, “RSE understands and supports our vision and how we do things, and has deep brand-building and scaling experience. They’re the ideal partner for us as we enter this new chapter.”
Harri Launches with Facebook Job Posting
Harri, launched its integration with Facebook’s job posting tool. As one of the launch partners leveraging Facebook’s API, Harri is giving clients yet another way to attract talent with automatic job posting to the Facebook network of two billion monthly active users. This integration streamlines the hiring workflow and provides a seamless experience for Harri clients and Facebook users alike.
Using the Harri x Facebook connection, employers’ open positions will be posted on Facebook via Harri’s Job Distributor tool, which gets jobs in front of millions with just one click.
A majority of new restaurant jobs have gone to Millennials in recent years. The share of restaurant jobs held by 20-to-24-year-olds rose from 21.4 percent in 2007 to 24.2 percent in 2014, while 25-to-34-year-olds also took on a larger role in the restaurant workforce. This demographic of 18-to-34-year-olds is set to make up 75 percent of the total U.S. workforce by 2025, and are also the largest demographic on Facebook. Furthermore, Generation Z, which is comprised of roughly 82 million Americans born in 1996 or later, is preparing to enter the workforce. These true digital natives require a unique approach in both hiring and retention.
“The competition for hospitality talent is fierce, and Millennial talent – which make up 83 percent of the hospitality market – needs to be approached differently,” said Luke Fryer, Harri’s CEO & Founder. “A key feature of the Harri Workforce OS platform is ensuring our clients can easily present their openings to the broadest possible network of talent. Not only do social platforms like Facebook have tremendous reach, but they allow employees to tap into their networks to create inbound interest. In the case of Facebook, we’re tapping into a network of 2 billion people – including job seekers who fit the demographic that are most apt to be applying for hospitality jobs.”
Facebook’s Product Manager for Jobs, Gaurav Dosi,said, “40 percent of U.S. small businesses report that filling jobs was more difficult than they expected, which is challenging when you consider that these small businesses also employ nearly half of the country’s workforce,” Dosi said in a statement provided to us by Facebook. “Facebook’s goal is to take the work out of finding a local job and hiring the right people. This partnership with Harri is another way we’re making the process even easier for people and businesses alike.”
The integration of the Harri platform with the Facebook network has already been completed, allowing Harri clients in the U.S. to leverage this powerful partnership effective immediately. (U.K. clients will be able to leverage this partnership in Q4 2017.)
Modern College Dining
Rutgers University Newark and Gourmet Dining LLC have come together to bring the RU-N community a brand new dining experience. The campus’ flag-ship Stonsby Dining Hall has made a complete transformation in style and design and introduces a modern approach to college dining.
The highlight of the program showcased a variety of new dining options at the popular Stonsby Dining Hall. The experience will include a fresh salad and soup bar, a classic made-to-order New Jersey Diner with a kiosk ordering system, a made from scratch bakery, an international cuisine station that celebrates RU-N’s Nation-leading diversity, daily vegan and vegetarian options, an in-house homemade pizza station, a create your own home kitchen and exciting pop-up restaurants like Crazy Quesadilla, Sushi Sensation, Mac and Cheese Factory and more.
Gourmet Dining and the Frungillo family bring the RU-N community a dining experience complete with wellness and sustainability programs including interactive tools to identify the 8 major allergens, innovative menu options that are sourced locally and community- based events focused on gathering. Gourmet Dining is committed to supporting the local community and has extended its reach beyond the campus borders and partnered with many local vendors such as Aerofarms, Palermos Bakery, and Newark’s Clean Coffee. In an effort to address food waste and food insecurity, Gourmet has pledged to give back to local organizations such as St. Johns Soup Kitchen, Claim it and the RUN Food Pantry.
Stonsby Dining Hall opened on Monday, Oct. 2. Guests sipped on local themed Mocktails, enjoyed cooking classes with Celebrity Chef Jehangir Mehta in the Teaching Kitchen, dined on local favorites from our “Taste of Newark” and experienced cutting-edge Indian themed dishes from celebrity Chef Bal Arneson. This was also a very special moment for the Frungillo family whose first dining location was opened in the 1920’s on 97 Mount Prospect and with the opening of Stonsby Dining Hall, they continue serving the Newark community for over 100 years.
Gourmet Dining LLC is the leading New Jersey based Higher Education Food Service company serving over 75 percent of the NJ market place, employing more than 2,000 employees.
First IHOP Express Opens
IHOP® Restaurants opened the first post-security airport location, an IHOP Express®, located at Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport in Terminal E. The newest location is in response to longtime guest demand and part of the brand’s growth strategy, which includes expanding its overall traditional restaurant footprint, introducing smaller prototype restaurants, and building its portfolio of locations at captive places such as airports, travel centers, casinos and universities.
During development, D&B Mitchell Group, franchisee of the IHOP Express at DFW Airport, kept travelers top of mind by adding unique, location-specific features such as:
- A Coffee Bar with specialty drinks like lattes and espresso beverages
- Grab ‘n Go hot items including burritos and bowls
- A full bar with wine, spirits, brunch-inspired cocktails, and local craft beers
“The opening of IHOP Express at DFW Airport demonstrates our commitment to being where our guests are today, and where they want us to be in the future,” said Darren Rebelez, President, IHOP. “We continue to build on, refine and enhance all areas of the business that have made IHOP a leader in family dining, including expanding our total number of restaurants and introducing new formats that meet guest needs.”
Today, there are more than 1,750 IHOP restaurants around the world – all franchised owned and operated.
“We’re pleased to have D&B Mitchell Group, who was voted the 2017 Concessionaire of the Year by the Regional Minority Enterprises Agency, join the IHOP Family and serve as owner and operator of the IHOP Express at DFW,” continued Rebelez. “Their reputation for consistently providing an exceptional guest experience in their restaurants aligns perfectly with IHOP’s core values.”
“Our team is incredibly proud of the work that went into bringing the IHOP brand to DFW Airport,” said Don Mitchell, Senior Partner at D&B Mitchell Group, the Dallas-based company that owns and operates the IHOP Express at DFW Airport. “Our goal is to provide the same great, freshly made food that IHOP is known for along with the fast and convenient service that busy travelers are looking for, without compromising on the hospitable dining experience that makes the brand stand out.”
By the end of this year, approximately 80-95 new IHOP restaurants are expected to open with the majority of the locations being in the U.S. The brand also added to its global portfolio in 2017, launching concepts in Thailand, Lebanon, and India. Additionally, the entire IHOP system is undergoing a design transformation — the most robust remodel program in the brand’s nearly 60-year history. By the end of 2018, approximately 1,000 IHOP restaurants will showcase the new image and the entire system will be updated by the end of 2020. The remodel program, which is expected to total close to $200 million once complete, accounts for changing guest preferences and includes technology enhancements to support the in-restaurant and IHOP ‘N GO® dining experience.