- Pared, an app that matches restaurants with skilled workers on demand, expanded into the Washington, D.C. market Tuesday. It also plans to enter additional major U.S. cities, including Philadelphia and Boston, by the end of the year, according to a press release. The app is already available in San Francisco and New York City.
- The tech company offers two apps: one for restaurant operators (Pared app) and one for skilled professionals (Pared Pros). Restaurant operators can find experienced restaurant and hospitality professionals, whether that shift is in a few hours or a week away. Skilled professionals can search for jobs for line cooks, prep cooks, front of house support and dishwashers. They can also track wages and manage schedules.
- Over 30 Michelin-starred restaurants use the app, including Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, Jean Georges Restaurants and Altamarea Group. In D.C., it partnered with Chef Kevin Tien at Emilie's and Osteria Morini of the Altamarea Group. Pared also works with stadiums, higher education institutions, corporate kitchens and catering companies for venues like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Guggenheim.
As a restaurateur in the San Francisco Bay Area growing his concept Spice Kit, Pared CEO and co-founder Will Pacio told Restaurant Dive he spent most of his time handling staffing or scrambling when understaffed. Oftentimes he manned the register, cooked or did deliveries, he said.
"The job boards like Craigslist weren't cutting it," he said.
While technology is increasingly becoming a part of everyday life for restaurateurs — helping companies manage deliveries, create more customer personalization and manage staffing schedules — it has yet to significantly tackle a lingering problem of labor recruitment.
"On any given day, people call out sick all the time or you're just short-staffed for weeks in a row until you can find someone … Or you needed to flex up staff during a busy time," he said.
In 2017, his team launched an app for the Bay Area that allows owners to recruit needed staff and workers to find ideal fits for everything from daily tasks and private events to catering and happy hours. Rival app Instawork has been expanding into new markets, also launching in D.C in September, with plans to enter more East Coast locations in the near future. Instawork initially focused on California, operating in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego, adding Phoenix, Las Vegas and Chicago this year.
These tools could help owners tackle high turnover rates, which range from 130% to 150% for fast food, according to CNBC. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2015 to 2017 revealed a 81.9% turnover rate for the entire restaurant industry. Turnover can be expensive, too, with replacement costs ranging from $2,1000 to $2,800, according to TDn2K.
Since its launch, Pared has been fine tuning its app and learning about regional differences within different local restaurant industries. In the Bay Area there are a lot of restaurants that are centrally located, but workers live further away and need to commute, Pacio said.
Pared allowed restaurants to discover people who were working close by to find and retain workers instead of having to pull individuals from far away, he said. The company also expanded to New York in 2018 to be in the premier restaurant market of the world, where Pacio already had connections from his early restaurant days.
The move into D.C. was sparked by his New York customers, who had outposts there or knew people who wanted to use the Pared app.
The technology hasn't led to restaurants shifting to part-time gig workers, though, and have allowed restaurants to search for part-time and full-time workers, Pacio said. It comes particularly in handy when a restaurant just needs someone to staff a happy hour or to be an oyster shucker for a few hours once a week, he said.