Everyone knows that they have to have their LinkedIn profile spiffy for when the next job opportunity comes knocking. But not all industries use the site when looking for new hires. Julie Lerner and Jason Miller, learned in the ways of the food and hospitality industry, knew that most of the hiring for these sectors took place on Craigslist or through connections. They wanted to change that and launched EatDrinkJobs, a site dedicated to putting employers and job seekers in the hospitality industry on the same page.
Tell us about your product/ service. Why did you launch this particular product?
EatDrinkJobs is a website dedicated to easily connecting job seekers with restaurants and bars. I have worked with restaurants and bars for years at the New York State Restaurant Association. The hospitality jobs search is heavily dominated by Craigslist and word of mouth. Our goal is to provide a platform to make it easier for restaurants and bars to surface qualified candidates.
How is it different from other services in the market?
EatDrinkJobs elegantly organizes the candidates profile, availability, experience, photo and details such as the Food Handler’s Certificate, so the employer can filter attributes to quickly find a potential candidate. We also provide a dashboard for the employers, so they can manage their hiring process. EatDrinkJobs offers an unlimited monthly subscription, so restaurants can post jobs for all positions at an affordable rate.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
The hospitality jobs market is large. There are 280K restaurants in the US (2012 Labor Bureau of Statistics) and 9 million job openings each year. Moreover, on average, there is a 75% turnover rate. There is also the potential to move into other verticals using the same model like the hotel and retail sectors.
What is the business model?
The business model is pay to post. The employers pay for the job postings (either a free post every 3 months, $50 per post or a premium subscription of $40 per month for unlimited posts). Potentially, we can bring in other revenue streams like content sponsorship, e-commerce, advertising, and so on.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next 6 months?
Our short-term goal is the add-on several US cities. We have soft-launched in Boston this month.
What has the response been like? Did it meet your expectations?
We have definitely laid a solid foundation at EatDrinkJobs, but our biggest challenge has been to draw job seekers away from Craigslist. Craigslist wins by default. It is what people know on both sides of the marketplace. It is a very inefficient way to hire and is not specific to the hospitality industry. So, the question is how does a small company interest the hearts and minds of the chefs, bartenders, servers, managers, and so? We are working on it!