Spending on Food and Beverage Job Postings

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Spending on Food and Beverage Job Postings

Based on a triangulation of several data points, the food and beverage industry in the United States spends approximately $5 billion on job postings every year. Of this total, job postings for servers make up 9%, with an annual spend of $436,884,000; job postings for kitchen staff (cooks) make up 4%, with an annual spend of $224,653,800; job postings for bartending staff make up 2%, with an annual spend of $91,680,000; and job postings for food service managers make up 1%, with an annual spend of $42,600,000. Our methodology and findings are below.

METHODOLOGY

To begin the search for the amount spent on job postings by U.S. employers in the food and beverage industry each year, we began with research into industry reports such as those published by Upserve, QSR Magazine, Restaurant.org, and the National Restaurant Association. While we found information on the market size for the food and beverage industry and the growth rate, we were unable to find a breakdown of spending specifically for job postings. We also looked for a direct answer in consulting reports from Deloitte, PwC, and McKinsey, and in published market research reports from IBISWorld, MarketResearch, and Technomic. Again, there was plenty of information on the market size and growth of the industry, along with trends, wage information, major players, and innovations, but a breakdown of spending on recruiting activities was not available.

In the course of the search for a direct answer, though, we located several useful data points that would help us triangulate an approximate answer to how much the food and beverage industry spends on job postings each year. However, to successfully triangulate an answer, we had to make some broad assumptions. First, we assumed that statistics for the restaurant industry are similar or equal to statistics for the entire food and beverage industry. This assumption is based on the fact that searches for the food and beverage industry consistently produced results for the restaurant industry. Moreover, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes restaurants as a subcategory of the "super sector" food and beverage industry and does not provide separate insights. Consequently, we elected to use statistics for the restaurant industry as a proxy for the entire food and beverage industry.

Second, despite efforts to find job posting rates specific to the food and beverage or restaurant industries by looking through the above-mentioned sources and through the rate policies of major job boards like Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster, and ZipRecruiter, we were unable to distinguish any difference in rates for these industries as opposed to other industries. Therefore, we assumed that the average cost for a job post is the same for the food and beverage industry as it is for all other industries. The same is true for the average time to fill a job. We could not identify the average amount of time it takes to fill a restaurant or food and beverage position, but were able to find that data as an average across all industries. We therefore assumed that on average, it requires about the same time to fill a food and beverage position as it does any other open position.

Finally, we used some older data from 2016 as this is the most recent year for which many BLS statistics are available. Likewise, the average time it takes to fill a job is also from 2016, but is still cited as current data by recent publications. Therefore, we assumed this is also the most recent data available.

FINDINGS AND CALCULATIONS

According to the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University, it costs restaurants $1,173 per employee for recruiting activities. While this is not the exact industry requested, it is the closest we can come to the food and beverage industry. It is our assumption that these costs are relatively the same for the entire industry based on a breakdown of costs related to recruiting.

According to the average cost of job board postings, it costs an average of $300 per post for 30 days. While this is not an industry-specific number, we assume the costs to post food and beverage-related jobs is the same as other jobs since we did not find any evidence that they cost more or less than other jobs.

Based on data from the Society for Human Resource Management, the average time to fill a job is 42 days, which means on average, each post has to be renewed once, making that cost $600 per post for 60 days ($300 x 2). This means that about 51% of the recruiting costs for the restaurant industry, which we are using as a proxy for the food and beverage industry, are attributed to job postings ($1,173/$600 = 0.512). The remaining 49% is for costs associated with job fairs, background checks, and any other screening-related costs.

As of December 2018, the last non-preliminary data available, there were 12,073,500 jobs in the food and beverage industry in the United States.

According to Upserve’s State of the Restaurant Industry Report for 2018, the turnover rate in the restaurant industry (again being used as a proxy for the food and beverage industry) is 70%.

Therefore, we can assume that about 70% of the 12,073,500 jobs in the food and beverage industry in the U.S. will turnover within a year, resulting in the need to recruit for 8,451,450 open positions (12,073,500 x 0.70). This would mean that at an average cost of $600 for job postings per open position, the food and beverage industry would spend about $5,070,870,000 on job postings (8,451,450 x $600).

JOB POSTING SPEND BY ROLE

In 2016, there were 611,200 bar employees in the U.S. According to Upserve, the turnover rate for bar staff is about 25%. Therefore, there is a need to recruit for 152,800 open bar positions per year (611,200 x 0.25). At an average cost of $600 for job postings per open position, $91,680,000 would be spent on job postings for bar employees (152,800 x $600). This represents about 2% of the annual spend on job postings for the food and beverage industry ($91,680,000 / $5,070,870,000).

In 2016, there were 1,276,510 kitchen employees (cooks) in the U.S. According to Upserve, the turnover rate for kitchen staff is about 28%. Therefore, there is a need to recruit for 374,423 open kitchen positions per year (1,276,510 x 0.28). At and average of $600 for job postings per open position, $224,653,800 would be spent on job postings for kitchen employees (374,423 x $600). This represents about 4% of the annual spend on job postings for the food and beverage industry ($224,652,800 / $5,070,870,000).

In 2016, there were 308,700 food service managers in the U.S. According to Upserve, the turnover rate for managers in the industry is about 23%. Therefore, there is a need to recruit for 71,001 open manager positions per year (308,700 x 0.23). At an average of $600 for job postings per open position, $42,600,600 would be spent on job postings for food service managers (71,001 x $600). This represents about 1% of the annual spend on job postings for the food and beverage industry ($42,600,600 / $5,070,870,000).

In 2016, there were 2,600,500 servers (waiters and waitresses) in the U.S. According to Upserve, the turnover rate for servers in the industry is about 28%. Therefore, there is a need to recruit for 728,140 open server positions per year (2,600,500 x 0.28). At an average of $600 for job postings per open position, $436,884,000 would be spent on job postings for servers (728,140 x $600). This represents about 9% of the annual spend on job postings for the food and beverage industry ($436,884,000 / $5,070,870,000).

The other restaurant roles mentioned in the Upserve report are counter workers, support staff (dishwashers, bussers, and runners), and “Other,” which includes roles like caterers, sommeliers, etc. These segments are not represented in the BLS, so it is unknown what the total spend on these roles for job postings is. However, in the food and beverage industry, the turnover rate for counter workers and cashiers is about 36%, for support staff the rate is 34%, and for "other" employees, the rate is 32%.

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