The Gigpro app helps restaurants in the Louisville area fill labor shortages
When general manager Nick Garing calls out an employee or doesn’t have enough cooks on the line, he has a new way to handle the staffing problem.
Garing, who manages The Exchange Pub & Kitchen at 118 W. Main St. in New Albany, Indiana, said he started using the Gigpro app a few months ago. He now fills vacant positions up to five times a week through Gigpro.
“Our staff ebbs and flows, and recently we’ve had a lot of people leave who have been in the industry for years,” he said. “That hurt, and that’s where the appeal of Gigpro came in. We get people who want to learn more, improve their cooking skills, but they have to cook or prepare food. So we can find people who want to fill those positions on a daily basis. It’s freed up others.” to develop their skills. It definitely offers a lot of flexibility.”
Garing said ideally The Exchange would have a staff of 100, but today it hovers around 85-90. You can now more easily fill vacant positions with gig workers. Now Garing can post a shift on the app and receive multiple applications from available workers within 10 minutes.
You might like:What is a food club? 6 ideas to help you design your own elevated dining experience
Based in Charleston, South Carolina, the Gigpro app launched in 2019 and is now active in more than 25 cities. Gigpro entered Louisville last April and has since added 300 restaurants and more than 6,000 food and beverage experiences to the app. Gigpro collects a percentage of the posted gig fee from the business to cover things like issuing a tax document. Professionals don’t pay a usage fee, but Gigpro collects 38 cents an hour from gigs worked to pay for workplace accident insurance.
The company’s CEO, Sam Mylrea, said that unlike other temp agencies, Gigpro was specifically designed for the food and beverage industry.
“What’s great about our model is that we can serve both businesses and workers,” Mylrea said. “Many of our employees are professionals in the food and beverage industry and come to Gigpro to take on an extra shift or two. The professional controls when, for whom and for how much money he wants to work. On the business side, this helps. the small number of employees, the surge in demand and expanding the workforce.”
Uptown Cafe Executive Director Carolyn Holton said she uses Gigpro to fill multiple positions — and has even found some employees she later took on payroll after finding them a good fit.
“One of the guys we’re using is his second job. We’ve hired others through payroll,” he said. “We even used it to fill a sous chef position. It was really helpful to go over their resumes and experience, interview them and see if they were a good fit.”
Mylrea said most of the employees working on the app are repeating shifts at the same businesses.
You might like:This Italian restaurant in East Louisville has closed after more than 25 years in business
“It’s very rare to see a restaurant that’s fully staffed,” he said. “Most restaurants have multiple positions open. Gigpro provides a level of comfort in creating a B-team of people who know and love working there.”
Garing says he has developed “preferred pros” he uses to fill positions consistently.
“I know how tough this industry is and staffing is always an issue,” he said. “I was skeptical at first, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot, and I’m glad we did.”
Reach food reporter Dahlia Ghabour at [email protected].