Should You Use a Restaurant Staffing Agency? Pros and Cons

Owning a restaurant is filled with ups and downs, and among its challenges is figuring out how to keep your restaurant adequately staffed with competent and hardworking people. To answer this question, you may be wondering if a staffing agency is a good fit for finding restaurant employees.

Restaurant staffing agencies are a good idea for many restaurant owners because they provide employees during short notice and are especially useful during busy time periods or during unexpected labor shortages. However, the staffing agencies can charge fees and employees may not be as experienced.

When considering utilizing the services of a staffing agency for your restaurant, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons. Keep reading to learn more about using a restaurant staffing agency.

Is it a Good Idea to Use a Restaurant Staffing Agency?

As a restaurant owner, you have to constantly adjust to the needs of your restaurant to keep your business thriving. Sufficient amounts of capable restaurant employees is necessary for a restaurant to function. A staffing agency can be a very good idea to help your restaurant meet these needs.

The following sections will discuss the positive and negative aspects of using a staffing agency.

Using a Restaurant Staffing Agency: Pros

Staffing agencies are a popular choice for many types of industries, and restaurants are no exception. Many people use staffing agencies for their restaurants for the following reasons:

  • Immediacy: Restaurant staffing agencies can find employees on an as-needed basis. If you have an employee call in sick or have an unexpected vacancy to fill, filling it can be as simple as making a call to your agency.

  • Customizability: Restaurants are subject to the demands of busy seasons, and this means you can fill your staff during the times when you most need it and hire temporary employees or seasonal workers.

  • Reliability: A reputable staffing agency will make sure that the employees they find are good fits for your establishment. This means conducting the necessary interviews and background checks.

  • Ease of use: Once you sign up for a restaurant staffing agency, it is often as simple as that. Staffing agents will take care of the rest, and you can turn your attention back to the important thing, which is managing your restaurant.

With the advantages so clear, it is no wonder that many busy restaurants choose to use staffing agencies to help them with their workforce needs.

Using a Restaurant Staffing Agency: The Cons

As with anything, using a restaurant staffing agency may not be for everyone. Here are some common things to be mindful of when choosing if you wish to use this service:

  • Fees: Most staffing agencies will charge a fee for their service. This is often dependent on how long the employee will work for you, so if you are looking for long-term employees it may be better to hire someone full-time.

  • Skill Level: Though employees will be assessed to see if they are a good fit for your restaurant, there can still be quite the learning curve. Because you will likely not know much about the employees until they start, some unexpected challenges may arise.

  • Constant change: Staffing agencies are usually used for short-term employees, so you may find you have a high turnover rate in your restaurant. This may create an atmosphere of uncertainty and potentially alter the dynamics among your staff.

Carefully consider these factors before making up your mind on whether to use a staffing agency.

How to Decide if You Should Use a Restaurant Staffing Agency

So, if you are on the fence about using a staffing agency, it is natural to wonder how you can make the best decision.

Asking yourself these questions will make the process much easier.

  • How long do I need an employee? Restaurant staffing agencies are typically better suited for those looking for short-term employees.

  • How much am I willing to spend? If you do not have the budget necessary to accommodate fees required by the staffing agency, you may be better off just to seek for employees on your own.

  • How urgent are my staffing needs? If you have an unexpected vacancy that you need to fill as soon as possible, a staffing agency can save you a lot of the headache in finding last-minute employees.

  • Do I have a good training system in place? Bringing on new hires will require you to train them well. Although this is true in any case, it is especially true if you use a staffing agency where employees may not be as familiar with the restaurant’s needs and policies.

If you do decide to use a restaurant staffing agency, you will then need to consider your budget and which agency you would like to use. It is a good idea to look at customer testimonials and pricing options before committing to any one agency.

Keep in mind that it may take some time for the staffing agency to get to know your restaurant and set you up in their system. While this will not be extensive, if you know that you have a busy season coming up, you will want to plan for this well in advance and contact the staffing agency as soon as you can.


As a restaurant owner, you are used to being adaptable and meeting the constantly changing needs of your restaurant. However, certain resources can make your life easier as you navigate the transitions required by your business. A staffing agency can help you find employees for your restaurant quickly and reliably.

However, there are some pros and cons to measure when deciding if you should use a staffing agency. Depending on your budget and staffing needs, it may or may not be a good fit. If you do decide to use one, you will also want to do research to make sure you find an agency that is the right fit. Once you have found one, you will have a well-staffed restaurant in no time.


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