January 18

Poached Shifts: A New Way to Work in the Hospitality Industry

Poached Shifts is here to bring the convenience and flexibility of shift work to the hospitality industry — the right way.

We’ve always known that hiring and getting hired in the hospitality industry wasn’t easy — that’s why we built an industry-focused platform so professionals could connect quicker with tools that make hiring easier. But, going on two years in a pandemic — the pain points of employment have only increased, creating more insecurity and inflexibility. So we kept innovating, and with the growing gig-economy — we saw the potential to build a new way for employers and workers to connect in the hospitality industry with Poached Shifts.

If you’re unfamiliar, Poached Shifts is our newest feature where employers book workers as contract employees through our software. Shift work lets hospitality professionals pick up work that fits their schedule, earn extra income when needed, and generally have more freedom over their careers. Posting shifts allows employers to fill their open schedules when short-staffed, bring in extra hands for events — and stay operational while hiring permanently.

After soft-launching Poached Shifts in select cities — it was clear that this type of employment model would not only work in the hospitality industry but is a necessary solution to the flexibility and security missing in traditional employment models. Since our soft and national launch — we’ve hosted almost 1,000 shifts and have had 50,000 workers across the nation sign up to start working as contract hospitality professionals. Suggesting that both workers and employers see the benefits of supplementing permanent employment with Poached Shifts.

Additionally, we asked workers how they felt about freelance hospitality work in a survey. Out of more than 1,800 responses — 40% of workers told us they weren’t working as many shifts as they’d like with permanent employment, and 71.5% of respondents showed interest in shift work to gain flexibility in their schedules and to earn more income. The survey also conveyed that this type of employment in hospitality work isn’t new, as 41% said they have worked as freelance hospitality professionals in the past. In our Employer survey, we asked about current employment situations. Out of 151 responses, 82% said they were not fully staffed. Another 63% claimed to be hiring every 1-3 months, and 62% said they either already have or would be interested in hiring on-call staff.

The disconnects in traditional hiring are apparent. Workers lack financial and job security. They need more opportunities to earn income and have more control in their careers.  Employers are constantly battling quick turnover and high labor costs —  they need a flexible workforce to quickly fill in when short-handed. Our surveys showed that shift work has already been a solution to the problems in hospitality work, but now with Poached Shifts, employers and workers can connect with those opportunities easily and more often.

Generally, other shift and gig companies have gotten a bad rap, especially in our industry, because of poorly managed and invasive business models. What sets us apart from other platforms is that we want Poached Shifts to make the industry better and provide more opportunities for employers and workers to connect and grow. That’s been our goal since day one, and how we’ve grown to be the nation’s top jobs marketplace for the hospitality industry, we’re invested in seeing the industry prosper.

We don’t charge employers life-sucking fees for using the service. The payment model is simple: we charge only after the shift is worked, then you pay the worker’s hourly wage and a $39 service fee per shift worked. Additionally, we’re not trying to make money off workers in the industry — there are no fees for those picking up shifts. Workers apply for the shifts they want to work, with the pay rate clearly listed — so everything is transparent from the start. We negotiate with employers to pay fair wages, and on average, our shifts pay between $15-$30 an hour, giving workers more opportunities to increase their income.

After watching our industry struggle with high labor costs, quick employee turnover, and lack of job security, we set out to create a solution that works for both employers and workers. We want the industry to thrive, and for that to happen — employment needs to be more flexible. We’re not solving all of the industry’s problems, but with Poached Shifts, hospitality professionals gain the peace of mind that they can always make a little extra money if you need to, or that they can always bring someone in to cover when the unexpected happens. Poached Shifts is now available nationally — we’re ready to help you gain more control when staffing and working in the hospitality industry.


About the author

Ashley McNally likes to cook, loves to bake, and is always dreaming of her next meal. With over 13 years of experience working in various roles within a restaurant — McNally has made a home in hospitality.

About the author

Ashley McNally likes to cook, loves to bake, and is always dreaming of her next meal. With over 13 years of experience working in various roles within a restaurant — McNally has made a home in hospitality.