January 2

New Year, Same Us: A Re-Introduction to Poached 


New Year, Not So New Us, But We Wanted To Introduce Ourselves Anyways With a Bit of Poached History

It’s 2024, and knowing a bit about the brands you support is more critical than ever. 

Considering this is also the year Poached turns 12, and we’ve accumulated a more significant following over the years, we decided to do a brief history of Poached to introduce ourselves and give you a peek behind the curtain.

So let’s get started! 

The Beginnings of a Job Board for The Restaurant Industry 

In the early 2000s, when a restaurant needed to hire, they’d put up a help wanted sign or used Craigslist. 

There weren’t a lot of ways to advertise open roles, and as you can imagine, neither option offered efficiency to staffing struggles. They made hiring time-consuming and unpredictable. 

With walk-ins and Craigslist, employers had to organize paper or emailed resumes and manage outreach and interview scheduling in various spaces. 

Workers had to put more effort into getting their resumes out there and with little transparency. 

And don’t get me started on the privacy concerns when using Craigslist. 

Given how large the restaurant industry is and how many people it employs—long-time friends Kirk Thornby and Peter Bro believed that there was untapped potential to streamline hiring in the restaurant industry.    

As an entrepreneur, Thornby admired and respected the creativity, determination, and enthusiasm many restaurateurs put behind their small businesses (he still does). Peter Bro, a restaurateur himself (Owner of beloved brunch concept Broder), knew firsthand the struggles of hiring in the restaurant industry. 

So, the two set out to support an industry they loved by building a platform for employers and workers to connect over meaningful employment opportunities. 

In 2012—Poached was born. The site quickly took off in Portland, which allowed the team to grow in Seattle and Austin—and, shortly after that, the entire United States.

Problem Solving Through Innovation and Technology

What started as a simple job board became a robust solution that employers and workers needed to consolidate their entire hiring and job search experience. 

Thornby and the small team at Poached recognized that the industry needed more tools to streamline the hiring process. So, they built a dashboard for employers posting jobs and hospitality professionals applying for jobs. 

With the Poached dashboard, both parties could better organize everything from resume management and outreach to interview scheduling. 

As the world became increasingly digital and the restaurant industry adopted more technology—Poached adapted to bring more flexibility to employment in the hospitality industry. 

In 2019, Poached decided two things. It would build an app for those looking for work in the industry and introduce the first hospitality-focused, on-demand staffing service: Poached Shifts. 

Having built a platform focused on hospitality employment, and through speaking with countless workers and employers—it was clear that what was missing from the industry was flexibility, transparency, and security. 

While on-demand technology was nothing new in 2019, utilizing this concept for hospitality staffing hadn’t taken off yet. 

The team at Poached saw the potential for on-demand services to benefit employers and workers. Having a network of over 1 million hospitality workers and tens of thousands of employers already on Poached, our brand was uniquely positioned to launch something like this and ensure that it was done in a way that was fair to everyone involved.     

Employers could gain flexibility and security to fill their staffing needs and use an on-demand service to make better full-time hires by ensuring the fit was right. 

Workers would have more control to fill in their schedules to reach financial and career goals and gain transparency in pay and scheduling. 

By launching Poached Shifts, Poached became the only hospitality-focused hiring platform where employers and workers can connect over full-time and on-demand employment.

Poached—Today and Tomorrow

Today, Poached is still a small team—only 17 people! Most of us have spent years working in the restaurant industry as executive chefs, general managers, sommeliers, servers, bartenders, and more. 

We genuinely love the restaurant industry and are dedicated to helping it thrive by creating better ways for employers and workers to connect flexibly and transparently. 

Fittingly, our headquarters is in Portland, Oregon—a city where the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well through the eclectic restaurant industry. 

While the industry continues to change, we aim to serve as a place to connect over meaningful employment and find resources for running your business better or growing in your career. 

Moving into 2024, we look forward to growing with you and witnessing all you do to make this industry worth being in! 


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.


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