September 25 is National Food Service Workers Day, and Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe will be dedicating this occasion to recognize its current employees on social media, the company's website and in Taziki's restaurants. It is also Taziki's hope that sharing their employees' stories will encourage others to join the Taziki's team.
"Taziki's cultivates an employee environment that is collaborative and nurtures employee growth within the company," says Amy Parman, Director of Training at Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe. "The difference in working at Taziki's compared with other restaurant brands is that we provide extended flexibility and unique opportunities."
The labor shortage is making existing restaurant workers' jobs more difficult, contributing to burnout and the vicious cycle that has helped drive away some potential employees.
Like so many other employers across the country, Taziki's has been searching for the most innovative ways to attract and retain employees.
Two of the companies that Taziki's has partnered with are EnGen and Workstream both to recruit team members and also to further employees' development within the company.
With the support of EnGen, Taziki's is fostering inclusion of immigrant and refugee employees in the hospitality industry through on-the-job language learning.
"Life is short. We believe people should be able to love where they work, believe in what they do, and love who they get to work with. There's never been more opportunities to find a job and turn it into a career, and at the right place, find balance with both living and making a living. Which is why we're driven to provide as many opportunities as possible to anyone who shares this vision and we'll provide the tools, like EnGen, and training to help this come true," says Dan Simpson, CEO at Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe.
Due to training with EnGen, Eduardo Martinez, a Taziki's employee, used the EnGen program and after five years ascended to General Manager. Throughout the process he gained confidence in his English by improving the intrapersonal connections between his coworkers and customers.
Dayanna Vasquez, a Taziki's employee in Richmond, VA who has been learning English through EnGen, said English learning helped her advance through Taziki's to a customer-facing role. "I no longer need a translator to communicate with coworkers," said Vasquez. "Learning English was a boost to my career, and it is a gift that lasts forever."
EnGen's language learning platform trains skilled immigrants and refugees for in-demand jobs in industries like hospitality, manufacturing, and healthcare. It has also helped them to achieve their real-world career goals, including better communication with colleagues, easier communication with colleagues, receiving a job offer and pay raises.
"By offering English training at work, restaurants like Taziki's can equip talented employees, like Eduardo and Dayanna, with the language skills they need for promotion and advancement. Removing English as a barrier helps employers foster a collaborative and equitable work environment," said Katie Nielson, Chief Education Officer at EnGen.
To make the hiring process fast and easy for new team members, Taziki's has also been working with Workstream, a hiring platform built on text automation. With Workstream, Taziki's gives candidates the ability to quickly apply for jobs, schedule interviews and onboard—all from their phone.
"Workstream keeps Taziki's employee search streamlined," says Parman. "All the way from using an app, to screening an applicant, to paperwork, they have helped us recruit fantastic candidates."
Taziki's favorite Workstream feature is Text to Apply. Wherever they are across the country, any applicant can simply text TAZJOBS to 31063 and immediately see openings on the team closest to them. This fast and relevant feature has enabled Taziki's to connect with candidates quickly, a must in today's hiring landscape.
"Job seekers today are considering many more opportunities than in the past, and Taziki's is standing out from the crowd by making the process simple and immediate for them," says Sam Lee, Head of Customer Success at Workstream. "By making it easy for applicants to apply, automatically run through critical screening questions, and schedule interviews from their phones—in a matter of seconds—Taziki's has taken the friction out of the hiring process. This also allows Taziki's more time to focus on their customers and staff."
"Today's restaurant workforce is rapidly changing," says Simpson. "Managing a business and hiring is hard but Taziki's has had great support along the way. Our new as well as seasoned employees are extremely valuable to us. We are thankful to support their growth at our restaurant and spotlight them on National Food Service Workers Day."