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Hiring Strategies for Food Service Industry Jobs

Food Service Hiring

The food service industry is resilient, recession-proof, and always in demand. Therefore, there will always be a need to hire skilled, qualified workers to interact with your customers and the public in general. However, finding experienced and skilled food service workers is only half the battle. Hiring parties must take proper screenings, credential verifications, and other steps to have a streamlined and safe hiring process.

This article will explore some effective recruitment strategies to take when building your evaluation and verification process for hiring workers in the food service industry. Take these hiring strategies to heart, and you’ll be well on your way toward building a great hiring process for your food service company or restaurant. 

Building a Solid Screening Process for Your Food Services Company

When conducting a food services background check, it’s important to remember: that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It may feel tedious and laborious to go through multiple checks to ensure an employee is safe and verified to work with your customers. The strain and effort involved in safe evaluation is nothing compared to the stress and pain involved in dealing with a negligent-hire lawsuit, a legal situation involving an employee and a customer, or worse.

In the food services and hospitality industry, risk mitigation starts with locking in on potential issues before they have a chance to materialize. For example, a food services employee background check starts with standard reviews such as drug screening, sex offender and criminal records searches, and more.

Steps to Take

Here are a few screening steps to ensure that you’re hiring for the food services job professionally, safely, and effectively.

Firstly, make sure they bring the right skills for the job.

Be sure that the person you are hiring in the specific area of food services you’re looking for is equipped with the right set of skills. For example, if you are looking for a high quality chef, be sure to see if they have attended culinary school and review their previous cooking experience. However, if you’re looking for someone to handle things like inventory, be sure to look at their previous roles and if they had a strong requirement of organization and heavy lifting.

Multi-State Criminal Records Search

This search allows you to see whether your candidate might have a criminal history in another state, even if they don’t have a record in yours. This enables you to gain insights into the recency of their criminal record if they have a criminal history.

You will need your applicant’s name, date of birth, address, and other key items to be able to run this search. In addition, you will need your applicant to consent to have this search run on them. Sites like KarmaCheck have forms and resources to help you gain authorization to submit an applicant’s data for food industry jobs

U.S. Department of Corrections Search

It may seem like something out of a movie, but it has happened. It’s possible that a person has escaped federal custody and seeks employment with you. The odds are almost zero, but it has happened before. A quick search by name through the US Department of Corrections will let you know if you’re dealing with an escaped convict and will also give you insights into their past booking history.

Statewide Criminal Search and County Court Criminal Records Search

Similar to the multistate criminal search, this search will allow you to access a person’s criminal record, if any, in your current state, including offenses, dates, and more.

These searches will allow you to see someone’s criminal history at the county level, including small offenses that may not have been prosecuted at the state level. Depending on how recently they’ve occurred, these potential offenses can give you insight into a potential employee’s personality and background and may indicate that they aren’t a good hire. This could be a potential red flag if they’ve been prosecuted or booked for things like not showing up to court or failing to pay child support.

Federal Court Criminal Records Search

Like the county level, federal court records will allow you to see what and when an employee might have committed an offense. These offenses will tend to be more severe as they’ve been escalated to federal courts, such as drug-related offenses and so on.

Employment Eligibility Verification/E-Verify

E-Verify looks at information from an employee’s Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 and matches it to data from U.S. federal records that would have been generated from birth or during the immigration process. If the information is a match, that employee is eligible to work in the US. If there isn’t a match, E-Verify lets the employer know, and the employee/applicant is still allowed to work while they rectify the issue. They must contact the appropriate government agency to resolve the issue within eight government workdays.

Education Verification

This may not seem as necessary, but it could be a big deal if an employee is claiming culinary education or potentially lying about their education for food industry jobs.

Directly contact the educational institution the applicant is claiming to verify their credentials.

Multi-panel Drug Screening and Sex Offender Search

An applicant needs to be drug-free to work in the food service industry. They’re interacting with customers, handling food that goes into people’s bodies, and dealing with potentially dangerous equipment. This is an absolute necessity for your screening process.

If a potential employee has a recent history of sexual offenses, this could be a significant red flag affecting your workforce and your customer base.


Contact KarmaCheck for a free demo to learn more about how KarmaCheck can streamline your hiring needs for food industry and food service jobs.


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