Pared staffing platform continues expansion

The market leading app, matching restaurants with skilled staff, has extended its services to the Philadelphia dining scene

Pared is on a mission to fix the restaurant industry’s biggest pain point: staffing. Connecting restaurant operators to hundreds of thousands of qualified, motivated restaurant professionals on demand, it reduces overhead and operational efficiencies for restaurant operators while enabling restaurant and hospitality professionals to increase their skill sets and expand their networks, enjoying schedule flexibility and higher wages.

Staffing and retaining employees remains the biggest hurdle for hospitality operators – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry faces a 82% worker turnover rate.

Since launch in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2015, Pared has expanded to other key metropolitan areas including New York City and Washington D.C., and now Philadelphia.

Learning first-hand

Co-founder and CEO Will Pacio is a veteran of the restaurant industry, having worked in the kitchens of Thomas Keller – he was part of the opening team of Per Se before moving to The French Laundry in California – and opened his own chain of fast casual restaurants, Spice Kit, in 2007.

The experiences gave him ample opportunity to experience first-hand the challenge of retaining staff. “I noticed the problem first-hand while working for Thomas Keller and after opening the Spice Kit restaurants, I found myself making sandwiches on the line when they were short-staffed,” he explains. “My colleagues would work as many as 20 days straight to make ends meet, often picking up random gigs that didn’t add to their skill set. Meanwhile, I knew that restaurant owners struggled to find restaurants pros at short notice.”

The other side of the coin, of course, is the conditions for restaurant workers. “Quality of life and low wages is a major challenge, with most restaurant professionals juggling multiple part-time jobs in order to piece together a living wage,” says Pacio.

“We provide fulfilling and consistent work for this chronically underpaid, overworked group, empowering them to increase their skill sets at thousands of top restaurants and expand their networks, all while enjoying schedule flexibility and higher wages.”

The average wage paid to those using Pared is $20 in contrast to the average restaurant wage of $12.10.

Modernizing the system

Pacio says that while Pared is the first company to bring the gig economy to the restaurant labor landscape, the industry has long had a system of stages – shift work for restaurant workers who are interested in working or learning at a restaurant. “It allows restaurant operators and workers to test one another out to see if there is a good fit, but the system has never before been modernized with technology,” he says. “Pared, unlike other gig economy apps, is filled with skilled restaurant professionals and is a valuable tool for these workers to continue growing their skill sets/careers, building their resumes and expanding their networks, as opposed to stagnating in whatever gigs they can find.”

Using a network of more than 100,000 high-quality industry professionals with an average of seven years of experience on the platform, to work with restaurants, including over 30 Michelin starred restaurants, stadia, higher educational institutions, museums and corporate kitchens.

On the back of the success since launch, Pacio and his team have big plans for the future. “We are planning on launching in new markets and rolling out new products and features to help solve the pain point of staffing,” concludes Pacio.

Tina Nielsen

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