Now staffing is just a click away

Still having a struggle staffing F&B temps for your events? Running lean on staff yourself, making payroll and tracking of hours by gig workers a burden?

Cliche or not, there’s an app for that. More than one, in fact.

One of these is Gigpro, founded in 2019 by a Charleston, South Carolina, man who spent 25 years working in restaurant kitchens. Then came another day when a dishwasher failed to show up.

“I looked at my line staff, and I said, ‘Who knows a guy?’” Ben Ellsworth tells interviewers. “We all got 40 people on our phones that can cover the shift but finding the person available is impossible. That’s when I got an Airbnb notification that someone had booked a room at my house for the night, and I was like, ‘I wish he had booked to wash these dishes.’ And that was kind of a lightbulb moment.”

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Since then, Gigpro has booked over 137,000 workers for events and businesses in need to fill short-term and “need-it-now” gigs totaling more than 760,000 hours, across more than 109,000 shifts. As a recent example, Gigpro provided over 800 workers at the Breeders’ Cup in Lexington, Kentucky, last November—line cooks, prep cooks, dishwashers, servers and buffet attendants—to Rosemary’s Catering, which has outposts in nearby Louisville and Nashville.

Indeed, Gigpro was the exclusive staffing provider for Breeders’ Cup for all culinary and service positions, supplying workers at the event for 10,249 hours.

Amie Milby, general manager for Rosemary’s in Louisville, is a fan. “We’re still in staffing crisis,” she says, “and they’re on the cutting edge as far as an app is concerned. The ease of being able to go post what you need, then have people apply, you confirm, you pay Gigpro at the end of the event, and you’re done.”

App as Bookkeeper

Gigpro vets the temps, pays them and does the recordkeeping to issue 1099s for taxes. It also offers family coverage for tele healthcare for less than $10 a month and Occupational Accident Insurance.

“In the catering business, it’s ebb and flow, so we use them on a day-to-day basis,” Milby says, adding that this includes her year’s biggest event, the Kentucky Derby.

At press time, Gigpro served 27 cities in a dozen states, including Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Miami, and was expanding rapidly.

“Milby plans to use the app to staff F&B for this year’s Kentucky Derby.”

Rating Workers

Adia, a Swiss company dating to 2016, is another on-demand platform for both temp and permanent staffing. It serves a wide range of industries, including events, food service, restaurant and hotel gigs. Adia opened a U.S. headquarters office in Austin in early 2018 and has since added four cities for gig workers: Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City.

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Like Gigpro, Adia not only vets its workers but also handles the back office. Every Adia worker has a W-2 on file with Adia, which covers “payroll, benefits, workers comp, background checks, liabilities and much more,” according to its website, which lists major players like Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and La Quinta Inns & Suites as clients.

It also allows employers to rate workers after the gig, much like we’re used to doing on sites like Uber and DoorDash. Employers have access to these ratings, along with each applicant’s work history and skills.

So, what are you waiting for? That’s exactly what Adia’s website asks, adding: “Start now and say goodbye to the days of stressing about finding qualified event staff members and scrambling to fill open positions last minute.”

This article appears in the March 2023 issue. You can subscribe to the magazine here.