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In 2022, eight out of 10 Colorado restaurant operators reported being understaffed, as a national labor shortage continued impacting our industry.

After surveying owners and operators to determine the hiring and retention resources they need most during this challenging time, we compiled the below information, which we hope will help local operators to navigate 2023 and beyond.

For more resources, industry trends, and Colorado events, check out what the Colorado Restaurant Association and Colorado Restaurant Foundation are up to at


Restaurant Industry Pay Ranges

Knowing the pay ranges for staff positions is the most requested resource from our members. The links below — from,, and — provide insight into the pay ranges from some restaurant positions in Colorado. The information from Indeed can also be searched by city.

Restaurant Manager Salaries in Colorado (Source:

Line Cook: Average Salary in Colorado in 2022 (Source:

Industry Job Descriptions

Developing job descriptions from scratch can be tedious. The resources in this section will help make it easier, providing templates and information to jumpstart the process for new restaurants, or improving the descriptions used by established ones.

Restaurant Job Descriptions, Responsibilities & Key Skills (Source: RestoHub)

Restaurant Job Descriptions and Responsibilities for Every Role (Source: TouchBistro)

Benefit Trends You Need to Know

As hiring has gotten more competitive, employee benefits have become even more important. Learn what benefits are most important to employees today and how you can separate your restaurant from the competition and attract the best employees.

Choosing the Right Restaurant Employee Benefits for Your Venue (Source: TouchBistro)

A Comprehensive Guide to Restaurant Employee Benefits (Source: Black Box Intelligence)

Employee Benefits Summary for the Restaurants and Bars Industry (Source: Mployer Advisor)

SHRM Releases 2022 Employee Benefits Survey (Source: SHRM)

Tips for Improving Hiring Efficiency

Improved hiring efficiency can help reduce turnover and lower overall costs related to hiring and training. The resources below provide solid ideas for making your recruitment process more successful and efficient.

9 Tips for Hiring First-Class Restaurant Employees (Source: Harver)

10 Tips to Improve the Efficiency of Your Recruitment Process (Source: BuiltIn)

How to Improve Your Hiring Process (Source: Business News Daily)

6 Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process Efficiency in QSR (Source: Harver)

Creative Interviewing Ideas

Expanding your repertoire of interview questions can help you bring out out an applicant’s unique skills, values, and personality, so you know if they’ll be a good fit with your team. Below are ideas we hope will help with your hiring process.

20 Creative Interview Questions (Source: Indeed)

Uncover the Best Talent with These 10 Creative Interview Questions (Source: BetterUp)

Unique and Weird Interview Questions to Ask Candidates (Source: Lever)

Interviewing Tips for Managers

Interviewing job candidates is an important skill for managers, but not one they often come equipped with when hired or promoted. The articles here provide tips on how to be a good interviewer, plus an overview of some of the best questions to ask prospective employees.

How to Be a Good Interviewer (Source: Workable)

Your Guide on How to Be a Good Interviewer (Source: Indeed)

How to Be a Good Interviewer (Source: Betterteam)

What Are the Best Restaurant Interview Questions To Ask? (Source: 2nd Kitchen)


Improving Employee Retention

Turnover rates have gone up significantly since COVID, making retention even more important. This section provides ideas on how to improve retention, while in turn lowering your hiring and training costs.

Improving Retention Rates (including with CRF Registered Apprentices) (Source: National Restaurant Association)

Tap Into Technology to Recruit and Retain Workers (Source: National Restaurant Association)

Employee Onboarding Tips

A well-planned and structured onboarding process can yield big benefits. It can save money, plus getting new hires off to a great start can build culture and improve retention.

Onboarding New Hires (Source: National Restaurant Association)

How to Onboard Restaurant Staff: A New Hire Checklist for Restaurant Employees (Source: TouchBistro)

How to Use Effective Onboarding to Turn New Hires into Great Employees (Source:

Managing Different Generations

Generational differences in American culture are very real and, as we live and work longer, the range of generations working in your restaurant will likely grow. The resources below provide insights into the different generations, including the management style that works best with each.

Tips for Managing a Multigenerational Workforce (Source: Indeed)

A Definitive Guide to Managing Different Generations in The Workplace (Source: Wrike)

A Breakdown of Generations (Source: Biz Library)

What has shaped them, what they value, and how they are best managed.


  • Shaped by: The Great Depression, WWII, automobiles, and indoor plumbing
  • Values: Rule following, discipline, family, hard work, trust in the government
  • Management: Provide satisfying work and opportunities to contribute

Baby Boomers

  • Shaped by: JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations, Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, Watergate
  • Values: Anti-war, anti-government, equal rights, personal gratification
  • Management: Provide goals and deadlines, allow them to be mentors

Gen X

  • Shaped by: Fall of the Berlin Wall, computers, Gulf War, Iranian hostage crisis
  • Values: Balance, diversity, lack of loyalty to employers, global mindset
  • Management: Give in-the-moment feedback and provide flexible work arrangements and time for personal development


  • Shaped by: 9/11, rise of social media and online technology
  • Values: Achievement, fun, civic duty, self-confidence, sociability
  • Management: Manage by results, provide instant feedback, be flexible on schedules and due dates

Gen Z

  • Shaped by: Constant access to technology, diversity, financial struggles
  • Values: Volunteering, community, non-profits, sharing experiences, actions over words
  • Management: Give multiple projects simultaneously, provide work-life balance, independence

Identifying and Supporting Employees’ Mental Health Issues

Approximately 1 in 4 adults in the United States suffers from a diagnosable mental health disorder in a given year and some studies show the stress and isolation during the peak COVID period only made things worse. Some of your employees are probably struggling with these issues, so it’s important to know the signs to look for and the resources that are available to help them.

Colorado Restaurant Foundation Mental Health & Wellness Resource Center

5 Common Mental Health Challenges in the Workplace (Source: SHRM)

Knowing the Warning Signs (Source: Center for Workplace Mental Health)

Mental Health in the Workplace (Source: CDC)

Workplace Mental Health Resources (Source: The Campaign for Disability Employment)

Mental Health Resources for Employers (Source: Mental Health America)

Employment (and Operational) KPIs

There are numerous Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for restaurant owners and managers to consider when analyzing day-to-day performance. The articles below outline several KPIs, including the most important labor-related measurements you should be making.

 Top 7 Benchmark KPIs Every Restaurant Owner Should Measure (Source: Netsuite)

Top 6 Restaurant Labor KPIs that Reveal Everything (Source: Lavu)

The Top Restaurant KPIs Every Manager Should Measure (Source: Eat)