Website Seeks to Bring Together Food Workers, Employers

Arkansans scouring for food-related jobs, or restaurants looking to find quality workers, now have a resource like never before to bring them together.

A new website launched this week, ARFoodJobs.com, seeks to provide a place where culinary and hospitality employers and workers can connect exclusively.

"Our goal is to match the most qualified culinary and hospitality workers in the state with the employers who need them," founder Christie Ison, who is also a cooking instructor and blogger at FancyPantsFoodie.com, said in a news release. "We also want to encourage professionalism, training and certifications that will further the industry, not to mention, just a sense of community among the state's food workers."

Users can register on the website as either a job candidate or an employer. Job candidates can search for employment opportunities by list or map and post resumes. At the same time, employers may post job openings and search resumes.

Job listings start at $50, which allows employers to post one job for 30 days with non-highlighted posts. For $75, a premium listing, employers can post one job for 30 days with highlighted posts. The multi-job package, $199, gets employers five job listings for 30 days with highlighted posts.

Employers will be able to use the site for free during April with a coupon code. Job seekers will never pay for the site.

Ison, a former public relations specialist turned food instructor and blogger, said she first noticed about two years ago as her food blog gained respect, and she was sought for help by culinary workers and employers.

"I'm shocked that I got to it first," Ison told Arkansas Business about her new site. "I have been so nervous someone was going to do this."

The site is affiliated with the Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute and the Arkansas Hospitality Association. Ison said the organizations will help bring candidates and employers to the site, in addition to offering discounts to their constituents for listing jobs.

Ison told Arkansas Business she hopes to partner with another professional organization in the area, but did not disclose the identity of the proposed third partner.

Ison said the main intention is to fill job positions, but she hopes the site can do more.

"But I also hope we do something much bigger, which is to elevate the work that we do," she said. "People are starting to realize that highly trained culinary and hospitality workers are a boost to the economy and to our way of life here in Arkansas."

Ison told Arkansas Business she also believes the site can add legitimacy to the food industry and hopes it will increase the use of certifications and education in the food industry around the state.