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Job Shop: Local restaurant group hiring and looking for candidates to move up

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The National Restaurant Association is projecting that restaurant-industry job growth will outpace the overall economy for the 15th consecutive year. Last year, restaurants accounted for 10 percent of employment in the stat with 390,000 jobs. That number I expected to increase by 6.1 percent to 414,700 people by 2023.

Joining us Tuesday is Mark Schostak, founder of TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants, a Livonia-based restaurant group with an expansive portfolio of casual and fast-casual dining restaurants throughout the state of Michigan.

1. Mark, your company employs more than 6,000 Michiganders at your restaurants, including Applebee's, Del Taco and Burger King, what qualities do you look for when hiring at each of your locations?

At TEAM Schostak, we pride ourselves on offering opportunities for advancement. We look for candidates that have a positive attitude, a willingness to learn and a strong work ethic.

With a committed emphasis on training and mentoring, we provide our employees with the business skills to grow a successful career.

Many of our managers, team leaders and salaried positions advance into their roles from an hourly, entry level position.

2. What can candidates do to position themselves for a move from an hourly to a salaried position?

Overall, it is important to learn as much about the in's and out's of the restaurant as possible, and take ownership of what you are doing, including:

Understand the inventory process - Learn how to plan inventory for the restaurant, including setting the schedule, ordering appropriate quantities and coordinating with the restaurant budgets.  

Learn proper procedures and state regulations - There are many regulations and procedures for the food service industry, knowing these requirements will set you apart from your fellow employees.

Pay attention to detail - Great managers pay attention to all the details. People eat with their eyes first, and it's important that you are proud of every dish you serve your customers. Make a habit of making sure each dish looks as good as it tastes.

Become an active communicator and leader - Be an active member and leader in your staff meetings. If there is an issue at your restaurant, work with your manager to develop and implement a solution. This will give you experience for when a situation may occur in the future.

Attitude is everything - We always say we can teach skills, but you can't teach attitude.

3. What else does your company do to train employees for the next level?

We have a management program called "TSFR University." This training program teaches our employees the necessary skills to become an effective and confident restaurant manager. From local restaurant marketing to customer service to profit loss prevention, our university training program leads the way in the restaurant industry.

Seeing an employee in our organization grow into a leadership role at TEAM Schostak is one of the most rewarding aspects in our business. Many members of our management team at TEAM Schostak began at the store level, and have become excellent mentors for others looking to follow in their footsteps.

4. Any tips for current restaurant managers?

We hold all of our supervisors accountable to our company vision and values. We view our leadership and management positions as mentors to our younger workforce, who can help develop successful careers in the restaurant industry.

5. Tell us about the jobs available at TEAM Schostak

We currently have 15 management positions open, and we anticipate this number will continue to grow throughout this year, with an additional 30 manager jobs.

Also, we are always looking for talent for our entry-level positions. We are currently renovating all of our Applebee's locations throughout the state, each of which provide new opportunities to expand our team.

If interested in applying, please visit our Career Center page on our website at, or stop by your local Applebee's restaurant.

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