Today, we are incredibly excited to announce the launch of Clothbound. Clothbound is a mobile app to connect job seekers with the restaurants who want to hire them. (You can download it here!)
There are 40 Boston-area restaurants who have signed up to be on Clothbound during our first month. Success in a restaurant is contingent upon the partnership between the front and back of house and across all positions. Clothbound will have jobs listed for both FOH and BOH and will range from entry level up to experienced management.
You may know our team through working beside us in a restaurant or through our consulting work at Three Princes. It was a couple of years into working as consultants when we realized that there were some patterns in the types of problems that restaurants are facing. As friends and colleagues in the industry, you know well that chief among these problems are the challenges surrounding labor in restaurants. We recognized that until this problem was addressed, it was going to be impossible to begin conversations around the others, and we wanted to try and help in any way that we could.
Our first effort to help address this problem and collaborate with the industry was the 300 Ideas project. In May of 2014, we launched a crowdsourced brainstorm to generate 300 ideas for improving labor shortage issues in Boston’s restaurants. In June, we invited 40 respondents from multiple industries and city government to an event to talk through the ideas. The event and subsequent conversations emphasized the multifaceted nature of the problem while also highlighting the diverse and passionate group looking to solve it. From there, we continued to iterate on ways to solve this problem and the tools needed to do so.
It became clear that we’d have to lean on technology to bring a solution to as many people as possible. We were fortunate to meet our third partner, Drew, through our consulting work. He brought a restaurant technology background to help guide us through bringing an app to life. We spent countless hours researching, designing, and seeking input from our colleagues, knowing that collaboration was one of the keys to solving and understanding the hiring problem.
The result of the countless hours, conversations, and ideas that started over a year ago have culminated in Clothbound, a mobile app to fit the restaurant industry lifestyle. We thought about both sides of the hiring process when working on the app. We knew our solution had to both improve upon the poor experience of existing tools such as Craigslist, and be accessible on a mobile phone so you no longer have to be in front of a computer; looking for a job or hiring needs to happen where you are – on the bus or train to and from work, or in the kitchen as a manager during a rare lull in the night. Clothbound aims to be that resource.
Knowing success in a restaurant team is not all about work experience and education, Clothbound flips the traditional resume on its head, and helps individuals highlight their soft skills and characteristics and for restaurants to talk about their unique needs and culture. You can then use Clothbound’s saved searches to get notified when a job or candidate meets your desired filters and act quickly.
The Clothbound beta in Boston is the just the start. Right now, it is only available on iPhone, and we know how important it is to get to other phones quickly in order expand awareness and access. We’ll be working hard to talk to people at all possible points of entry to the industry, reach into neighborhoods and communities that could benefit from good restaurant jobs, and hope to actually start growing the potential employee community.
There is so much we want to accomplish with Clothbound and, what you’re reading, The Industry Press. We created Clothbound with the intent of putting it in the hands of every person looking for a great job, and use The Industry Press to tell the stories about how great working in restaurants can be. We’ll be working hard to talk to people at all possible points of entry to the industry, reach into neighborhoods and communities that could benefit from good restaurant jobs, and hope to actually start growing the potential employee community.
We would never have been able to bring Clothbound to life without our own experiences in restaurants as well as with the guidance and collaboration with so many of you in the industry. Thank you to everyone who has helped bring Clothbound to life, it means more to us than we can possibly convey here.
To download Clothbound, visit the App store here.