If “The Great Resignation” has taught us anything, it’s that people want to be liked, respected, and well paid for their work.
Staff turnover in restaurants and hospitality has always been a problem, with an average attrition rate of 30%. This is where Landed comes in.
The company bills itself as the “first end-to-end recruitment engine for the restaurant and hospitality industries”, automating the process of finding, hiring and interviewing candidates. Its conversational AI and matching technology connects candidates with employers based on personalized criteria and 50+ data points so restaurants and hospitality businesses can hire better candidates faster.
The Bay Area-based company was founded in March 2020 by Vivian Wang, who saw her parents start out as a dishwasher and waitress at local Chinese restaurants and two decades later are software engineers.
“I learned that blue collar workers want to have a career and move up the ladder,” she added. “Then I saw the gig economy, which is characterized by companies like Uber, Instacart, and Lyft, take off largely by commoditizing the workforce. I felt like their approaches were a low-sighted Blue-collar workers want to acquire skills.
The idea for Landed came when Wang was working for Gap Inc., advising the management team on corporate strategy related to workforce management, where she saw firsthand the challenge the labor turnover accounted for the brand and its operations.
Their solution was to take advantage of mobile technology that would reduce turnover rates in stores, while providing long-term livelihood opportunities for workers.
Bringing the same mentality to Landed, Wang and his team aimed to help restaurant and hospitality general managers stay under-stretched by constantly recruiting new team members.
Here’s how it works: Workers download the free Landed Jobs app and create a profile, where instead of just entering their work experience, location, availability, and career goals, they can record short videos to show off their personality. . Landed’s AI-driven matching tool then provides employers with the best candidates close to them.
On the employer’s side, they access the portal of permanent employers and register their objectives and hiring criteria there. When Landed connects them with candidates, it also helps with interviewing, essentially eliminating dozens of hours of manual labor each week, and at the same time producing a 3.5x better hire rate, said Wang.
Landed makes its money from the hundreds of employers who use its tools, including Cava, Blaze Pizza, Panera, Chick-fil-A, and Taco Bell.
Additionally, the company is developing financial products for its more than 150,000 user workers which, in the future, will include upskilling through certification and education programs.
“Seventy-eight percent of blue-collar workers live paycheck to paycheck, and our goal is to break that cycle and support the underserved,” Wang added.
Landed’s revenue grew 20x in 2021, and to continue on that trajectory, grow its workforce, and further develop that part of financial wellness, the company raised $7 million in seed funding. Javelin Venture Partners and Blockchain Capital co-led the round, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners and a group of individual investors including the founders of Warby Parker, Harry’s, Allbirds’ Good Friends fund and ThinkFood Group.
Wang noted that the company is looking for partners, like Javelin, which is skilled in the markets, and Blockchain Capital, as Landed intends to leverage some cryptocurrency technologies in the future.
With more than 90 million blue-collar workers in the United States, she believes this large market deserves better hiring processes, especially given the current environment.
“It’s a new day for these restaurants and for the workers supporting the businesses,” Wang added. “Our goal is to provide sourcing and hiring automation that engages talent, eliminates manual and time-consuming processes, and is present throughout the employee lifecycle.”
Especially in the past two years, many startups have come up with approaches to solve this problem by leveraging technology. Landed is one of the latest companies to secure funding and follows, for example:
- Seasoned has received $18.7 million in Series A capital to help restaurants better advertise job openings.
- Fountain announced an $85 million Series C round for its applicant tracking system.
- Workstream has raised $48 million in Series B funding for its text-based recruiting approach.
- Ninja Bite secured pre-seed and seed funding to continue developing its software that allows workers to take driving shifts from home.