While celebrated chef Sean Brock lives and works in Nashville now, he still wants to make a difference in the Charleston culinary scene. Brock is part of the team launching a new website called Sidegig, which hopes to fill in the employment gaps in the food and beverage world.
Together with Lowcountry chef Ben Ellsworth, the duo officially launched Sidegig this week in Charleston. They’ve been testing the site for several months and are ready for new users to sign up.
Essentially, Sidegig is like an AirBnB/Tinder mashup for restaurant jobs. Food and beverage workers create profiles on the site with their resume and plug in their preferred hours. When an establishment needs extra hands, staffers can fill out a gig listing and then the website matches the job with qualified candidates. Potential matches receive an alert, and they can choose if they want to accept the gig or not. The website also takes care of the 1099 and insurance.
Ellsworth says he came up with the idea as he was staring at a pile of dirty dishes because his dishwasher didn’t show up for the shift. He would normally text a friend and pay them for the work that evening, but his phone went off and he had received an AirBnB booking. He thought “I wish that guy had booked a shift to wash these dishes instead,” when a lightbulb went off. Why couldn’t recruiting restaurant workers be as easy as AirBnB?
He went to Brock with the idea in 2018 and the two have worked on perfecting Sidegig up until now.
Brock says the next city to launch will be Nashville, where the chef is currently building several new restaurants.
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