Business Monday

Shiftgig connects people to on-demand jobs in hospitality

Nathanael Matos has been a dishwasher, server, cashier, runner, team lead and supervisor. He has helped set up and break down banquets and worked at parties for Art Basel, an event at a top law firm, and a wedding in Homestead. He earned a food-safety certification so he can work in kitchens, too. That’s all in two months.

The on-demand economy is ultimately powered by people, and some companies are fueling the supply side in this emerging industry. Shiftgig, an app-enabled marketplace that connects people with work in the hospitality industry, has opened a Doral office to provide on-demand shift opportunities for local workers like Matos throughout South Florida.

The new office has already on-boarded and vetted more than 400 people for on-demand opportunities such as bartending, cooking, serving, and retail-warehouse gigs at companies and popular event venues throughout South Florida, including sports arenas, festivals and hotels. It’s planning to hire another 400 to 500 workers early next year, and it has added more than 20 businesses in the past two months, said Shiftgig Florida General Manager Jose Silva said.

Some of its business partners include Starr Events, Billy G Catering, DoubleTree by Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center, and various sports venues throughout South Florida; it has already staffed hundreds of events, Silva said. “As a manager on the client side, you get peace of mind that you are getting the right person for the right job, whether it is one or 100.”

Shiftgig’s busy season started with the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, then Art Basel. Now it’s filling gigs for holiday parties and events. “For people who have some available time and want to make some extra money, it’s incredibly easy to claim a shift and start working with just a few taps on an app,” said Silva, who has 10 years of experience as an executive in talent acquisition, management and sales. Most workers at Shiftgig have other jobs, and that is OK, Silva said. “Our workers are empowered to work when they want, where they want, experience cool events and gain new skills.”

Matos, 60, will soon have another job, too. His work ethic and performance impressed the management of a hotel he worked shifts at. But he’ll still check his app and pick up Shiftgig shifts in his spare time.

Matos, who has been an assistant manager and warehouse supervisor, said he’s not afraid of hard work; he has worked 50 gigs through Shiftgig in the past two months. “I like to have the opportunity to express my talent and skills,” said Matos, who found out about Shiftgig online. “With Shiftgig, you choose your job and your schedule. I have met a lot of interesting people, and learned a lot … Every day is something different.”

In addition to its new South Florida office and its Chicago headquarters, Shiftgig also has rapidly growing offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Memphis, Phoenix and New York. More information:

Related stories from Miami Herald