Nashville’s Hospitality Industry Job Market Balancing Out With Diverse Candidate Pool.

Nashville’s hospitality industry job market starts balancing out with diverse candidate pool.
Nashville’s $9.97 billion tourism industry relies heavily on a strong hospitality sector.

By Julia Masters – Reporter, Nashville Business Journal
Dec 8, 2023

Nashville Skyline


It’s hard to find an industry hit harder by the labor shortage than hospitality —restaurants,

bars and hotels are scrambling to attract and retain from a smaller-than-ever pool of talent.
In Nashville, the city’s $9.97 billion tourism industry relies heavily on a strong hospitality
The good news is, Nashville’s hospitality job market may be on the upswing heading
into the new year.
“You’ve got two pieces of the equation here, you’ve got companies and then candidates
and that makes up the job market,” Bryan Morris, principal consultant and executive
recruiter for Patrice & Associates Nashville told the Business Journal. “This is really a
desirable place to be nationally. We’ve had both sides of that equation firing on all
cylinders as far as moving into the Nashville area.”
Patrice & Associates is a leading hospitality staffing and recruiting firm with offices
across the U.S. and Canada. While the company is broadly focused on hospitality and
entertainment recruiting, the Nashville office also works in health care recruiting.
The Business Journal spoke with Morris to learn more about what employers and
employees in Nashville’s hospitality job market can expect in 2024 and why.
Bryan Morris, principal consultant and executive recruiter for Patrice & Associates Nashville.

Nashville Job Market

What are the biggest trends you’ve noticed this year as compared to the previous
We’ve had a lot of companies coming here so that obviously creates the opportunity for
more jobs and more people. In addition to that, we’ve had a lot of candidates, a lot of
new people moving to this area that come in with really diverse backgrounds and
experiences. Again, that makes a really strong not only job market but candidate
market. Those two things do make it very competitive. … All of that is driven by the
foundation that Nashville has with the entertainment industry. … That brings people in
and makes it a desirable place to be. All these people that are coming in need places to
stay, eat, drink and be merry. … Once they get here, they’ve got to have staffing. I think
we’ve just seen a pretty large build up. That didn’t just happen this year, but I think it’s
been happening for quite a few years.
In what sectors of the hospitality market do you feel like workforce is coming
back the most? On the flip side, in what areas are employers still having the most
struggles hiring?
I think the more upscale restaurants tend to be the places where I’m seeing people that
need a general manager and higher level employment position to be filled. That’s
definitely a need. That’s where I feel like I see a lot of companies looking. In addition to
that, I do still see some of the assistant general manager positions and maybe a little bit
down the ladder, where companies that are expanding, maybe they have 10 to 15
different locations and are coming into the area, have staffing needs across the board.
Coming out of the pandemic, the hospitality job market was more favorable
toward the employee versus the employer. Is that still the case or is it balancing
I think it might be balancing out a little bit. Just talking about the diverse candidate pool,
that’s one that definitely shifted. It makes it more competitive for the people who are
looking for jobs as far as candidates, but at the same time it actually is a strong benefit
to employers to have that influx of new talent. Employers might have had their batch of
potential general manager candidates five to 10 years ago, that’s a completely different
profile and different pool of candidates now that might be more competitive, more skilled
or have more experience because they came in from another state. A lot of the people
that have been moving in this direction are coming from big cities and generally we’ve
seen a lot of Chicago, New York and California and they have robust experience under
their belt as well so it strengthens the candidate market which turn things back in favor
of the employer, because they have more options.
What are some trends you might see heading into 2024?
I think it’s going to keep going up. I don’t see it slowing down. We’ve still got business
coming here in droves, we’ve still got people coming here by the ton. I think the
opportunities are still going to grow. … You’ve got the Titans who have their new
stadium that is on the horizon of being built. We’ve got all of the construction and new
hotels and restaurants that are coming into downtown, all of the infrastructure that’s
expanding down there. It’s going to continue to increase and I don’t think we’ve tapped
out and reached our max potential at all as far as what the Nashville market brings.

Patrice & Associates 


Duke Witte absolutely was amazing! 

I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to Duke Witte for his assistance in finding me a new job in the hospitality industry. I was disgruntled with my previous job, and I was feeling very discouraged about my prospects. I had been working in the restaurant industry for many years, and I had a lot of experience and skills, but I was having a hard time finding a better opportunity.

I was contacted via LinkedIn by Duke, and thank goodness I was.  Mr. Witte was incredibly helpful and supportive throughout the entire process. He took the time to understand my skills and experience, and worked tirelessly to find me a job that was a good fit.

Duke was also very honest and upfront with me about the job market. He didn't sugarcoat things, but also didn't give up on me. He kept me motivated and encouraged, and never gave up on finding me a job that I would love.

I am so grateful to Duke Witte and his team for their help. I am now happily employed, and I am so happy that I was able to find a job that I love. I would highly recommend him to anyone who is looking for a job in the restaurant industry. He is a true professional, and is dedicated to helping his clients find the perfect job!

Thank you again for everything!

Nick Grubbs

Working with Chris Bovio made job searching so much easier! 

Not only was he available and involved in my search, but also knowledgeable regarding the position. Chris used his industry experience and recruiting network to find the best position for me and my skill set. My only regret is that my new job is so perfect for me that I won’t need to use Chris or Patrice & Associates later.


Nick Guarino

Michael Greig was absolutely fantastic in every way! 

He gave me options and suggestions & eventually found a great for me. Communication was easy and he went above & beyond. Also, he seems like an all around good dude. Thanks again Michael. Solid work out there. You’re hired :)

Nic Callahan

Bryan Curtis was fantastic to work with!

Bryan was very on top of things throughout my recruiting process to the engineering firm I accepted my position with.  I responded to his LinkedIn posting and heard back from him within 24 hours. He continually spoke with me throughout the process checking in regularly and answering all my questions. Bryan was instrumental in helping me find a great job.



Frank Rondeau was a really big help! 

When it came to helping me find my new job, he knocked it out of the park!  He was very honest and thorough throughout the entire process. We had multiple conversations along the way and he always checked in after interviews. Frank was amazing to work with, and I'm super excited to start my new journey thanks to him.       

Many Thanks,


Read More Testimonials