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Meet Ben Ellsworth of GIgpro

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ben Ellsworth. Them and their team share their story with us below:

One Friday evening about three years ago, GIgpro Founder Ben Ellsworth was an Executive Chef of a restaurant in downtown Charleston, in the weeds and understaffed when his dishwasher called out. A few moments later, his phone buzzed with a notification that someone had booked a room in his house for the night. Ben’s immediate response was, “I wish they booked wash these dishes!” Soon after that, Ben decided to make that thought a reality, and GIgpro was born.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I don’t really think there is a smooth road in the start-up world. Trying to change a behavior can be daunting. I think my background in hospitality set me up for this kind of work though. The ability to problem-solve, constantly pivot, make the inconsistent consistent, gathering customer feedback, and giving great customer support, were all traits I was taught within the hospitality industry. It hasn’t been easy getting this bird off the ground, but compared to a weekend in a busy kitchen, it hasn’t really been that hard either.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Gigpro?
GIgpro is an on-demand marketplace allowing hospitality businesses to staff up and recruit instantly from a pool of trusted, and experienced hospitality workers.

The GIgpro team consists of current and former chefs, hospitality industry insiders, and professional change agents. We know, we care, and we believe. We know the labor problem the hospitality industry faces. We care about the direction the hospitality industry is heading. We believe the GIgpro platform will reform the hospitality industry by re-engaging both the worker and the industry in a meaningful way around the one thing that makes hospitality so wonderful, a memorable experience for everyone.

Our mission is to become the trusted marketplace that hospitality businesses use to acquire additional support when they need it or recruit new talent and that hospitality workers use to find work and get paid.

For the decade before the pandemic, the hospitality industry was in a staffing crisis. The number one challenge reported by restaurant operators was the recruitment and retention of talent. Traditional methods of recruitment and staffing (posting on job boards, sifting through resumes, scheduling interviews, and hiring someone that quits shortly thereafter) were costly and inefficient, but still widely in use.

When the pandemic hit, millions of hospitality workers lost their jobs as businesses closed. Millions are still out of work or have turned to other industries. As businesses began reopening, they did so using skeleton crews, not knowing if the next shutdown was around the corner. Our industry, understaffed and handicapped by broken staffing habits, is facing a labor chasm as the country comes back online. As hospitality businesses begin ramping up to capture a year’s worth of pent-up demand, they will do so at a significant disadvantage compared to the pre-pandemic days, as many in the talent exodus will likely not return. Craigslist, indeed and job boards failed in a predictable environment, and they will fail again as an industry goes from skeleton crews to full capacity in the blink of an eye.

During the pandemic GIgpro rebuilt its platforms for both businesses and workers, streamlining the business side for easier Gigpro posting and building a mobile app for workers to instantly see when new gigs are posted. Our new web and mobile applications launched in November of 2020 and we continue to update and add more functionality to both sides of the platform.

Right now, thousands of businesses need staff and millions of workers need extra money and more opportunity. GIgpro’s instant connection marketplace accommodates both parties with no subscription or recruiting fees.

We believe our platform will create a new way for hospitality businesses and workers to interact by bringing the industry’s staffing processes into the 21st century and shedding the costly, antiquated system. Our vision is that one day a chef or manager will say to a potential hire “Don’t send me your resume. Show me your GIgpro rating.”

What do you like and dislike about the city?
Obviously the music, food, and overall vibe and culture of the city, but if I had to pick that one thing it would definitely be sitting down at a table at Arnold’s Country Kitchen!

Dislikes, nothing to report at this time.


  • Businesses have an 18% connection fee
  • Pros have a 0% connection fee and a small fee of $0.38 an hour for OAI insurance
  • All gigs start at a $15 an hour minimum

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Image Credits

Jonathan Stout

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