Local grocery store shifts to on-demand work like popular rideshare, food delivery apps

Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 5:58 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - For those looking for work at the click of a button, there’s food delivery, rideshare driving, and now... grocery store work.

Schnucks locations in Normal and Bloomington are now hiring members of their “FlexForce,” which is a team of workers that choose shifts on demand. It would use a similar system to popular gig work apps like GrubHub or Uber, where users can log in and choose a shift and location. They’ll be able to claim open shifts and opt-in to notification for shifts opening up.

Manager of the Bloomington Schnucks location Beth Dubson said it can help relieve pressure and fill the gaps in her current staff. They’ve seen a struggle to hire more workers, but make do with the current amount of workers they have.

“The workforce has been the biggest change and challenge, we’ve never had an issue getting people to apply but it seems now that it’s getting harder and harder,” Dubson said. “We have to come up with these things to combat things like labor shortages.”

Dubson’s been with Schnucks for eight years and said the retail industry is constantly changing.

The trend toward on-demand work mirrors how consumers and employees are using their time.

“With all of the technology available to customers for shopping on demand through the internet or smartphones at grocery stores today I’m not surprised this same type of technology has been extended to the store employees,” Associate professor of business management at Illinois State University Nathan Hartman said. “The type of employee capable of taking charge of their one work schedule, while also using technology is probably the type of employee the stores hope to attract with this type of schedule.”

The Bloomington store employs a variety of people, from working parents to people looking for extra cash due to rising costs. The location in Normal attracts students from the university, which may have been taken into consideration for where to implement the program.

The “FlexForce” program is reserved for those at least 18 years old. Employees will receive the same benefits as traditional Schnucks teammates including the option to be paid after each shift, health benefits after a qualifying period, and an employee discount.