DENVER — At a time when Colorado restaurants face more than 15,000 job openings — equivalent to roughly 5 percent of all positions in the statewide industry — Jose Estrella figured there was some room for innovating how eateries go about finding temporary employees in particular.

So, this summer, the Marine Corps veteran launched, a site where restaurants can advertise for particular shifts that need to be filled — say, a pizza-delivery driver on Saturday nights — and contractors can look for jobs after Estrella has vetted them. It’s grown slowly, sporting just one restaurant and 20 contractors signed up so far, but Estrella has filled 55 of the 56 shifts posted for November, and this has caught the attention of other restaurants and chains with which he is beginning to speak.

In many ways, though, imPloie is the embodiment of the changing ways in which restaurants are trying to find workers in an industry that is becoming increasingly saturated with an estimated 250 eateries per year continuing to open in the Denver area. And it represents how the old ways of putting ads in newspapers and asking waiters and cooks for references are giving way to a new focus on technology to locate those potential employees who previously may have not had a connection to the shops so desperately needing their help.

“This is really the ability to tap into the full lot of part-time work that’s readily available and what employers are already doing to get people,” Estrella said.

To be sure, this one small shop represents just a fraction of the new efforts toward hiring in the restaurant industry. Websites like Poached Jobs and Instawork allow restaurants and potential workers to connect online. And restaurants are using more non-technology-based ways to seek out help, from recruiting through the military to working with halfway homes and prisons to find workers outside the traditional pipeline.

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