Cody Barbo (center) and the Industry team in downtown San Diego. Courtesy of the company
Cody Barbo (center) and the Industry team in downtown San Diego. Courtesy of the company

The restaurant industry is one of the largest employers in the United States — and has one of the highest turnover rates — yet it’s often difficult for professionals to connect with establishments that are hiring. Industry, a year-old San Diego startup, launched its website to create an online career network serving restaurants and bars. Times of San Diego spoke with co-founder and CEO Cody Barbo about the new company, which just returned from a successful appearance at the Nightclub & Bar Convention & Trade Show in Las Vegas.

Why did you start Industry?

I was working on my first tech startup when I decided I needed to make some extra cash. Living downtown, a restaurant or bar job seemed like the logical choice. I was rejected by 10 different restaurants for “lack of experience” and one manager said I was “overqualified.” So I resorted to Craigslist, found a new restaurant opening, and luckily got the job. Once working in the restaurant I noticed nobody used LinkedIn, and soon realized there wasn’t a professional networking site for the restaurant industry either. Thus the idea for Industry was born.

Using the website
Using the website

How do professionals use the site, and how do bars and restaurants benefit?

Industry is the exclusive professional network for the service and hospitality industry. Think of us as the LinkedIn for the restaurant industry. Our goal is to become the trusted platform for service and hospitality careers, and disrupt the way people get jobs in the industry. We allow our users to create profiles to highlight their skills and talents using photos and videos. This enables our users to make a powerful first impression to businesses without walking down the street passing out paper resumes. Currently business owners are spending a significant amount of time and money marketing jobs and sorting through stacks of paper resumes. Industry empowers businesses to post unlimited jobs, manage and track their applicants, maintain a pipeline of talent and locate qualified candidates.

How does Industry compare with networking sites like LinkedIn and traditional online job sites?

LinkedIn does not target the millions of service and hospitality workers in the United States, and in fact many of them have never heard of LinkedIn. Many job postings sites are just that — a job posting. They do not effectively highlight the company culture, or the type of important information that a potential applicant is looking for most: location, commute time, pay, part-time/full-time, etc.

What’s the story behind the blog, with its profiles of people in the service and hospitality industry?

Our blog is called “Industry Stories” and serves as a source of motivation for service and hospitality professionals. We are trying to highlight the hardworking people who decide to make this a career. Our success stories so far have covered a number of professionals that are well on their way to the top. Be sure to stay tuned for more great content, and who knows, you might read about someone that has served you food or drinks before.

Industry is in beta now. What’s the timeline for going national?

Right now our focus is the San Diego market. This is our home and backyard. We are going to be making the sweep up north throughout California in the coming months, and expect a nationwide rollout going into 2016. Anyone interested in trying out the beta can sign up for free at

Times of San Diego, a startup itself, regularly writes about startups in technology, biotech and other sectors of local business. If you are a startup in the San Diego area and want to tell your story, please contact

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.