RALEIGH – Managing a restaurant while short-staffed is no easy task.

Nan Wilkinson knows this firsthand with over 35 years in the hospitality industry, working at some of the country’s top restaurants.

Enter helpKNX, an app that she developed that connects people and jobs in the service industry – for free.

It’s fairly simple: On any given day, a restaurant owner may have some employees call in sick. Now all they have to do is log into the app, post a shift for the evening and watch local candidates roll in.

Bartending, serving, cooking or washing dishes – anyone wanting to earn “a little extra cash” can simply apply for a shift.

“The gig economy is growing into many industries where there is a need for short-term workers,” said Wilkinson, who is also working as a marketing associate at Sysco, while starting up her own company.

helpKNX CEO and founder Nan Wilkenson.

“We’re addressing the very large need in the volatile restaurant industry for business owners to quickly find qualified workers to fill important positions during peak load situations.”

But how do you know if the applicants are going to be good?

Like Uber and Lyft, helpKNX has a five-star review feature for both the candidates and businesses.

The app is only serving the Triangle at this time, and is positioned to be a “game-changer” for the Raleigh restaurant scene — and others around the country, Wilkinson said.

“There’s no reason why this couldn’t go nationwide and launched on a larger scale.”

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