Browse Directory

Quirky incentives offered to lure workers back to restaurants

With a shortage of workers right across the country, many businesses are offering huge incentives in order to get workers on the books.

Karen Phillips, Owner of Brisbane wine bar @Mr & Mrs Jones in Hamilton, has been unsuccessful in finding a head chef for four months and has started advertising for passionate home cooks to work in her kitchen.

“It really just comes back to someone who has a passion for food and genuinely loves putting good food on a plate.”

The Courier-Mail has been informed that numerous hospitality operators have teamed up with fellow restaurateurs in an effort to save money on continually running job ads.

Others are trying to take advantage of the trans-Tasman bubble, searching for workers from New Zealand.

Ty Simon, co-owner of Brisbane restaurants Agnes, Bianca, Same Same and Honto has been one of the lucky ones, attracting staff from the southern part of the state as well as promoting from within.

“We have to be mindful of what are we offering (staff) that someone down the road won’t offer them,” Mr Simon said. “As soon as you try to offer a dollar more than someone else then it becomes a race to the bottom and I don’t think that’s the way to go.

“We try to create an environment that people want to work in, and we have three other restaurants, so on their days off, they get a group discount to dine at those restaurants and I think that’s a selling point.”

Restaurant & Catering Australia CEO Wes Lambert says the accommodation and food service industry has reported a workforce shortage of more than 100,000 people across the country.

That is a shortfall of up to 35 per cent.

Meanwhile,  in excess of 46,000 ads for hospitality staff on recruitment site could be found this week alone.

“There’s over 600,000 less people in Australia compared to pre-COVID and of those, 225,000 would have been eligible to work either as international students or visa holders and many of them would have worked in hospitality so that’s where a large part of the shortage is coming from,” he said.


Irit Jackson, 9th June 2021