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Staff shortages forcing Perth restaurants to shut

As the weather warms up, pubs and clubs around Perth are facing massive staff shortages making it challenging to keep venues running.

Restaurateur Eamon Sullivan has closed his sandwich shop Sammy’s in Mt Hawthorn, as there are fears pubs and clubs around Perth will suffer from a historic shortfall in hospitality workers. 

Mr Sullivan said staying open had its challenges.

“There is a lack of staff in Perth,” he said.

“With no backpackers here this summer, it will be very competitive to attract staff.

“These big venues really come alive with warmer weather and there’s also a lot of big new venues set to open, such as The Elford and Pirate Life Brewery in the city.”

According to the Australian Hotels Association of WA, around 50,000 working holiday makers have left WA since the pandemic started.

Bradley Woods, CEO of WA Australian Hotels Association said there was no easy fix to the staff shortage while international and State borders remain closed.

“COVID-19 has underscored the importance of working holiday makers and international students to Australia’s hospitality workforce,” he said.

“Staff in the sector are in hot demand and the reality is that until state and international borders re-open, workforce shortages will remain.

“The AHA has been advocating for a WA Government-managed interstate marketing campaign to attract more workers to the State when interstate travel resumes and this was achieved with the State Government announcing a $4 million campaign in the State Budget.

“The AHA is also working with the State and Federal governments on a range of initiatives to up-skill Australians and to encourage international workers to come to return when borders reopen.”




Irit Jackson, 22nd September 2021