The Struggle with Recruiting Restaurant Staff

The restaurant industry right now is booming. More and more Aussies are becoming too busy to cook, attracted to the idea of new tastes and new dining experiences, and more inclined to spend time out with friends than try to handle hosting at home.

Yet the restaurant world is struggling. It’s not the food that is the problem, nor is it the experience for consumers. The problem is in restaurant recruitment. Despite the attraction to new culinary experiences, there is a lack of interest from within the restaurant workforce – especially at lower levels.

No Attraction to an Entry Level Job

Even though there is an immense lack of talent at the top, many experts believe the problem is actually at the bottom – there are fewer people that are interested in entry-level restaurant jobs, and even fewer that are interested in committing to restaurant work in order to grow in the industry.

Last year, an article on ABC News blamed the issue on what they call “MasterChef-itis.” Their belief is that those that are entering the workforce and may consider a career in food services are unwilling to start from the bottom and work their way up to a more managerial position. Most want to start at the higher positions and be right in the heart of the decision making and cooking process – a position that usually requires years of restaurant experience first.

However, the issue may also be related to other factors of the modern workplace, including:

  • Need for Freedom – More and more young candidates are looking for careers that offer some degree of freedom, such as work-from-home potential or the ability to leave to handle any needs/appointments. That is not possible at restaurant jobs.
  • Employer Commitment – In the past, waiters and junior kitchen staff were expected to be the “slaves” of the restaurant – doing the work that the boss told them to do. But the new economy is one of equality, where young candidates are looking for jobs that treat them like valued staff members.
  • Pay/Status – Another issue may simply be related to pay and status. The more young workers are trained in technology, the more the idea of working in a low tech job that requires a lot of hard work, like a restaurant, may not have as much appeal.

Whether it’s TV, Millennial economic trends, or something else, it does appear to be a challenge to recruit restaurant staff in Australia right now. If you need help with your restaurant recruitment, contact Recruit Shop today.

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