The rush for hospitality workers may mean better wages … and higher prices

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As of Friday morning, he had had 61 job offers and that counted.

For someone who struggled at times to secure minimum wage during his five years in the industry before the pandemic, Mr Zia said it was a bizarre role reversal to have restaurants begging for his skills in mixology.

Tiamoor Zia, 25, was bombarded with job offers this week to work in a bar.Credit:Simon schluter

“There are bars that would not even have responded to my candidacy or silenced me four or five years ago, which are now offering me managerial positions,” he said.

On the Facebook groups of hotel and bar staff, a common place where workers take concerts, the volume of calls for workers has exploded.

Tiamoor Zia, a 25-year-old law student and bartender, posted on a bartender Facebook page and received more than 60 job offers from different bars and pubs in two days.

Tiamoor Zia, a 25-year-old law student and bartender, posted on a bartender Facebook page and received more than 60 job offers from different bars and pubs in two days.

“From around August it was around 9 am to 3 pm. [job offers] per day – and now we are over 50 per day, ”said Dean Jarvis, administrator of the Melbourne Bartender Exchange Facebook group. He said interstate businesses were also trying to poach the Victorians by offering relocation bonuses.

Mr. Jarvis, a hospitality consultant, was getting ready to don an apron and work the soil in a friend’s pizzeria on Saturday night to help fill in the staff gaps. He said many old friends of the hospitality industry were doing the same, such was the need for workers even though sites only accept 25% of their capacity.

“A lot of my friends who are now brand ambassadors or business development managers are now going out and making some changes just for the sake of the industry,” he said.

One of those desperate for workers is Rhyan Carter, bar manager at the Fitzroy Town Hall hotel, who posted an unusual job description this week.

“Let’s be honest – it’s an employee market right now, so I’m just going to be honest and say this is the job you want it to be,” he wrote.

“Basically I tell people, ‘You tell me when you want to work – you only want to come for two hours? Alright, I’ll make it work, ”he said. Sunday age. “I really can’t say no”.

The hospitality veteran is short of at least seven employees and was calling on Saturday morning to ask people to work Saturday nights.

But Mr Jarvis said companies would not want to raise prices given that people had seen the savings from eating and drinking at home during the lockdown.

“The average bettor doesn’t want to pay more than $ 22 for a cocktail,” he said. “So we’re sort of [between] a rock and a hard place.

Restaurant and Catering Australia called on Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to speed up the arrival of working holidays and qualified visa holders and international students to fill the critical shortage.

This week, the Australian Hotels Association Victoria and the Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced a program with Crown Melbourne to offer a free Beverage Skills Pathway program to train 1,000 Victorians in hospital skills by July 2022. .

Karma Lord, director of Hospo Voice at United Workers Union, said workers should demand from companies “the best possible wages.”

“But be prepared for what lies ahead,” she said. “Insist on a permanent position, so when business starts to slow down or you notice something’s wrong, your shifts can’t suddenly be shattered. “

In the meantime, Zia hopes the situation will cause a “reset” for the industry.

“If you worked in the hospitality industry before all of this, you got the message loud and clear that you are sort of consumable,” he said.

“I think people can’t really do that anymore.”

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