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New survey highlights Melbourne hospitality staff losing confidence in employment opportunities

New survey highlights Melbourne hospitality staff losing confidence in employment opportunities
September 14, 2020

A new survey from Barcats, one of Australia’s leading hospitality platforms, has revealed that hospitality staff in Melbourne’s CBD are struggling to remain hopeful about their job prospects due to the second Victorian lockdown.

The survey of 203 hospitality staff and venue owners in Victoria found that more than two thirds (66.15%) do not have confidence in the industry and believe the second lockdown will have long-lasting effects on jobs.   

Barcats Founder and Chief Executive, Jeffrey Williams explains that “45.83% of staff surveyed specifically state that the second wave of COVID-19 shutdowns has made them consider a career change away from hospitality and over half of these respondents are located in Melbourne’s CBD and North Western Suburbs.    

“Although venues are trying to stay open with takeaway options and home deliveries, 78.65% of Victoria’s hospitality staff are currently not working, with over half (54.69%) of these workers from central Melbourne.”    

Seddon Café Owner Chris Gooden, of Seddon Deadly Sins explains “we’re lucky that we’re in a suburban area that doesn’t rely on office blocks for customers, because all those office blocks in the city are deserted.   

“When we were allowed restricted seating back in June, we had a lot of local support. Weekdays were actually busier than normal but because of the capacity restrictions we had to turn customers away which is so frustrating,” continues Gooden. “I took on two casuals in June to cope with demand, but then had to let them go again in July when the stage 3 restrictions came into play.”   

Andrew Lewis of Colonial Leisure Group which operates venues including Portsea Hotel, Albert Park Hotel, Lucky Coq and Half Moon advises “with the international and state borders remaining closed our CBD venues will hurt the most relying heavily on full hotels and international travellers.   

Lewis adds “we’re anticipating most of our venues will only be able to operate at 80% for the next couple of years whilst the industry tries to get back on its feet.

“We’re also anticipating regional venues such as the Portsea Hotel will recover quicker with state boarders shutting and an increase in people travelling regionally within their own states.”

Barcat’s Chief Executive Jeffrey Williams explains “We know that it will be a long road to recovery, particularly for the CBD, and we are working with venues to get them ahead of the staff and skills shortage caused by no backpackers. We just filled a chef role in south Melbourne ready for when it’s safe for them to reopen and we are working with Diageo, Lion and Nestle to keep staff engaged and upskilled for future roles.    

“We are focused on getting Australians back to work to help keep the economy going. We are offering a 95% discount on recruitment for the state’s venues and have provided free recruitment for the last four months for our subscription customers. We have been redeploying Victoria’s staff to other industries still in demand including call centres, delivery drivers and recruiting for takeaway venues such as Guzman y Gomez and Taco Bell.   

“When Melbourne’s CBD eventually reopens, venues will be crying out for staff to help them recover and this is when the staff shortage will be detrimental. With no overseas travellers we will be relying on Aussie’s to fill the gap. We need to encourage more youngsters to consider Hospitality as a career and we need more mature workers to be get back into hospitality, with venues adapting shifts to be more suitable for part-time workers.”    

Barcats is Australia and New Zealand’s fastest growing hospitality community, with 80,000 workers and 19,000 venues currently using the platform.

Image courtesy of City of Melbourne 

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