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‘Dire situation’: It’s ‘nearly impossible’ for Australian restaurateurs to find staff

Ross and Russel
Article image for ‘Dire situation’: It’s ‘nearly impossible’ for Australian restaurateurs to find staff

It is currently “nearly impossible” for restaurateurs to find staff, and the boss of the industry’s peak national body says that won’t change until “zombie businesses” close.

It comes after working holidaymakers, international students, and skilled visa holders returned home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CEO of Restaurant and Catering Australia, Wes Lambert, says it’s a “dire situation”.

“On Tuesday there were 6056 ads for chefs and 4983 ads for restaurant manager, and I don’t even want to get into the number of front of house staff and junior kitchen staff listings there are on Seek,” he told Ross Stevenson.

“We sent all the working holidaymakers home, which usually make up half of front of house staff, we sent all the international students packing and we didn’t provide any stimulus at all to skilled visa workers who were here doing jobs which are essential to Australia, so many of them have gone home.”

Mr Lambert says the situation won’t improve until “zombie businesses” — businesses which have closed their doors but still have operating ABNs which enable them to collect JobKeeper — close up and their workers seek new jobs.

But, even then, he predicts problems will persist.

“We certainly will see that hospitality businesses will find it a bit difficult to find staff until 2022.”

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Ross and Russel
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