Times are tough but cafes, restaurants and bars across the country are screaming for workers, with a hospitality giant offering extra incentive.
Times are tough but cafes, restaurants and bars across the country are screaming for workers, with a hospitality giant offering extra incentive.

How to score a $1000 bonus and a new job

Restaurants, pubs and cafes across the country are screaming out for workers amid workforce shortages with a lack of backpackers and students.

While the coronavirus pandemic forced hospitality businesses to close, they're now struggling to find staff after plenty of Australians were able to receive the JobKeeper stimulus while international travel bans have reduced the number of foreign workers.

Some hospitality venues across Australia are using desperate measures to lure staff, offering cash bonus incentives to help fill positions.

Venues work desperately to find enough staff to meet demand from fresh out of lockdown residents. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Geraghty
Venues work desperately to find enough staff to meet demand from fresh out of lockdown residents. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Geraghty

The Australian Venue Co, which runs more than 150 bars across the country, is offering a $1000 sign-on bonus and an extra $2000 if workers stay for three months.

The hospitality giant is looking to fill chef positions at its iconic Perth venues, including the Victoria Park Hotel and The Aviary.

"Candidates who apply for a position through this advertisement and are successful in gaining permanent employment with AVC between November 1 2020 and December 31 2020 will be eligible for a $1000 sign-on bonus upon commencement, and a $2000 retention bonus payable at three months continuous employment," the advertisement on job website Seek says.

The Australian Venue Co is also offering bar staff positions in Melbourne, entry level bar and gaming staff in Brisbane and Rockhampton and chef roles on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

Owner of South Yarra Lucky Penny cafe, Matt Lanigan, told NCA Newswire he's never found it so hard to find staff in his 23 years in the industry.

Hospitality staff could be paid as much as $1000 in sign-on bonuses. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Geraghty
Hospitality staff could be paid as much as $1000 in sign-on bonuses. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Geraghty

'"People who were professional hospitality workers are taking jobs as COVID concierges - even just for weekend work it has been hard, because the casual workers in the past are on JobKeeper from their previous work so they don't need the extra money," he explained.

"Demand went from 10 people at a time to no limit within a month and everyone is booking at same time - demand for employees is far higher than how much supply is in the market right now."

Venues in Victoria have been hit the hardest by staff shortages, where hospitality positions accounted for more than 2.6 per cent of all Victorian jobs advertised in October compared to the 2.2 per cent nationwide average.

Australian Hotels Association Victorian David Canny told The Age the extra demand from patrons dining out after months of lockdown could result in a price surge and drive up some wages by up to 20 per cent.

Waiters working on a busy Lygon St Carlton on Sunday afternoon. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Geraghty
Waiters working on a busy Lygon St Carlton on Sunday afternoon. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Geraghty

"Some operators will see overpaying as a way of survival, getting through, filling rosters and being able to give people time off," Mr Canny said.

"Venues wouldn't be able to absorb that … you could see prices forced up, absolutely."

With the lack of international backpackers and students, he encouraged the government to allow jobseekers to take up work without affecting their JobKeeper entitlements.

"That would incentivise people to get off the couch and come do their 15 or 20 hours a week," Mr Canny added.

In New South Wales, the state government's $100 Dine & Discover voucher deal has been delayed until after the busy Christmas period.

The Dine and Discover NSW program, swiftly rebranded from the Out and About scheme on the advice of tourism body Destination NSW, aims to get people spending in the hospitality and tourism sectors again.

Originally published as How to score an extra $1000 bonus