The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Hospitality NZ urges Kiwis to be kind and patient in venues this summer

Hospitality NZ and Uniquely Nelson are urging New Zealanders to be kind and patient in hospitality venues this summer.

One of the ongoing and longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is a critical lack of employees in the hospitality sector with many venues typically relying on overseas employees to help cover seasonal labour shortages. 

The overseas staff usually arrive on our shores with the training and experience needed to meet the needs of Kiwi businesses, say the organisations in a statement, but this year is a dramatic exception.

“Despite early and on-going recruitment, there are simply not enough ready, willing, and able workers available to fill the gaps,” says the statement.

“Even with business owners working all hours at the coal face there are still many vacancies, especially for experienced chefs and managers. 

“Many of our favourite venues may be forced to limit operating hours, including reducing opening days from seven days a week down to six or five to ensure their current loyal employees get the rest they deserve.”

Ian Williams, Hospitality New Zealand Branch President for Nelson, says that the real pinch will mainly be during the school holidays, Christmas, New Year, and when large events impact the city.

 “All venues are geared up to provide the best service possible, but please bear with us, understand the pressure we’re under this year, and be kind to our fabulous staff so that they also have a happy workplace,” he says.

“We are so fortunate to live and work here, and to make this a happy season we need the regional team of 100,000 behind us.

“We celebrate the fact that we are open and running, which is a rarity around the planet right now, so it’s a season of goodwill we’re looking for locally.”

Hospitality NZ and Uniquely Nelson are asking visitors to hospitality venues to please think of the hours the staff work, and the likelihood that they are covering multiple roles to help keep the business afloat, and be kind, be patient.

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