Hospitality Business Consultant


Your success is our reward


Ah, the hospitality hustle. Whether it’s a café, restaurant, hotel or pub, hospitality is no easy business. There’s staffing, rostering, overheads, profit margins, menus, weird shift times, ordering, complaints resolution, payroll… the list goes on! It’s so easy to get buried down in the nitty gritty, and in such a competitive space, it’s easy to lose track of the important numbers and get weighed down in the day-to-day business of opening the doors.

Before you know it, invoices are piling up faster than the dishes during the lunch rush the dollars don’t seem to be stretching as far as they used to, and your stress levels are at an all-time high. 

Here are some challenges you might be facing:

Human Resources Issues Faced by Restaurant Owners in Australia: A Comprehensive Overview

Running a restaurant in Australia comes with its fair share of challenges, particularly in managing human resources effectively. Restaurant owners must navigate a range of issues related to recruitment, budgeting, benefits, employee satisfaction, company culture, and training. In this article, we will explore the various types of human resources issues faced by restaurant owners in Australia and discuss the responsibilities of HR managers in addressing these challenges.

Recruitment Challenges:

  1. High turnover rates: Restaurants often experience a revolving door of employees due to the nature of the industry, making it challenging to maintain a stable workforce.
  2. Skill shortage: Finding qualified and skilled staff members, such as chefs, sommeliers, and experienced servers, can be a daunting task.
  3. Seasonal fluctuations: Restaurants may face difficulties in recruiting staff during peak seasons, leading to staffing shortages or overburdening existing employees.
  4. Cultural diversity: Australia’s multicultural society necessitates an inclusive approach to recruitment, which may pose additional challenges in finding a diverse and culturally competent workforce.

Wage Budget Management:

  1. Balancing labor costs: Maintaining a budget for wage costs is crucial for restaurant owners, as labor expenses typically account for a significant portion of the overall operational budget.
  2. Penalty rates and award wages: Complying with Australia’s complex wage laws, including penalty rates for weekends, public holidays, and overtime, can be confusing and may impact labor costs.
  3. Staff scheduling: Properly managing employee schedules and avoiding unnecessary overtime can help control wage costs and minimize budgetary strains.
  4. Implementing productivity measures: Identifying ways to enhance staff productivity and efficiency can improve cost-effectiveness without compromising service quality.

Benefits and Employee Satisfaction:

  1. Fair and competitive remuneration: Offering competitive wages and benefits packages is crucial to attract and retain talented employees in a highly competitive industry.
  2. Work-life balance: Restaurants often operate during evenings, weekends, and public holidays, making it vital to establish fair scheduling practices that consider employees’ personal lives and preferences.
  3. Employee recognition and rewards: Implementing recognition programs and providing incentives can boost employee morale, satisfaction, and loyalty.
  4. Addressing workplace conflicts: Handling interpersonal issues and fostering a positive work environment are essential for maintaining a harmonious team and ensuring employee satisfaction.

Company Culture and Employee Engagement:

  1. Establishing a positive culture: Creating a strong company culture that aligns with the restaurant’s values and vision can enhance employee engagement and loyalty.
  2. Effective communication channels: Implementing clear communication channels between management and staff facilitates transparency, resolves issues promptly, and fosters a sense of trust and teamwork.
  3. Employee development opportunities: Offering training, career advancement prospects, and skill enhancement programs can motivate employees and reduce turnover rates.
  4. Diversity and inclusion: Promoting diversity, inclusivity, and equality within the workplace contributes to a positive company culture and strengthens the restaurant’s reputation.

Training and Onboarding:

  1. Comprehensive onboarding: Developing a thorough onboarding process ensures that new hires receive the necessary training, understand job expectations, and become acquainted with the restaurant’s policies and procedures.
  2. Ongoing training and development: Regularly investing in training programs, including food safety, customer service, and industry trends, keeps employees up-to-date and enhances their skills.
  3. Cross-training initiatives: Cross-training employees across different roles and responsibilities increases flexibility and reduces staffing gaps during busy periods or employee absences.
  4. Succession planning: Identifying and nurturing potential leaders within the organization prepares the restaurant for future growth and minimizes disruptions in management positions.

Operating a restaurant in Australia presents unique human resources challenges that require proactive strategies and effective management. From recruitment difficulties to budgeting. At EMPOWER Agency we can help support you with your systems and processes and make managing this department a breeze!