Our industry is responsible for much of the strength in the retail market. But will this boom go bust if we can’t pay higher wages?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics data on restaurant turnover continues to show a sharp growth in trade across the country. In most cases, the revenue growth has been around 13 per cent. For the year to May 2007, turnover was well over $13 billion.
The strength in the overall economy and growth in take-home pay have created a boom in eating out that, in some cases, the industry is having trouble servicing. The very conditions that create the boom also mitigate against the industry profiting from it. The growth in wages means that many restaurants find it impossible to compete for staff. The more capable individuals are seeking jobs in industries that have higher margins and higher rates.
To some extent, simply paying more is not the answer. The situation has become so widespread that it is now ingrained. Recent data collected on the skills shortage in tourism and hospitality suggests the solution lies more in job redesign than in higher wages.
One way you might consider addressing this issue is to have a one-on-one consultation with someone from your state Restaurant & Catering Association on how the new industrial relations reforms can help your business. Call the Association on 1300 722 878 (1300 RCAUST) for details. There are also other resources available, including some workplace flexibility case studies and a range of employment programs. This is a problem we can help with, so do not hesitate to ask.
President, Restaurant & Catering Australia