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Working in the Hospitality Industry in Canberra

By Enthusiastic amateur - 30 December 2008 24

Greetings everybody, I’m a long time lurker and first time poster. I moved back to Canberra about 5 years ago after a happy and fruitful   hospitality career  in Australia in 5 star hotels (mostly food and beverage) .I was looking forward to coming home back in 2003, and hoped to  gain employment in the field that I had  plenty of  experience in , both  in the kitchen and front of house. However after 6 months and several “trials” and interviews I still found myself unemployed. I was perplexed and frustrated at the time but adjusted my sights and found employment in an entirely different field which I enjoyed.

To cut a long story short I am now looking to return to work in the first half  of 2009 when my baby will be 6 months old. I am hoping to find work in hospitality   due to the flexibility of  that line of work and am curious as to what Canberra hospitality business owners are looking for, admittedly I am “old” 38  but have bucket loads of experience and take a great deal of pride in giving exemplary customer service. I suspect my down fall last time was my age, I will cost more to employ than a wet behind the ears 18 year old. I have been very dissapointed with the standard of service in the overwhelming majority of Canberras restaurants and bars and having  read  that severalof the regs here  have had  bad  experiences with  the service in Canberras hospitality outlets I  would be interested to know, what I did”wrong” last time and what makes a good waitress / bar tender / host in Canberra.

What’s Your opinion?


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24 Responses to
Working in the Hospitality Industry in Canberra
burkes08 8:46 pm 31 Dec 08

Mate, as a hospitality employer in Canberra for the past ten years I have to tell you that if you haven’t got a job yet it has to be you. Do you all really think that we as employers want to employ these dumb, rude and idiot staff? Well we don’t, it’s because there are no good staff out there. The staff that are good, are well looked after where they are and aren’t moving. I have put job ads in only to get three applications – all from 16 year olds. We pay well, Ok – the hours are bad but the work is fun – and there are some perks.

I would take a look at yourself before we all start bagging the hospitality outlets working their guts out to try to train and keep good staff.

tylersmayhem 3:27 pm 31 Dec 08

I’d suggest the Casino and/or several clubs around Canberra like Yowani golf club etc.

My sister-in-law has recently moved around in the hospitality industry over the last year, and she worked at Yowani and now just started at the Casino. Admittedly she has no kids that she has to consider. After working over 10 years in the industry, I’d never try to balance parenthood and hospitality in a pink fit.

Unless you LOVE hospitality, perhaps redirect your career towards other fields (reception, secretary, office admin). the skill you have learned in the industry are bound to read well if you are prepared to start from the bottom of the ladder. The more civilised hours are worth it!

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 3:25 pm 31 Dec 08

Thanks for repeating my comment. Repeating adds emphasis!

hetzjagd1 3:20 pm 31 Dec 08

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

I think to be employed in hospitality in this town you have to be Gen Y, rude and a moron.

sepi 10:55 am 31 Dec 08

I’ve thought about this, and one important thing to remember, is that the Chef/Manager is your boss, so it is more important to keep them happy, rather than the customers.

Rabble 10:13 am 31 Dec 08

Make sure you either don’t mention the baby or make a point of mentioning how absolutley brilliant and flexible your child care arrangements are (which obviously they’d have to be if you’re serious about re-entering the workforce in hospitality!)or regardless of your experience you’ll get descriminated against!

The City West Arts Precinct adjacent to the ANU campus is getting increasingly busy and new businesses will be opening in the completed buildings soon. Lots of established businesses in the area have help wanted signs up but investigate before the student population gets back (February).

ant 10:02 am 31 Dec 08

When dining out in Sydney, I’m struck again and again by the differences. In Canberra, we get great food and sh!t service. In Sydney, the service tends to be far better (usually) but the food is often very underwhelming. Unlike the prices.

I cannot stand the vacuous idiocy that passes for service here. If they are truly prefering to hire usless kiddies rather than skilled, motivated 30-somethings then they suck!

Certainly the response when I tried to book a late lunch for a minister from a foreign gov’t at Aubergine caused me to phone back and cancel, and move the lunch to Watersedge. The staff there (certainly when we dealt with them) sounded very mature.

RandomGit 8:55 am 31 Dec 08

My advice is aim high. Go for the distinguished establishments who care about exemplaries.

goose 6:03 am 31 Dec 08

Try the Plaka Restaurant in Mawson. I heard they are looking for experienced and mature staff who like to work.

sepi 10:18 pm 30 Dec 08

The Hyatt use to do silver service, and also many of the clubs around town (Austrian club etc) have waitresses who are not in their teens.

Good luck with it = Canberra needs some decent watresses.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 10:18 pm 30 Dec 08

I think to be employed in hospitality in this town you have to be Gen Y, rude and a moron.

bd84 8:57 pm 30 Dec 08

Pandy said :

being 22 helps or so I have noticed

22 is pushing it a bit, between 16 or 18 is more like it. Though I did have dinner at hogs breath at woden a fair while ago and the waiting staff looked like they were about 12. About the age where everything you ask for is confusing and oh I better go ask something if we can do that.

Having said that I think pretty much every food establishment is desperate for staff (may have changed since the “economic crisis”), I have heard of cafes hiring whoever bothers turning up for an interview. Reliable is pretty much what they want, someone who will turn up to work for every shift and on time, which from experience anyone under about 21 thesedays views work as I will turn up when and if I can bothered.

Thumper 8:56 pm 30 Dec 08

I was at Cafe Alternberg in Braidwood the other day where the pretty young things there managed to completely forget my order for lunch. When I asked them, politely, where my lunch was they looked at me dumbly as if I had done something wrong. They then informed me that our lunches in fact had been totally forgotten and it would be another 20-30 minutes before it was ready.

As such, I got a refund. Which was short changed $30, and even after I pointed out how wrong they were, stroppily gave me back the money.

Give me a cheerful, efficient 38 year old any day over stroppy, pretty young things who seem to have a chip on their shoulder the size of tasmania, and seem to think that they are doing you a huge favour by simply doing their job.

Pandy 8:29 pm 30 Dec 08

being 22 helps or so I have noticed

barking toad 6:49 pm 30 Dec 08

Depends on measurements/hotness factor – please advise

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