Why Hospitality in South Australia “Doesn’t work”! First part – Labour force


It is now a couple of years I am working and living in South Australia, I am working within the business of Hospitality as Manager and I have 25 years experience in the field. I am working in a café and cellar door in the countryside where I had the chance to deal with all problems correlated with the local industry and its stakeholders.

Hospitality in South Australia does not work!

Why and how could we fix it!?

Three are the main motives of this situation:

  1. Labour force motivation
  2. Customers’ requirements
  3. Food environment

I would like to discuss with you the labour force motivation in the post below,  stay tuned for the remanent three coming plus conclusion and solutions.   

Labour force motivation:

All we know Hospitality is a tough job to work in and workers’ motivations are really important and have to be taken into consideration. Yes maybe you could say working in a mine or be a builder is a tougher job, however, in Hospitality, you deal with problems which are making it pretty ‘difficult’ and sometimes silently harder and impossible to stand.

  • People:

Working with human beings add layers of difficulty, psychology is highly involved in the business and for being a happy good worker in hospitality you have to possess a pretty unique profile and interpersonal skills which nowadays are getting rare to find.

  • Social Needs:

Hospitality is famous to be a working sector with no social life unless you are working for your friends, obviously. You work during weekends, school holidays, public holidays, evenings and social events. It is also a job with long shifts which are leaving you not into the mood of meeting other people or participates to external activities. If you have a family you skip the majority of family reunions, if you don’t, you will struggle on making one, unless obviously, you do not marry a colleague. (which often happen)

  • Professional Gratification:

Unfortunately, while there are segments of Australian cuisine that are World standard, the majority of the population does not experience eating at such level, and for at least one meal in three, sustains itself through fast food outlets. Quality-food appreciation is generally relatively low, with people often opting for convenience and price over nutrition and taste, (often forced on them by poverty and cultural expectations) and so many professional chefs (who have huge portfolios of skills and experience) do not achieve the appreciation and the skill/financial recognition they deserve, and thus find it difficult to settle down here. The skills of these chefs will not be passed on to future generations, who will suffer as a consequence.

Note: I still remember one of the first times I have been visiting when an airport custom guard had stopped me asking to describe my job as she was not aware of the sommelier as a hospitality profession.

  • Money:

Working in a restaurant or a café is a low-paid job here in South Australia; In comparison with Italy In Australia you gain bit more money but if you do compare with the local market, working as café or restaurant Manager in Australia you are way below the average.

Let’s have a quick look at the data:

In Italy as manager in Hospitality, you gain an average EUR31.800 equivalent to USD36,258 per year (ref:1) The GDP pro capita in Italy is USD31,952 (ref:2) You gain $+4,458 more than the average person, which gives you advantages in term of purchase power and can justify sacrifice correlated with the profession.

In Australia, the average wage for a manager is AUD54,630 equivalent to USD38,564 per year (ref:3) while the Australian GDP pro capita is USD53,799 (ref:4) You gain $-15,235 less than the average person which make you pretty disadvantaged in comparison with easier and more social friendly professions, especially with family and kids.

This is an economic discrepancy which is not creating incentives for the generations to come; It may be argued money is not the primary factor for humans self-actualization but they do a great difference when all the other factors are missing or not influent enough.

In conclusion:

In conclusion, labour force is mainly made with temporary workers who aim to collect some money for other purposes and then quickly leave the sector soon their goals are achieved. Turnover is high, creating instability in the industry and making the relationship business/worker difficult; business owners are not investing in career development and workers are not really caring about their knowledge in the field. Customers’ habits also have a strong impact in this difficult relationship, (which I will discuss in the following post). The final outcome is a constant struggling sector, a vortex of dissatisfaction in which automation will soon breach in. (Automation in Hospitality post – coming soon)

Thank you for reading me and please leave your comments below, I will be happy to share and discuss more the topic.

The second part will be soon available here.

Enjoy your work and greetings from South Australia.

Simone Berliat

Manager – Consultant in Hospitality



In-text: (Payscale.com, 2018)

Your Bibliography: Payscale.com. (2018). Restaurant Manager Salary (Italy). [online] Available at: https://www.payscale.com/research/IT/Job=Restaurant_Manager/Salary [Accessed 28 Oct. 2018].


In-text: (Data.worldbank.org, 2018)

Your Bibliography: Data.worldbank.org. (2018). GDP per capita (current US$) | Data. [online] Available at: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?locations=IT [Accessed 28 Oct. 2018].


In-text: (Payscale.com, 2018)

Your Bibliography: Payscale.com. (2018). Restaurant Manager Salary (Australia) | PayScale. [online] Available at: https://www.payscale.com/research/AU/Job=Restaurant_Manager/Salary [Accessed 29 Oct. 2018].


In-text: (Data.worldbank.org, 2019)

Your Bibliography: Data.worldbank.org. (2019). GDP per capita (current US$) | Data. [online] Available at: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?locations=au [Accessed 6 Jan. 2019].

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