Hospo Needs You is a campaign launched by Waikato Food Inc to help with one of the dire issues facing local eateries.
The skills shortage has been a growing problem for the industry and only exasperated by Covid. At a recent Waikato Food Inc meeting for local eateries, it was clear that staff shortages and the uncertainty around staffing (with people needing to self-isolate) was top of many businesses concerns.
WFI Chairperson, Sarah Turpitt says, “it’s heart-breaking to see the anguish the staffing issues are causing, especially when eateries have been grappling with so much over the past two years.”
At the meeting many ideas were thrown around the room and while a long-term solution was needed to encourage people in the industry the immediate need was more pressing. Some great initiatives had already started up including a facebook group to enable staff sharing. “It’s great to see our community come together over this” says Sarah “and we have seen this with people in the industry offering their services to others on their days off. It is clear though that for an industry that is already stretched this is not going to be enough.”
Waikato Food Inc have therefore planned a two-pronged campaign. The first is to inspire or encourage those with hospitality experience who have left the industry to consider “moonlighting”.
“We want to encourage those who already have the skill set and can jump in to consider moonlighting” explains Sarah. This could be those who have waited tables to pay their way through uni and now have the job they trained for but can possibly do a night or two or a weekend shift. Or it could be those that left possibly to have kids, but they are now at school and they are looking back at getting back into the workforce.
Vicki Ravlich-Horan from Waikato Food Inc and Nourish Magazine has over 20 years’ experience in hospitality but admits “after a decade out of the game I may be a bit rusty.” This didn’t stop her putting on her hospo shoes and doing a shift at Hayes Common on Sunday.
“The hope is people will see me putting on the pinny to help and think I could do that to” says Vicki. “The one post I put on social about me volunteering to help illustrated how many others are out there eager to help out the industry they love.”
It is this last point that the WFI team are keen to capitalise on also. “If like me a career in hospo has given you so much or it simply taught you some valuable life lessons we are keen to highlight this” says Vicki. Whether it be the opportunity to travel or teaching you compassions and understanding, about hard work or to appreciate good food – Waikato Food Inc are on a mission to highlight these and ask you to now give back to hospo and pick up a shift!
Keen to offer your skills to help hospo out? Click here to register.