• Cyril McAree

Some Roles ‘Critically Endangered’ As Staff Shortages In The Hospitality Industry Continue

2019 has seen unprecedented demand for staff in several areas across the hospitality industry, some of which never before seen as supply-challenged, at least not to such a critical level. According to Excel Recruitment’s 2020 Hotel and Catering salary survey, the most pressurised roles fall in the under €26,000 salary bracket, both front and back of house. Shane Mclave, Excel Recruitment Director says “The sheer number of open positions on the market means frontline staff are keeping their eyes open for any opportunities and will leave roles quickly for what they see as improvements in pay rates or location.”





Staffing headaches are expected to increase for hoteliers as over 3,000 new hotel bedrooms become available and minimum wage is increased again in February. Mr Mclave says “We have seen a massive shortage of accommodation staff intensify as last year went on, a trend we anticipate will continue well into 2020. The basic rate for accommodation staff is rising as far as €12 to €13 per hour.” Mr Mclave continues, “The biggest struggle for many companies now is trying to recruit an almost critically endangered species: The Kitchen Porter. 2020 will see these difficulties to recruit continue unless employers start to think seriously about the pay rate for this vital member of the kitchen team. Nearly all of hotel and catering teams who contributed to this study noted that when pay rates for junior staff were brought 30-50 cent above minimum wage, staff turnover slowed significantly.”

Another specialism in huge demand for 2020 is barista staff with the industry not able to train enough people quickly enough to meet the demand. Shane Mclave says “ We opened the Irish Barista Academy earlier last year offering the essentials of barista training to meet the demand from our clients for trained baristas. We have seen an overwhelming response. There is a clear eagerness from staff to upskill, not only because of genuine interest in the art but also as most establishments are paying baristas above minimum wage.”


With unemployment standing at 4.8% in November of 2019, there is no doubt the employment market is more driven by candidates than ever before. Jobseekers have better knowledge and understanding of what they want and the type of company that they want to work for and those actively job seeking are securing multiple interviews and job offers before making a decision. Mr Mclave says “One of the most common questions that we get from candidates is “What are the benefits?.” Taxsaver commuter tickets and bike to work schemes, staff discounts and meals and uniforms provided are standard for many employees. Candidates are comfortable pushing to get as good a deal as possible before accepting new offers.”


Mr Mclave continues, “A good base salary is as important as ever, but even we were surprised to find a monetary performance bonus has slipped down the pecking order in terms of benefits people want most. Candidates want to feel valued, not bought! This is good news for companies where staff and management focus on the emotional and psychological benefits of work rather than cold, hard cash. Factors such as brand image, company culture and work-life balance are issues holding increasing prominence with candidates.”


Excel Recruitment are delighted to release our 2020 Hotel and Catering Salary Survey. Our salary survey consists of data directly from our hospitality clients and candidates, gathered and compiled by our team. This survey covers all aspects of the hospitality industry including chef salaries, hotel, industrial and corporate catering salaries along with expert analysis from our recruitment team on current trends and issues within the recruitment market. To see the results of our survey, please visit https://www.excelrecruitment.ie/hotel-and-catering-salary-survey-2020/ or email laurence@excelrecruitment.com for further information.

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