The catering and hospitality industries are severely affected by the lack of a workforce. Chefs, waiters, bartenders are missing from restaurants, as they are afraid of further dismissals and the fourth wave of the pandemic. Most of those who left catering are now working in construction, transportation, and retail – industries that were thriving even during the pandemic. The majority of former catering employees are not planning to return.
Szabolcs Tóth, the general manager of Attaboy Burger Bistro, told G7 that they got applications for their job openings until April, but even before, in general, only 3 people out of 10 went to the job interview and a similar percentage showed up on the trial day. Delivery jobs fill up more easily.
Bori Sinkó, the owner of Hokedli, said that a few months ago, it had been easier to find new employees. She added that, often, specially trained professionals applied, such as a chef who had previously worked in a fine-dining restaurant.
Szabolcs Tóth said that job applicants with modest skills can now get the jobs for which there had been competition 5 years ago.
Many catering businesses have raised their employees’ salaries, and the prices match this increase. Some restaurant owners explain this by the closeness of Austria. Employees want Western European pay, but to be able to grant their wish, employers have to raise the prices. As a result, it is predicted that some restaurants will raise salaries and prices while others will probably close down.
The hospitality industry is going through similar struggles. Tamás Flesch, the president of the Hungarian Association of Hotels and Restaurants, said that accommodation services in Budapest are trying their best to minimise the losses, writes 24.hu.
According to Flesch, there are very few employees who stayed in the industry, and many times, managers and salespeople take up cleaning chores. There is a lack of chefs as well.
75-80% of domestic tourism is based on visitors from Budapest. Even if 8-10% of the rural occupancy in Budapest could be doubled, it would not help hotels in Budapest stay afloat. Foreigners are a significant factor in Budapest tourism.