The hospitality industry is facing several challenges:

Labour shortage

There is a significant shortage of skilled labor in the hospitality industry in Auckland and New Zealand, which can make it difficult for businesses to find and retain qualified workers.

High turnover

The hospitality industry in Auckland and New Zealand has high turnover rates, which can be costly for businesses and lead to a loss of experienced staff.

Seasonal demand

The hospitality industry in Auckland and New Zealand is highly seasonal, with demand for workers peaking during the summer tourist season. This can make it difficult for businesses to manage staffing levels year-round.

Increasing costs

The hospitality industry in Auckland and New Zealand is facing increasing costs, including rising wages, rents, and food and beverage costs. This can put pressure on businesses to increase prices or cut costs elsewhere.

Recommendations and insights to address challenges

The following are recommendations from various hui and engagements to address these challenges:

Current demand considerations for skills and workforce challenges in Auckland

Hospitality industry views

Skills shortages continued to plague the Auckland Hospitality industry. While 2022 employee numbers reversed the decline seen in 2021 to reach 135 thousand employees, at 0.37% this is the lowest growth level in more than 10 years (Restaurant Association of New Zealand).

The dominant Restaurant and Cafe sector had a minimal 0.66 per cent increase in employee numbers from 2021 to 2022, and 3 sectors had declines:

  • caterers (down 6.12%)
  • pubs, taverns, and bars (-4.5%)
  • clubs (-4.9%).

The largest challenge in the hospitality is meeting our workforce demands. Based on feedback from industry, increased training is needed to meet the skills shortage needs both in terms of availability and quality.

Gaps identified are the following:

  • Cookery skills
  • Front of House skills
  • Customer Service skills
  • Advanced Management Skills Training.

“Chefs, chefs, chefs! Virtually impossible to find anyone. We've given up on trying to find chefs and have accepted that we'll have to think outside the square with kitchen staff. Really hard to find anyone who is trained” — Auckland Restaurant Owner.

Annex 1

For more workforce and skills challenges please refer to a dashboard produced by Restaurant Association of New Zealand in Annex 1.

Annex 1: Workforce and Skills Challenges for Hospitality — Restaurant Association of New Zealand

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Last updated: 13 June 2023