Nicolas was travelling through Australia in a camper van on a Working Holiday Visa. At some point, the time had come when he had to earn some money to finance his trip, so he moved to Noosa in Queensland. There he looked for a Backpacker job and started working in hospitality – for the first time in his life. He reports about his backpacker job in a restaurant in Noosa in our blog.
Getting a job without any hospitality experience
As it often happens, I heard from a friend that a position in a restaurant in Noosa had become available. He himself used to work there once.
I was a bit sceptical because I didn’t have any work experience in the hospitality industry, but I really needed a Backpacker Job. Nevertheless, I decided to apply for the job. Mostly because I had to make money quickly – but also because I imagined it would be fun to work in a restaurant.
The same day I went to the restaurant. The waitress, who took my resume, probably made a joke about my lack of experience. Fortunately, the manager didn’t seem to mind. The 50-year-old Australian decided to give me a chance. For one week, I was on trial to work evenings as a kitchen hand. That was just before the start of the season.
The restaurant in Noosa: Bistro C
I passed the trial period and was then officially employed at Bistro C. The restaurant is very classy with varied and amazing dishes. Apart from the main menu, they had theme nights, for example Mexican Night (with enchiladas etc.), Seafood or Bali Night. My favorite dish was the caramelised pork belly with sweet potatoes – a real treat!
They have a terrace overlooking the main beach of Noosa and can host about 150 to 250 people.
Contract and salary
After my trial, I signed a contract that was limited to 6 months. I worked about 32 hours a week (from 6pm to midnight). At times, I had to do a few hours extra. Overall, I earned about 600 AUD per week (taxes already deducted). On top of that, my girlfriend and I could eat at the restaurant, which was perfect because we didn’t have to spend much money on food.
In the first week, I already met all of my colleagues, all of whom were really nice. The multicultural team consisted of a Balinese cook, an Englishman, an American, a Thai, a Korean, an Australian and me. I had never worked with so many people from different countries before.
Gradually, I became more and more confident in my job. As the team and the manager were pretty happy with me, they gave me more and more jobs in addition to the typical tasks of a kitchen assistant (washing dishes and keeping the kitchen clean). So I started to prepare meals, too. I obviously liked that a lot.
Meal preparation takes up a lot of time, which is why they hired another kitchen hand: a 25-year-old Korean, for whom I got the responsibility to train and instruct. After being able to perform all tasks independently, I took over meal preparation completely. It was pretty hectic 1 to 2 hours before the rush at 20 o’clock. I had to chop an awful lot of vegetables and meat and do everything I could to make the chef’s job easier during the rush hour.
Life outside of work
To save money, we slept in our van at a parking lot on the beach. It was out of town though. After a short time, we got a bit of a routine and found out about a few things that really made life better : free Wifi in the library, free showers near Woolworth s and also many great walks in the Noosa National Park.
Back on the road
After 3 months, we got itchy feet again. We wanted to get back on the road and continue our trip. We had saved enough money to not having to work for a long time. With a heavy heart I quit my job. My boss tried to persuade me to stay longer and even offered me the option of a sponsorship – but my decision was made. With great memories, we headed south. I am glad that I applied for this job despite the lack of experience. I had a great time. I learned a lot and made many new friends. This was probably my best backpacker job and I enjoyed working in hospitality.