Are you dreaming of an adventure Down Under, coupled with an exciting career opportunity? Look no further than Australia’s vibrant hospitality sector! Whether you’re drawn to the bustling streets of Sydney, the cultural hubs of Melbourne, or the scenic beauty of Perth, the hospitality industry offers a unique blend of work and exploration, perfect for backpackers and travelers.
In the heart of summer, bars, pubs, hotels, and restaurants become lively employment hubs, teeming with opportunities for backpackers. The demand for these roles is high, so timing is key – arriving early in the season boosts your chances of securing a position. Here’s your comprehensive guide to navigating the Australian hospitality job market with ease and confidence.
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Essential Steps to Start Your Hospitality Job
Let’s start with the beginning ! Once you arrive in Australia and before starting your job search, you should know that in the hospitality industry generally a specific certificate will be necessary.
Acquiring the RSA Certificate
To work in any establishment serving alcohol, you’ll need the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. Note that this certificate’s validity is state-specific. The cost ranges from $50 to $140, varying by state. Remember, each state has its unique RSA regulations!
Get your RSA in Australia and receive Discounts!
Pay less for your RSA course (Responsible Service of Alcohol). With this certificate, you are allowed to work in all places where alcohol is served or sold.
Additional Training Opportunities
Enhance your employability with specialized courses like Barista and Bartending training. These not only increase your job prospects but also immerse you in Australia’s rich coffee culture and dynamic bar scene.
In Australia, it is quite common to do courses to get a job in a cafe or pub. Barista courses for example are pretty popular, and will give you more opportunities and confidence! Indeed, for Australians, coffee is a religion. The “barista course” training will teach you the art of coffee. Some employers may require this type of qualification before interviewing an applicant or suggesting a trial.
Are you a friendly and outgoing person who likes serving people? Then complete a bartending training! You will learn how to prepare, dose and serve different types of alcoholic and soft beverages for bar-goers. Again this training is not mandatory but a plus in your job search in this field.
How to get hospitality jobs in Australia?
The best way to get a job in hospitality is walking around with copies of your resume.
Hospitality is an industry where the customer relationship is what is most important. Customer satisfaction is the key to success in this industry. So remember to highlight in your resume what closely or remotely resembles experience in customer-related jobs, your ability to adapt, motivation, ease of learning quickly… Sell yourself.
Arm yourself with resumes and explore the city. Personal interactions can make a significant difference. Look out for ‘help wanted’ signs and engage directly with managers or owners.
Online job platforms
In addition to door-to-door, you can consult websites such as Gumtree or Seek which list many job offers. Keep in mind that these are positions where human contact remains essential, and a good first impression is important! Remember: First come, first-served. So make sure that you check the ads on those websites regularly.
Leveraging Social Media and Employment Agencies
Very common in large towns are employment agencies. You may need to go there every day to find out about new job offers as soon as they are put up. You usually register in their database and provide a CV.
Keep in mind: Sometimes you need to be patient because the job search may take several weeks.
You can sometimes also count on the solidarity of our fellow travellers through Facebook groups such as “backpackers in Sydney” (obviously varies according to the city where you are) or “backpacker in Australia”. Sometimes kind souls post ads when the company they work for is hiring. But again, it’s a bit up to whoever is lucky enough to see the ad first.
Stay motivated, keep making an effort, and in particular, meet people, let them know you are looking for a job. Word of mouth is always effective in Australia!
Read also : How to get a Hospitality job in Australia
What type of jobs are available in hospitality?
If you want to work in hospitality there are lots of different opportunities.
Waitress / Waiter
As a waiter you can work in restaurants, cafes or bars.
Your tasks will be:
- Opening the establishment. In this case you will set up the restaurant, set up the tables, chairs, signs outside… (you must make sure that everything is ready before the service begins).
- Taking orders, bills, welcoming customers. Cash handling can be one of your tasks unless only the manager or the bartender is authorized to cash.
- Closing the establishment: gather tables, chairs, set the tables, clean.
Sometimes a person is responsible for delivering food orders from the kitchen to customers’ tables. A runner’s primary responsibility is to assist waiters and bartenders in serving customers as quickly and accurately as possible. Runners do not take orders or process payments.
The bartender can work in restaurants, bars, lounge bars, nightclubs. He will need to arrive before the opening, take care of setting it up (cut the mint, lemon, ensure the stock of wines, beers and others). He must also ensure the cleanliness of the bar before, during and after the service. And he will obviously have to prepare and send the orders in a timely manner.
In the kitchen
You can also find a quantity of jobs to perform in the kitchen! Depending on your qualifications and experiences, you may work as:
- Kitchen hand
- Sandwich hand
The barista’s role is to take care of hot drinks, smoothies, juices etc… Sometimes some establishments require you to make drawings in the cafes with the foam (latte art), but for that, you will be trained, don’t panic.
You will have the responsibility of
- to load, transport, and deliver items to clients or businesses in timely manner.
- to carry out food catering deliveries.
Add to these other jobs such as concierge, Hotel General Manager, Housekeeper, etc.
Wages and Working conditions
Salaries & working conditions
Regarding salaries, they vary enormously depending on the city, the jobs, the hours worked, etc.
First you may come across employers who will want to pay you “cash in hand”, it is illegal. It’s up to you whether you accept or not, but it’s quite common. The employer will often offer you a slightly lower salary than normal in this case. No need to tell you about the precariousness of your job in this case.
The minimum wage in Australia in the hospitality industry is $23.23 per hour (to be reviewed in July 2024).
If you are “casual”, your salary should be higher than the minimum salary (+25%). This is partly because of the precariousness of the status as you will have no guarantee of working hours. Moreover, casual employees do not get paid when they are sick or go on vacation.
In some establishments, salaries will also vary depending on the day of the week. For example from Monday to Thursday, then they will increase the hourly rate on Friday evening and Saturday and increase again on Sunday (in general in big cities).
In Australia, an employee can work up to 38 hours in a week unless an employer asks him to work reasonable extra hours.
If you have a Working Holiday Visa keep in mind that you usually cannot work for the same employer for more than 6 months. This applies to all professions. However, you can request an authorisation from Australian immigration.
Trials in hospitality
In hospitality, it is quite common that you have to do a trial before you get hired. A brief work trial can be legally unpaid if it is necessary to evaluate someone’s suitability for the job. You demonstrate the skills that are relevant to the position you are applying for. During your trial you will be under direct supervision of the employer for the entire time.
Any period beyond what is reasonably required to demonstrate the skills required for the job must be paid at the minimum rate of pay. It is illegal for your employer not to pay you for any work that you do, even if it is only for a small number of hours.
But don’t be nervous and be yourself. They only want to see if you are not completely untalented. Smile and be friendly and attentive to customers. Keep your eyes open for tables that need cleaning and always clear empty glasses or cups from tables when you’re on the way to the kitchen. Maintain a good pace without stressing if it’s busy.
By the way, managers sometimes forget to mention that you should wear comfortable runners unless it’s a posh restaurant. If in doubt, wear black or unobtrusive colours.
Working in Australia in 2024: What’s New?
The hospitality sector (hotels and restaurants, bars, discotheques and cafes) is a very attractive sector for people on a Working Holiday Visa.
Today, many cafés and restaurants have “staff wanted” or “hiring” signs at their windows. So you’ll have every chance of finding a job in hospitality in Australia in 2024! Jobs in hospitality are subject to seasonality. In summer (December, January) restaurants and bars are in full swing and therefore need more staff. This means even more job opportunities!
As we look towards 2024, the Australian hospitality landscape continues to evolve. The hospitality sector remains a dynamic field for WHV holders. However, in 2024, there’s a growing focus on quality service and customer experience, making it an exciting time to join the industry.
You are looking for other jobs in cities? Download the Australia Backpackers Guide and find everything you need to know about jobs in housekeeping, shops, factories, construction or other types of casual work.
Embarking on a hospitality career in Australia is not just a job – it’s an adventure. It’s a chance to meet new people, explore incredible places, and gain invaluable life experiences. So pack your bags, prepare your documents, and get ready for an unforgettable journey in the Australian hospitality sector in 2024!