The hospitality industry is a realm I have long been immersed in, a journey that began in my teenage years when I toiled as a dishwasher at the tender age of 16. Today, as an industry ‘insider’, I am filled with a mix of confusion and frustration about the prevailing state of affairs.
The pandemic has served as a stark reality check, thrusting the mental and physical wellbeing of hospitality workers into the spotlight. This narrative has gravitated towards the reduction of exhausting working hours, improving working conditions, and wider strategies aimed at reducing employee attrition.
From my years in frontline operations, I have deep, personal knowledge of the gruelling experience of labouring through back-to-back 18-hour shifts, a Herculean feat that comes with scant financial reward.
This leads me to the critical and vexing issue: the measly pay packets synonymous with the hospitality industry.
It's a conundrum with a circular argument. As an industry, we are culpable, and yet, the patrons of our establishments (yes, that includes you), are also unwitting contributors.