THE current shortage of hospitality workers due to the surge in COVID-19 cases has resulted in a call out for temporary staff to help keep business doors open.
Following the announcements from a number of local businesses that they will be running on low staff or closing up shop completely as employees isolate, founder of Port Macquarie EaTs Ellen Crepaz posted a call out on the group's Facebook page to gauge interest in temporary staff.
"I received a message through the page asking if I could put up a post about temporary staff filling positions of people who have to isolate," Mrs Crepaz said.
"There are a lot of people out of work at the moment or who are waiting to go back to university and this is a perfect opportunity to upskill while also helping out local hospitality businesses."
There have been a number of Facebook posts pop up over the past week from businesses in the Hastings who have had to close their doors or who are running on skeleton staff.
"I feel that last year during the lockdowns there was support there for businesses forced to close but now that everything's open that support has gone. They close because there just aren't enough staff, but they don't have that payment support to fall back on," Mrs Crepaz said.
Miss Nellie's Cafe in Kendall is currently open but are operating on low staff after their backup workers have been identified as close contacts, a post to their Facebook page said.
The Settlers Inn Hotel also alerted the public that while the pub will remain open the bistro will close due to low staff.
"Our bistro will be temporarily closed due to the current challenges around staff shortages. As always, we are doing our best to keep our staff and our community safe," a post on their Facebook page stated.
"We are working with our team to reopen as soon as possible."
This is a similar story for many hospitality venues at the moment. The Bandwagon Cafe has also closed until all staff return a negative PCR test while The Pepperberry also announced the cafe will close due to staff shortages.
Manager of the Town Green Buffet Samet Portakaldali said they have had to reduce their operational hours due to the staff shortage.
"We would normally be open throughout the day but are now having to close after lunch and reopen again later for dinner," he said.
"Usually we have between 25 and 30 staff but we're down to 17 now."
Mrs Crepaz said the current shortage of staff will have a domino effect on other businesses as well.
"If people aren't able to work then they won't be spending money in other businesses," she said.
"This is the time for businesses to think outside the box because this will be the new normal."
Although it's in the early stages, Mrs Crepaz is hopeful this call out will benefit local businesses and people looking for work.
"We're encouraging people to reach out to us through the page and put themselves out there. We also hope businesses looking for staff will contact us as well," she said.
"If it gets big enough and people get on board then we will create a section on our website that will list people looking for work and their details.
"A lot of these businesses aren't big enough to have back up staff and looking at temporary staff might be an option."
To reach out to Port Macquarie EaTs, visit their Facebook page.
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