Male cooks preparing meals in restaurant kitchen from Shutterstock.com

Despite the availability of nearly 1,000 vacancies in the food and business (F&B) industries, some restaurants are still finding it hard to fill these positions as there have been zero takers for more than a month.

These vacancies were made available as early as 14 September when Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing announced that the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) is working hand-in-hand with its members to offer over 1,000 job opportunities to staff from Singapore Airlines (SIA) who have been retrenched.

However, RAS noted on 30 October that none of these vacancies have been filled.

It added that the jobs range from front-end to back-of-house roles which include service crew, kitchen helpers, chefs as well as managers.

If that’s not all, its spokesperson also informed CNA that RAS has been working directly with SIA to promote these opportunities.

Apart from the aviation industry, RAS is also working with Workforce Singapore (WSG) and National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) as well as its Employment and Employability Institute to encourage those who have been retrenched from the hospitality and tourism sectors to make a career jump into the F&B industry.

The association also noted that although higher-skilled managerial roles like outlet managers require some relevant experience, F&B operators are “willing and open to training newcomers” for service-related roles.

“So far, unfortunately, we have not received positive responses from companies within these sectors,” the spokesperson added.

It was reported in CNA that some F&B companies pointed out that they are having a hard time securing new hires despite the bleak labour market due to COVID-19.

One such company called Creative Eateries said that it has been looking at “all avenues to get resumes” such as by participating in job fairs.

Some new employees, however, decide to call it quits just after the first day or simply did not show up.

The company said that it has nearly 40 vacancies at the moment.

“We hire people on a weekly basis but it’s really hard to find people who stay,” the company’s chief operating officer Bonnie Wong told CNA.

“It’s funny that some sectors are retrenching but we are struggling to find workers… With the current situation, you can see that F&B jobs are really not on top of the minds of Singaporeans even when there’s high unemployment,” she added.

Netizens’ reaction

Upon hearing this news, many netizens have pointed out the reasons why locals are not taking up these vacancies in the F&B industry.

Commenting on CNA‘s Facebook page, they explained that a poor remuneration package is the main reason why Singaporeans are not taking up jobs at restaurants. They said that the low salaries offered are not enough for them to make a living here.

One user stated that they could earn more as a Grab delivery driver compared to restaurant staff.

Besides that, the lack of benefits and long working hours are also unattractive to locals.

Besides that, netizens said that F&B outlets are businesses, which means they want to make profit.

Therefore, they will need keep their overhead costs low — and that often results in employees making small earnings.

Some added that the high cost of rent is also causing employers to offer low salaries to their employees.

Others noted that restaurant owners are now looking for Singaporean staff as they cannot employ foreigners for the same low salary.

 

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