Fremantle hospitality and event venues are adjusting to greater patron numbers as the easing of Covid restrictions on April 29 allowed restaurants, pubs and clubs to operate at full capacity.
While restrictions, such has mask-wearing, social distancing and vaccination requirements may be good for business, finding staff to fill a sudden change in service demand is problematic.
Motorplex events manager Emma Catch says that when the business had to follow government-imposed restrictions they initially had issues hiring staff.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we had to hire more staff due to checking the proof of vaccination, at this time we found that there was a staff shortage and it was hard to hire new members,” Miss Catch said.
She added that they are now facing shortages again with more people attending the complex, but a lack of available staff.
Ben Bell owns a small bar in Fremantle, called Jungle Bird. He says staff shortages weren’t the only issue during the pandemic. Restrictions and social fear led to empty bars and like many businesses Jungle Bird was loosing money from low turnout and sudden lockdowns.
“Last Monday was a different story, the staff and customers had to have masks on.”
“I brought back around 6 tables and over 15 chairs as we are now at full capacity, and tonight every table is occupied, last Monday we were at 70 per cent capacity and we barely had anyone here,” Mr Bell said.
Mr Bell says that overall, he notices that the vibe is up, people seem genuinely happier to be out and the staff find it easier to work without having to wear a mask.
Business is booming and workers are adjusting to changes in policies.
Bartender Kim Carson of The Local Hotel in South Fremantle said: “I have found it hard to adapt to the demand of my work due to being short on staff and the venue being at capacity and now the staff we do have are unreliable due to Covid-19 and reducing the spread so we are stretched thin.”
The Australian Hotel Association declined to comment with any further information about the current situation and how venues can best address the constantly changing policies.
The WA Government was also contacted but was unable to return a response before the requested deadline.