‘Hunger Games’ as Sydney’s hospitality venues are battling for staff ahead of the reopening day

Australian Hotels Association director John Green said, along with the lack of hospitality staff, that there were also concerns about the lack of security guards, just as venues need to reinforce their presence to ensure compliance with the vaccine mandate and other COVID-safe measures.

Industrial sources suggest that between five and 40 percent of security subcontractors have left the industry, he said, but the full extent of the emigration will not be known “until we reopen next week”.

Workers also feel the pressure – even if it comes with wage benefits. Karma Lord, director of Hospo Voice in the United Workers Union, said “everyone is looking for workers, no one has enough staff”, and those still in the industry are looking down long shifts and stints about working 10 days in a row.

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Sunshine Inn co-owner Daniel McBride and chef Emma Evans are preparing for reopening Tuesday.

Sunshine Inn co-owner Daniel McBride and chef Emma Evans are preparing for reopening Tuesday. Credit:Brook Mitchell

Daniel McBride, co-owner of The Golden Gully at Leichhardt and Redfern’s Sunshine Inn, has “miraculously” retained most of his staff — but found himself announcing a new chef earlier this week.


He said the job boards for hospitality had been flooded with ads and that there had been an “intense confusion” in the last few weeks after venues realized the lockout really lifted on October 11th.

Pippi Drew, co-owner of The Cauliflower Hotel in Waterloo, said keeping the bottle store open, making cocktail deliveries and reopening the kitchen for pickup last month helped retain its core staff. Aside from a few vaccine-indicating randoms, she had managed to hire her full crew and will be ready to open at 6 p.m. 10 Monday.

The staff at the pub spend the last few days before opening the dusting, polishing, gardening and adding other finishing touches to “breathe some fresh air into the room to make it come alive again”.

Pascale Crouche-Macdonald says she expects one

Pascale Crouche-Macdonald says she expects a “nice, fun shift” on Monday when happy locals return. Credit:Brook Mitchell

Co-owner of the Marrickville Hotel Pascale Crouche-McDonald said her team was just “really excited” to reopen Monday afternoon. For now, the small neighborhood pub only accepts walk-ins, and has canceled their usual Monday special of $ 10 margaritas while the staff grabs hold of being back behind the bar.

Mrs. Crouche-McDonald is convinced that without lots of cheap cocktails, there will be plenty of locals eager to look past the waterhole for a long-awaited drink.

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