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Hospitality Work in Australia

Working in bars, hotels, restaurants and resorts is an obvious way to earn money whilst in Australia. Hotel, tourism and leisure companies need most staff during school holidays, at Easter and Christmas. Resorts have the highest demand for staff in the summer, which is December to February. If you are looking for a solid three months of work, this can be a good opportunity to head to the Gold or Sunshine Coast. Think about the west coast if you are looking for resort work at this time of year. It has many beautiful resorts, and there isn’t as much competition for work from other travellers.

Keeping your black and whites at the ready is a sure way to impress catering agencies and restaurants. If you don’t have room in your rucksack, budget for a pair of tailored black trousers, a plain white shirt and some black shoes when you get to Australia. Clothes are generally cheaper than in the UK. Black shoes should be plain, preferably lace ups, and should cover the whole of your foot (don’t turn up in sandals!). Aussie bars and restaurants love experienced staff. The more bar and waiting experience you can get before you leave, the better.

If you have worked in an upmarket restaurant before, you stand more chance of getting work in a place with good tips in Australia. Beware though – tipping isn’t as common in Australia as it is elsewhere.

“A la carte” experience is something that ads for waiting staff frequently require. It basically means you will be expected to show the customer to their table, hand out menus and take orders from the table. Silver service looks good on your CV too.

If you can make a cappuccino or espresso using a proper coffee machine, you will be able to get a lot more work in cafes and bars.

The RSA (Responsible Serving of Alcohol) certificate is useful if you are planning on doing a lot of bar work. Hospitality agencies will charge you a fee to do your course, which takes around 4 hours to complete.

Many bars and restaurants require their staff to have this qualification, particularly in New South Wales.

If you have good references bring them with you to show to employers. It could give you the edge over other applicants having them to hand.

Each state has its own “award rate” or minimum wage for work in the hospitality and catering sector.