With hospitality and events back in full-swing post-COVID, the needs of business and the demands of casual and temporary staff has evolved - and Hotelstaff has shifted with the industry to embrace the new face of workforce flexibility.

“What we are seeing in 2022 is that our clients are still seeking great output and efficient service, and now, more than ever, they want flexible and reliable staffing,” said Nathan Szprinc, owner and Managing Director of Hotelstaff.

“Meanwhile, post-COVID, hospitality workers are leaving the sector in droves, seeking jobs with more flexibility and work-life balance.

“So as a key provider of casual and temporary hospitality talent, we have recognised the need to evolve, too.”

Enter Hotelstaff 2.0 - the best chefs in town

Hotelstaff now specialises in providing the best quality culinary talent to the sector, with the mission to become Australia’s largest culinary talent agency. Hotelstaff is excited to transform the way chefs are hired, and to continue serving an industry we love.

“The idea of being a one stop shop, providing every skill set, doesn’t make sense any more,” said Nathan. “The current challenges with staff shortages and the steep rise in wages to attract and retain talent means specialisation provides our clients with the greatest ROI and our chefs with unbeatable perks to enhance their satisfaction with chefing.”

This is why, today, Hotelstaff is now the preferred supplier of chefs to the biggest caterers, stadia, racetracks and major events across the state.

Clients have access to the ‘best of the best’

Hotelstaff remain at the service of our loyal clients, and the transition to a chef-only talent agency stands to offer even more benefits to our clients.

Clients now have exclusive access to a huge pool of local and international culinary talent when they need them - including chefs from Michelin starred and Hatted restaurants who are currently working across Melbourne and greater Victoria.

On top of accessing the best available culinary talent, every client is matched with the right chef for their needs using a personalised roster.

“Instead of relying on technology, we hand-pick the best suited chef or team of chefs for every kitchen, for every event,” said Nathan. “We know that we can’t rely on an app to decide who goes where - this is about finding the best fit every time, to achieve the goals that our clients are looking for.

“This approach leads to a smooth running kitchen, and helps to deliver a successful event for our clients.”

A focus on quality over quantity

To ensure the service delivery we’ve built our reputation on, Hotelstaff only hires the best applicants, which equates to only a small percentage of those who apply to work for us.

“The goal has always been quality rather than quantity,” says Nathan. “This is proving to deliver a great result for our clients, and for our chefs, too.

“Our data shows that while our qualified and experienced chefs may come at a premium price, our chefs are more efficient and adaptable, show them once and they run with it - and this means better quality and consistent output from a smaller team - and this ultimately improves the return on investment for our clients.”

And as the unpredictable consumer demand and competition for new hires continues, our clients are enjoying the flexibility of accessing quality casual talent that can be sourced at a moment’s notice.

A haven for Australia’s top chefs

Chefs across Australia are already choosing Hotelstaff as their employer of choice, with a wide range of benefits over other agencies and restaurants.

Hotelstaff has put the needs of chefs at the core of our new strategy. Instead of working in a single kitchen that often includes unpaid hours and high levels of stress, we’ve given them total control of their working hours.

“Everything we’re offering to chefs is centred around their needs and providing a real work-life balance,” said Nathan. “This offers chefs flexibility and freedom of casual work, while benefiting from great pay and the ability to clock off when their shift ends.”

These benefits include regular staffing events and perks, and the Hotelstaff Chefs Awards Night, where we acknowledge their hard work and dedication with awards and rewards totalling more than $7,000 in its inaugural year.

“I’ve never had more satisfaction from chefing than I have today,” said Anthony Tasca, ​​Hotelstaff’s inaugural Chef of the Year. “I get to do what I love, earn great money, and have time to travel, spend time with my family, and even take a holiday. It’s the shake-up that the industry needed, that chefs need.”

Hotelstaff clients love it. And chefs love it too. Hotelstaff has already seen a significant shift in the attitude of our chefs; they’re delivering more for our clients in exchange for flexibility and work life balance that traditional chefing in the hospitality industry doesn’t afford.

And this is shifting the recruitment process. “Our chefs are not only loyal to the Hotelstaff method of work, and they’re also actively referring other great chefs to come work with us,” said Nathan. “This only fuels our current growth. I think it says a lot about our brand when we have more referrals than hires from traditional recruitment channels such as SEEK and LinkedIn.”

“Hotelstaff began its business in 1986 in the kitchens of Melbourne. Now, we are returning to the kitchen to provide the best chefs in the business to our clients in the new world of hospitality talent management,” said Nathan.

“We see this recent move as a natural progression that will benefit our clients and chefs with a more focused, personalised service, which will ultimately change the face of staffing in the hospitality industry, for the better.”

As Victoria finally opens back up and begins life under ‘Covid normal’, Hotelstaff is committed to attracting back the very best Talent to our amazing hospo industry and helping our clients run their events.

That’s why we’re excited to announce the launch of three new initiatives to reward our Talent:

Covid Bonus Payment

Every single staff member is set to receive an extra $3 per hour on top of their normal hourly pay - guaranteed!

With the $3 Covid Bonus Payment we not only want to reward our current Talent for their hard work but also bring back all those incredible chefs, waiters, baristas, kitchen hands and hosts who were impacted by the pandemic.

*The $3 Covid Bonus Payment does not yet apply to Healthcare workers, but we’re working on it so stay tuned!

Monthly Loyalty Program

This program offers a unique incentive for our Talent to boost their regular hours and receive generous bonuses on top of their base income.

If any staff member works 100 or more hours for a minimum of 4 clients across any calendar month then we will pay them a $350 Loyalty Bonus.

As the demand for our Talent continues to increase each and every week, this target is easily achievable for many of our staff.

Level Up Bonus

It’s time to get our sporting, entertainment and events scene pumping again, which is why our Talent will also have the occasional opportunity to earn above their typical pay grade with our Level Up Program.

What does this mean? As an example, if you work as a Level 1 Kitchen Hand you could get paid as a Level 4 Cook, or if you work as a Level 2 Waiter you could get paid as a Level 5 Supervisor.

We have arrangements with a selection of clients that give you the potential to Level Up your pay so you can keep your flexible lifestyle and enjoy the warmer months ahead.

We’re still the most Talent friendly hospitality agency in Melbourne

Of course, extra dollars in the pockets of our staff is one way of retaining the best Talent out there, but so is providing:

We believe these incentives are just another reason we remain the most Talent friendly agency in Melbourne, supporting our Talent with great bonuses, great conditions and great opportunities to work at our city’s premier events.

So if you’re thinking about getting back into hospo and want to get paid what you’re worth, join Hotelstaff today!

As Victoria's hospitality industry begins to remerge from lockdown #6, Hotelstaff is introducing an innovative new Loyalty Program to motivate and re-engage its talent while helping to meet the staff shortages many clients will experience.

After restrictions eased from Melbourne’s February and June lockdowns there was a huge demand placed on the hospitality industry as it came back to life. From boardrooms and catering to restaurants and stadiums, our clients needed a large number of shifts filled quickly and the staff simply weren't there and those that remained were being offered so much work without incentive to work longer than pre-pandemic levels.

With yet another extended Victorian lockdown coming to an end, these staffing challenges have inevitably only worsened, creating an environment that makes it difficult to trade when a reliance on talent cannot be assured. We are already seeing evidence of reduced trading hours to accommodate staff shortages.

In order for the industry to survive and handle the demand that is coming, our talent need something to motivate them to keep working under extreme conditions. Hotelstaff's generous Loyalty Program exists to achieve just that.

“We believe our loyalty program will be a great way to re-engage and motivate our talent to increase their hours to help meet this ongoing staffing demand,” said Nathan Szprinc, Hotelstaff’s Managing Director. “COVID-19 has taught us that we need to be ready to adapt and find new ways to serve our clients and we cant do it without the talent in the kitchen and on the restaurant floor.

How does the new Loyalty Program work?

Hotelstaff’s Loyalty Program offers a unique incentive for our talent to boost their regular hours and receive generous bonuses on top of their base income. Where possible we have also started to pay our talent above award as recognition for their hard work.

We think the targets are very achievable:

“We truly believe this revolutionary loyalty program will provide the injection our industry desperately needs,” said Nathan.

“Most of our talent work on average for 18 - 20 hours per week. By picking up just one extra shift a week they can now qualify for these monthly bonuses and top up their regular income. It also ensures the our clients have access to a larger pool of staff across the weekend, supporting them during their busy periods.”

"We are also offering an additional incentive each month of $150, for the talent that achieves the highest number of hours worked but falls just short of the target of 100 hours. This means our talent don't stop accepting shifts when they know that 100 hours is no longer within reach."

Additional staff bonuses for Melbourne’s major events

The new Loyalty Program will also provide our staff with exciting opportunities to earn extra bonuses working across Melbourne’s major events landscape from October to March 2022.

This includes:

“In the second half of 2020 there was a huge exodus of staff due to the pandemic,” Nathan said. “We know that programs like this will be a great way to encourage people back into the industry as we enter the peak events season and really support hospitality. It gives them the confidence that the work will be available and they’ll be looked after by an agency that’s playing a small but important role in saving our amazing hospitality industry”

As Melbourne’s premier hospitality talent agency, Hotelstaff has the confidence that when lockdowns and restrictions are eased across Melbourne we can offer a diverse and exciting range of work and ensure our talent is rewarded for their commitment while also supporting our valued clients.

To learn more about our Loyalty Program and how it could benefit you, please click here.

Hotelstaff is proud to have been at the service of the hospitality industry for over 30 years, delivering the best hospitality talent solutions for entertainment, sporting events, boardroom, schools, hospitals and private events across Melbourne.

However, when our founder Michelle Kleiman arrived from South Africa in 1986 the staffing landscape was very different to where we are today.

“I was more focused on building relationships than the bottom line,” Michelle said. “I thought customer service was missing in the Australian recruitment market and this gave me the idea to start Hotelstaff.”

Michelle’s first marketing campaign was sending out 200 branded chef’s hats to kitchens and hotels around the country. Before she knew it, the phone was ringing hot with requests for staff.

Major developments across the State

During the 1990’s large international hotels were opening around Australia and Hotelstaff was hired exclusively to manage their recruitment drives.

“It was everything from kitchen hands to senior roles such as Directors of Food and Beverage, Executive Chefs and Culinary Directors. At one point we had more than  250 permanent vacancies on the board... And we did it all without the help of technology" Michelle said. “Because of my relationships there was an enormous amount of trust with clients. They knew I would be personally involved and my candidates were all of a very high calibre.”

With Michelle’s passion and personal touch, Hotelstaff grew nationally and then internationally and quickly became known as one of the most trusted recruiters for permanent placements to the kitchens of the world.

“It was never a business to me,” she said. “It was all about serving the industry, building relationships and doing what I love.”

With first Seek and then Linkedin starting to change the way companies engaged with talent, Michelle recognised how dramatically technology was changing the hiring landscape, with the market headed in a new direction and she knew that she needed to diversify her business to ensure she remained a market leader. In 2014 she hired Nathan Szprinc, who would focus on the increasing demand for casual staffing solutions across Melbourne whilst Michelle continued with her focus on permanent placements. 

“Both Nathan and I knew it was a risk to team up having previously competed against each other, but we also knew that if our partnership worked, combining my networks in permanent recruitment with Nathan's passion for labour hire that we would become a fully-serviced agency and a force to be reckoned with. We knew that no one else in Melbourne would have the relationships to deliver permanent placements internationally and casual staffing in Melbourne,” 

"Fortunately for both of us the gamble paid off better then either of us could've ever imagined" says Nathan, "Michelle truly is a force of nature and I am just so grateful that she tapped me on the shoulder and gave me the opportunity that she did".

Now the Managing Director and owner of Hotelstaff, Nathan has been able to establish Hotelstaff’s brand and service delivery to a growing number of major sporting and entertainment clients as Hotelstaff now holds the enviable position of Melbourne's premium talent agency to the hospitality industry.


The impacts of the global pandemic on hospitality

While Victoria’s hospitality industry was crippled during the Covid crisis, Hotelstaff was fortunate to be involved in the State Government’s Charity Meals Program. Working in the kitchens of Parliament House, our talent helped make over 1.5 million meals between March 2020 and June 2021.

“The Charity Meals Program was an amazing opportunity during a really tough time for the hospitality industry,” Nathan said. “Our talent were able to gain much needed work and stay engaged with Hotelstaff, while also helping those most in need.”

Even though the hospitality sector is now coming back to life, the impacts of Covid have led to a fundamental shift in how Hotelstaff looks after its talent and services the needs of clients.

“Recent staff shortages have meant we’ve had to rethink how we operate while focusing on managing our talent so they remain loyal to us. Our goal is to be the most talent friendly agency in Melbourne and to help people build a rewarding career in the industry. This ultimately benefits our clients through greater retention of staff.”

"It is no secret that hospitality talent has never been in greater demand... With more than 30 years of history servicing hospitality and with the amazing legacy that Michelle has created, I believe that Hotelstaff could not be better placed to be at the service of the industry we love. It's gonna be a tough road into the new post Covid world but we are looking forward to the challenge".

The hospitality industry has faced many unique challenges during the unprecedented global pandemic. Since March 2020 we have continued to adapt to the various changes across Victoria’s service industry, implementing a range of safe-work practices, regular staff training and constant dialogue with our clients.

We have closely monitored the advice provided by the Federal Government and more specifically by Work Safe Victoria for the hospitality sector, which includes:

Hotelstaff has implemented a detailed COVID Safe Plan at its own head office in Melbourne to mitigate the introduction and spread of the virus. We remain vigilant of any changes to Government restrictions and ways to improve our staff health and safety.

If you would like any further information on our Covid-19 policies, please email casuals@hotelstaff.com.au or phone 03 9650 1311.

03 9650 1311
Level 12 / 412 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004
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