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Hospitality Industry in Crisis: New Lobby Group Emerges to Fight for Survival

Australia's beloved hospitality industry, a $64 billion giant and a major employer, is in dire straits. Labour shortages, rising costs, and complex regulations are squeezing restaurants and cafes, with predictions of mass closures looming.


A Perfect Storm of Challenges: Hospitality Industry in Crisis

The industry is grappling with a severe lack of skilled workers. This makes it difficult to operate efficiently and deliver the high standards Australians expect. Rising ingredient prices due to inflation are further straining finances, leaving restaurants with shrinking profit margins. Additionally, the current restaurant award system is seen as overly complicated and burdensome, adding another layer of stress for business owners.

Payroll Tax: A Thorn in the Side

A major point of contention is payroll tax. Industry leaders like celebrity chef Neil Perry find it baffling, arguing it discourages hiring and adds unnecessary financial strain.

A New Voice Emerges: The Australian Restaurant & Cafe Association (ARCA)

In response to these challenges, a new industry association, the Australian Restaurant & Cafe Association (ARCA), has been formed. Led by prominent figures like Perry (founding chair) and Wes Lambert (CEO), ARCA aims to be a powerful voice for the industry.

Advocacy and Reform: A Multi-Pronged Approach

ARCA is committed to advocating for government reforms on issues like immigration, taxation, and industrial relations.They want a simpler national restaurant award and the abolishment of payroll tax. Ultimately, their goal is to secure a "better seat at the table" for the industry when it comes to government policy.

Long-Term Sustainability: The Bigger Picture

ARCA isn't just focused on weathering the current storm. They want to create long-term solutions. Their vision is to ensure the government understands the critical role hospitality plays in the Australian economy and the impact its policies have on this vital sector.

Collaboration, Not Competition

While a pre-existing industry association, Restaurant & Catering Australia (RCA), exists, ARCA emphasises collaboration, not competition. They believe a stronger, unified voice is essential to secure government support.

The Fight for Survival Begins

With the industry facing its toughest year yet, ARCA has convened its first board meeting. The group, which includes representatives from well-known hospitality brands like Quay and Stokehouse, is determined to push for legislative and policy changes that will allow restaurants and cafes to not only survive but also thrive.

A Call to Action for Diners

ARCA urges diners to continue supporting their favourite restaurants and cafes during this challenging time. Every meal enjoyed helps these businesses stay afloat.

The Future of Hospitality in Australia

The battle for the survival of the Australian hospitality industry has begun. With a new voice leading the charge, ARCA hopes to secure a brighter future for restaurants, cafes, and the passionate people who bring them to life. Partner with ChefHire In these uncertain economic times, finding qualified chefs can be an added hurdle. Partner with ChefHire, a trusted agency since 2010, to connect with pre-vetted chefs ready to be dispatched to your restaurants, hotels, and more.Together, we can support the industry we love.


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