As Australia’s hospitality industry struggles through a critical staff shortage, many General Managers and, in some cases, high-level company executives are pitching in to help out their teams where possible.

The latter is true at Wyndham Destinations, where company President and Managing Director of International Operations, Barry Robinson, rolled up his sleeves to help the team at Wyndham Surfers Paradise café out of a sticky spot one morning this week when staff fell ill.

Robinson took to The Promenade’s kitchen to prepare meals for waiting customers alongside Wyndham Destinations Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Brand Communications and Customer Experience, Bruce Harkness, and the hotel’s General Manager, Maria Salazar.

Robinson, who has worked in various hospitality roles throughout his career, said it was natural that he would want to help out.  

“I am proud to have been part of the industry for more than 30 years, so serving has almost become an instinct,” he said.

“When I heard about the situation over here, I rushed to fill the gap.”

With the pandemic prompting many skilled professionals to leave the industry, and many Australians wanting to travel again after years of restrictions, the industry is under increasing pressure to fill roles. And with rising occupancy levels, reaching between 80 to 90% in some places for the rest of this year, the staffing problem will only be exacerbated.

Wyndham Destinations is currently recruiting for around 120 positions across its Australian offices, hotels and resorts, from front office and housekeeping roles to sales and corporate. More than 30 of these are in Queensland alone, primarily on the Gold Coast, while holiday hotspots such as Port Stephens, Port Macquarie and Phillip Island are also looking for staff.

Robinson is urging jobseekers to consider a career in hospitality, saying its an opportune time to join and rise the ranks quickly.

“Hospitality is an exciting profession that opens up opportunities on a global level,” he said.

 “There tends to be plenty of movement as people take advantage of these and capable professionals can rise very quickly, and find themselves able to travel all over the world.

“We would recommend people consider hospitality as a genuine career and with the shortage we are experiencing, there has never been a better time.”