Brussels' hospitality sector is buckling under chronic staff shortages. Next week, a major job fair will advertise more than 800 jobs in the sector in a dynamic way, with the hopes of filling vacancies.
In Brussels, many restaurants, bars and hotels are struggling to fill their vacancies. Many employees left the sector for a more stable opportunity during the pandemic due to the uncertainty of the industry's future. Once they fully reopened, the staff shortages added to the workload of employees, making it harder to not only find but also retain employees, as the added stress has made the sector less appealing.
There is currently a staff shortage of some 30-35% across Brussels' hospitality businesses, the Brussels Catering Federation told Bruzz last month. In total, the Brussels catering sector is looking for 10,000 workers.
It stated that restaurants are the most impacted by the staff shortages, especially now that business has gone back to usual. More worryingly, the number of people training to become chefs or restaurant managers has decreased in recent years.
The first edition of Rendez-vous Horeca, the Brussels job and training fair for the hospitality sector, is looking to tackle this problem head-on. It is giving apprentice chefs, restaurant owners and waiters a chance to meet professionals in the field, and is also an occasion for those outside the sector to discover new talents and passions.
People working in various professions within the Brussels sector will showcase their work during participatory workshops, such as a lacto-fermentation workshop, obstacle courses holding trays, cake decorating, and customer check-in management in a hotel. These aim to showcase the wide variety of jobs within the sector.
On Monday 18 September, over 800 job vacancies will be on offer by 25 employers, including 18 training organisations. The aim of the fair is not only to put employers in touch with potential employees but also to demonstrate the potential that the sector can offer them.
Various employees from Brussels' key eateries, including Alice Jaroszuk, who is a pastry chef at Goods, Matilda Bourgies, sommelier at Old Boy, and Loïc Installé, founder of Belga&Co, will be present to answer questions and attract new people to the professions.