Croatian Hospitality Industry in Danger as 11000 Waiters Leave Sector

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, more than 11,000 waiters from across the Republic of Croatia have left their jobs and their sector due to the pandemic and the intermittent and draining lockdowns. Some former waiters went instead to the somewhat economically safer industry of construction, some went abroad, and some looked for third jobs.

As the Croatian hospitality industry would typically be busy seeking seasonal and other such employees at this time of year ahead of the busy tourist season, it is becoming more and more obvious that this will now pose a huge problem ahead of this year’s already questionable tourist season. According to Vedran Jakominic, a member of the Catering Committee of the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association (UGP) and the owner of King’s Caffe, about 40,000 people worked in the sector before the pandemic.

“That number has been slashed to 50 percent. Many waiters, chefs and support staff lost their jobs. We’ll have the exact numbers [of who has remained in the sector] only this autumn. There are now a huge number of zombie companies in Croatia that exist solely to provide their workers with state benefits and nothing else. If the season and the end of the year are very productive, I expect that approximately 60 percent of currently active catering and hospitality establishments will remain on their feet. Otherwise, there will be nobody left,” warned Jakominic for Lider.

They say the same from the National Association of Caterers. The great demand for waiters arose because a huge number of them left the Croatian hospitality industry at various points during the ongoing pandemic.

According to the aforementioned Association, about 5,000 waiters are currently wanted before the arrival of the summer tourist season, and more than 11,000 of them have left, which represents more than 20 percent of the total number of employees in the hospitality industry.

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