Restaurant Association Ready to Negotiate Fair Pay Agreements

The Restaurant Association is ready to sit at the bargaining table, hoping to reach an agreement for employers and workers, stating that it supports fair working conditions.

Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois said that although the timing is not ideal, discussions around the terms and conditions for hospitality employers need to happen in good faith and that there is progress to work on. 

"In this current climate, we see more businesses thinking about what they can do to attract and retain staff. Whilst salaries have increased by over eleven per cent in the past year,  employees are also looking to work in businesses that provide them with fair working  conditions and pay."

In a recent survey on the top challenges for the industry, increasing costs were rated as the most challenging to manage. "We acknowledge that this is something the whole country is facing," said Bidois. "But the increasing compliance burden continues to take its toll on many of our employer members. The vast majority have  seen a drop in business confidence – a contributing factor has been policy uncertainty and  the legislative changes they have faced over the past three years."

A recent survey predicted that increasing costs were one of the industry's biggest challenges and that the compliance burden continues to take its toll on many association members. There has also been a drop in business confidence, with policy uncertainty and legislative changes looming for the past three years as contributing factors.

Profit margins in the hospitality industry at the moment are quite low, with an average between just 4-7 percent. Bidois added that there isn’t much wiggle room, and inflation has heavily impacted input costs. Productive negotiations are being called on to settle the matter. 

The Restaurant Association is seconding the stance taken by Bidois, adding that it has always supported appropriate working conditions and fair pay. 

"Our members are good people running good businesses. It isn’t possible to do that without attracting and retaining good people; our members know the delivery of a great hospo experience depends to a very large extent on the contributions of great staff members. With initiatives like HospoCred (RA’s own accreditation programme), we are leading work in our sector to support our members in achieving this. We support fair working conditions, and as the representing body of most of the Restaurants and Cafes in New  Zealand, we support our members in achieving this."