Labour Crunch in the F&B – How Can We Solve It?

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Singapore is known for having one of the most vibrant F&B industries in the world. Many locals and tourists here do not mind queuing for good food. However, many eateries continue to struggle with the rise in demand and labour shortage in the industry.

F&B business owners who want to hire foreign workers to solve their manpower shortage face a road block. In Singapore, there are strict manpower laws that require a F&B business to hire at least six local employees before they are allowed to hire one foreign worker.

Many may complain that the manpower shortage is a result of low wages, long hours, and the less than glamourous image of being a F&B worker. But apart from offering higher wages or getting more foreign workers, is there something else that businesses can do to solve the manpower crunch?

Here are some possible solutions:

  1. Hire More Part-time Student Workers

    There has been an increasing trend for students in Singapore seeking part-time work to earn some extra pocket money, pay their tution fees, help out with the family’s finances or gain some working experience. Businesses can offer a more flexible work scheme for students so that they can earn their keep and help with the manpower problem.

  2. Give Back-to-Work Mothers a Chance

    Many women who take a break to start a family often find it difficult to re-enter the workforce. F&B businesses could offer them jobs and help them re-assimilate into the workforce.

  3. Let Retirees Come Back to Work

    Senior citizens and retirees can re-enter the workforce as part-time workers. Continuing to work beyond retirement years is a good way for them to prevent the onset of Alzheimers and Dementia.

Employers could potentially solve their manpower shortage issue by offering more flexible working arrangements. Opportunities will always be available to Singaporeans as long as they are willing to take up the offer.

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