Have you heard of the hospo mandate? Here’s 3 reasons why industry folk think it should happen.

We all know that the hospitality industry has been struggling after the pandemic, so much so that there have been whispers of conscription – mandatory hospitality experience. Here’s why industry folk think a hospitality mandate would be good for Australia…


It’s needless to say, the Australian hospitality industry has been hard hit by the pandemic – from initial shutdowns to on-again-off-again lockdowns and restrictions, to staff shortages and isolation woes. Many have been attempting to come up with a solution to the hospitality industry’s challenges and as things are getting more desperate, whispers have started to circulate of ‘Hospitality Conscription’.  That is, mandatory hospitality work for everyone in the population, similar to what other countries do with their military.


It may sound far-fetched, and is probably very unlikely to come to fruition, but suspend disbelief for a moment with us as we explore three reasons why the hospitality mandate would be considered good for Australia…


  1. Say goodbye to ‘Karens’

Anyone who has ever worked in hospitality (or retail for that matter) knows how hard it is. You’d be hard pressed to find an ex-hospo worker complaining about service. Mandatory hospitality experience would bring with it understanding and empathy. Everyone will learn just how difficult working in hospo is, how tough the hours are, how rude some customers can be and just how much tips are appreciated. People will no longer ask for the manager when their meals have taken 10 minutes too long, because they will understand that the chefs are most likely super busy! Not to mention, no more messy tables – think appropriately stacked plates and empty water glasses.


  1. No more staff shortages

With a steady stream of young workers straight out of high school, staff shortages would all but disappear. Not only that, but if hospo experience becomes mandatory, everyone will have the necessary work experience and will be able to gain employment in hospitality at any stage of their life. No more settling for employees who don’t understand customer service.


But perhaps more importantly, people will also learn just how enjoyable hospo is, how much your co-workers feel like a family and how you can build a career and life around hospitality work (instead of following a traditional corporate path).


  1. Hospitality is life’s greatest teacher

There is no doubt, working in hospitality teaches you how to talk with manners, be patient and empathetic and how to work well in a team. On the flip side, it teaches you how to listen and how to stand up for yourself. It also teaches you that mistakes happen, and how to deal with them and any consequences that follow. By giving all young Australians this experience, you’re setting them up for success no matter what they end up doing in life.

So how would the mandate work? If everyone was conscripted to do a certain amount of experience in a local café, bar or restaurant (let’s say 6 months), the hospitality scene could thrive. Of course, there would be challenges (not least, training new staff far more regularly) but the long-term gain could far outweigh the short term pain.


What do you think? Would you be keen to see mandatory hospitality work experience for all Australians? Would it improve things in your venue and in the industry in general? We’d love to hear from you on our facebook page.