The fact a Vancouver restaurant is offering $50,000 a year for a dishwashing job illustrates just how desperate some restaurants owners are for staff, said the director of the Richmond-based BC Asian Restaurant Café Owners Association.
A recent job posting titled "Effects of labour shortage, $50K per annum to wash dishes," has gone viral on Reddit and WeChat. The job posting states, "pay per hour will be $25 for 40 hours per week. No experience or education is required, and training will be provided to the eligible candidates."
The post had many on WeChat joking about making a career change into the culinary industry.
"The competitive salary is related to the labour crisis. There is a labour shortage going on in the hospitality industry right now due to the impacts of the pandemic," explained association director, William Tse.
Many restaurant workers were laid off at the start of the pandemic and have since found work in other industries, such as construction or ride hailing, explained Tse.
"They all have families to feed and bills to pay. They couldn't sit at home waiting for a phone call from their former employers.”
Now, however, many of those eateries have reopened and are looking for great chefs or experienced workers to join their teams, said Tse.
“To lure these excellent people back, restaurants have to offer competitive salaries and living wages. Otherwise, no one will accept the offer."
The problem for many restaurants, however, is they are still struggling financially as a result of the closures and just can’t afford such competitive salaries, Tse noted.
Regardless, those that want to stay in business are going to have to accept the reality that the hourly pay for a restaurant employee is now over $20 per hour, he added.