An increasing number of Hungarians who have previously worked abroad are applying for restaurant jobs in Hungary, and planning to return home from countries like Austria, or do not want to sign a contract abroad, Balázs Csapody told Világgazdaság, a Hungarian economic site.
The owner of the Kistücsök restaurant in Balatonszemes, who is also a member of the Hungarian Bocuse d’Or Academy, spoke of the trend reversal in Hungarian catering that has been strongly felt since mid-August. According to Balázs Csapody, the aforementioned reasons mean that there is no longer a labor shortage in the catering sector on the scale seen in the past few years.
As the Világgazdaság article shows, there are now more chefs, waiters, pastry cooks, and hotel workers available in Hungary.
They could be kept in the country with fair working conditions and wages, which would make it possible to retain enough workers to ease the labor shortage in the long term.
Csapody said that the profession often has a unique wage system, which sometimes means significant but justified differences.
A new feature is the emergence of Hungarian workers with experience and references from abroad. Csapody’s restaurant at Lake Balaton has a majority of such people among its applicants, and the situation is likely to be similar in the wider region.
As Világgazdaság points out, while the labor shortage in the catering sector seems to be easing, the drastic rise in energy prices is a major concern. The new contracts are now coming into force in Hungary, with restaurateurs and hoteliers receiving the new prices in turn; Csapody and his team, for example, have been running their restaurant and hotel at ten times the gas tariff and an expected five to seven times the electricity cost since October 1.
In the current situation, the prices of the dishes on the menu would have to be more or less doubled, but Hungarian customers would not accept this.
Csapody says that a realistic forecast for the future is that a quarter of hotels in Hungary will close, and that some of the restaurants that aim to operate all year round will not be able to finance the low-turnover months.
Featured photo via MTI/Vasvári Tamás