Staff shortages could impact tourists


Jamie Jansen


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Head Chef Jens Kaemmler and Manager, Rebecca Stemp from Choo Choos are, like many local venues, looking for a new chef. Image: Karlie Brady.

While the far north is enjoying a boom in visitor numbers, at the same time the region is facing an unprecedented shortage of skilled workers. Many local businesses are struggling to remain fully open with staff working long hours to ensure our visitors can enjoy their stay in the Douglas Shire.

Cafe ChooChoos @ the Marina is one of a dozen local businesses that hasn’t been able to find enough skilled workers for the busy period.

After advertising on multiple job sites for a month, the cafe hasn’t been able to find a breakfast chef.

Head Chef at ChooChoos, Jens Kaemmler said they are in need of at least one extra cook-chef to cope on the busy days. 

- Port Douglas tourism businesses desperate for staff

“Right now, we have two qualified chefs, but we’d ideally have a further 2 cook-chefs to make it work,” he said.

“As long as you have a good work ethic and are confident to work in a fast paced environment, we’re really happy to train the right person,” Mr Kaemmler adds.

“We’d love to find someone who lives locally - maybe in Mossman or Cooya - even someone who might not have worked for a while and is ready to step into a new and exciting career. We’re all energetic and love the hospitality industry and we’ve got a great team here at Choo Choos.”

ChooChoos is not the only business in Port Douglas having to deal with the ongoing staff shortage.

“I know of a dozen eateries facing the same problem”, Mr Kaemmler said.

“Several cafes and restaurants in town already had to close for some of the busiest days of the year due to staff shortages.

“We know our visitors love the dining experience on holidays, and we want to make sure they can find a place to dine out. Hopefully we’ll find a new cohort of locals who are ready to step in help deliver a great experience for our visitors - as well as the many locals who come each week.”

“Unfortunately, we’re regularly seeing customers who have had trouble finding a place to eat in town.” he explains.

“The last thing we want is our visitors leaving dissatisfied - we want everyone who comes to be an ambassador for the Douglas Shire and everything we have to offer here.”

Interested in the position of breakfast Chef at Choo Choos? Email your resume to [email protected]  or call Choo Choos on 0488 051 147.   

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