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What it’s like to work in accommodation and food services

The accommodation and food services industry is dynamic and fast paced. Over half its workforce is between the ages of 15 and 29. It’s also expanding. A thriving ‘foodie’ scene as well as changing consumer habits are creating more and more jobs. 

What people love about working in accommodation and food services

Here are some of the benefits of working in accommodation and food services:

  • Excellent prospects for a range of roles in the industry. There are many ways to grow. You could start as a waiter, become an assistant manager and then become a venue manager.
  • The work is flexible so you can tailor your workload to suit your needs. There are opportunities for part-time, casual, full-time and shift work.
  • Skills like customer service, time management and budgeting are transferable across jobs, disciplines and industries.
  • There are opportunities to learn on the job and try the work before choosing it as a career.

Where you can work

The accommodation and food services industry has a wide range of employers. For example, you could work for a large organisation such as a large events and accommodation venue, through to a small coffee business.

The kinds of food and accommodation settings you could work in include:

  • hotels and motels
  • bars
  • restaurants
  • cafés
  • take-away shops
  • caterers
  • events or gaming venues.

Job demand in Victoria

Below are the projected employment forecasts for the accommodation and food services industry in Victoria. Figures show the number of workers in 2023 and the new workers expected to enter the workforce by 2026.

‘New workers expected’ accounts for workers adding new jobs to the economy and replacing retirees over the next 3 years. These forecasts are estimates only. There will be additional jobs available as people move between jobs and industries.

RegionWorkers 2023Workforce growth 2023-2026New workers needed by 2026
Melbourne – inner metropolitan40,2443.7%6,910
Melbourne – inner south-east metropolitan20,2682.5%2,644
Melbourne – southern metropolitan28,5662.6%3,825
Melbourne – northern metropolitan25,4822.6%3,386
Melbourne – eastern metropolitan25,3962.7%3,475
Melbourne – western metropolitan23,6962.5%3,095
Ballarat and surrounds (Central Highlands)6,8033.4%1,097
Bendigo, Echuca and surrounds (Loddon Campaspe)8,5633.4%1,373
Geelong, Colac and surrounds (Barwon)11,8293.5%1,957
Horsham and surrounds (Wimmera Southern Mallee)1,1213.5%186
Mildura, Swan Hill and surrounds (Mallee)2,2733.3%916
Shepparton, Seymour and surrounds (Goulburn)5,5173.9%991
Wangaratta, Wodonga and surrounds (Ovens Murray)5,6664.6%1,152
Warrnambool, Hamilton and surrounds (Great South Coast)3,0153.2%476

Source: Victorian Skills Authority employment forecast dashboard

Resources to plan your next steps

Visit our accommodation and food services industry profile to find out about:

Explore growing industries in your region