Benidorm holiday chaos as pubs and restaurants could be forced to close early – ‘Alarming’

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According to industry chiefs, there are about 4,000 vacancies in the popular Spanish resort. The jobs are usually sought after as a waiter can earn 300 euros (£255) per month from British tips.

However, the resort is struggling to fill the jobs this year and it’s feared there could still be 2,000 vacancies in summer.

The hospitality sector has said bars and restaurants in Benidorm are already closing early due to the issue.

Alex Fratini, spokesperson for the Association of Bars, Restaurants and Cafeterias of Benidorm, said: “We are seeing that the problem is not money.

“The salary of a waiter in Benidorm is about 1,200 euros (£1,000) per month. In addition, there are a lot of tips, especially with the English.

“Each waiter takes about 300 euros (£255) more per month.”

Mar Valera, spokesperson for the Provincial Association of Hospitality Entrepreneurs of Alicante, said: “The solution will be to reduce hours and openings, there is no other way.”

There are thousands of hospitality vacancies across Spain which the Government has said is due to poor working conditions, long hours and poor pay.

However, the Spanish Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises said that more training needed to be offered to keep workers.

One owner said: “The role of a waiter has always been underrated. There needs to be a change of image.”

In April there were more than 17,000 job offers in the hospitality sector, six times more than in 2021.

Gerardo Cuerva, president of the Spanish Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises, criticised the Spanish Government saying: “The hotel industry cannot currently cover some 100,000 jobs.

“We have analysed the problem and possible lines of action have been proposed but it is alarming that the Government continues without facing the necessary structural reforms and is dispatched with irresponsible declarations.”

Another industry leader said: “In a country where tourism is an economic engine, no one has thought of a serious training plan for the hospitality industry.“

However, union leaders have blamed low pay for the waiter shortages. One said: “The positions that remain unfilled have to do with the terrible salary conditions that are offered.”

Another said: “You only have to see the areas of the country where there are many of these unfilled vacancies.

“Sometimes not even 100 percent of your salary is enough to pay for housing. In Spain there is a salary problem that, no matter how much businessmen deny it, is part of a reality.”

The Spanish Government has said planned reforms to the labour law will help solve the problems.

But hoteliers and owners have said they have been waiting “for years” and “nothing has happened”.

Benidorm is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations and many Britons will be travelling there this summer.

The summer season will mark the busiest holiday period since the pandemic began in 2020.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.

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