This year like previous years, the restaurant business in Bansko is experiencing serious difficulties in recruiting qualified staff.
According to data from the Employment Office, even after the beginning of the active summer season, the vacancies in the town are over 270, with 90% of them for waiters, bartenders, cooks, hygienists.
The situation in the hotels is not rosy either with the announced vacant positions for maids, receptionists, masseurs, bellboys, etc.
According to experts, the problem of labor shortages is due to several basic facts:
*At the beginning of the summer season qualified cadres pack up for the seaside where they can get slightly higher salaries, and return when the winter season starts in Bansko, which is also the most active one there;
*Many of the hotels and restaurants do not work all year round but only during the active winter season which makes qualified cadres look for jobs outside the town to provide them with permanent employment.
In order to hire and retain the necessary for the season cooks, bartenders and waiters, most restaurants and hotels in Bansko offer formation, free accommodation and meals for the staff, however, there is no interest or mostly students who are simply looking for some kind of summer entertainment show interest for the seasonal work do not take their duties responsibly.
Representatives of the restaurant business also say that every year they find it even more difficult to find qualified staff and have to look for outsiders (mostly from Macedonia, Ukraine and Romania), but there are many administrative obstacles that delay the recruitment of labor.
The crisis with finding qualified staff in the restaurant business is not only in Bansko but in all resorts that are not year-round and deepens with each passing year.
There is a similar problem in Panichishte, Sandanski and Blagoevgrad where almost every restaurant is looking for emergency cooks, waiters, bartenders or hygienists and the business is on the verge of declaring a state of emergency because of the lack of qualified cadres.
In order to cope with the staff crisis, Bansko municipality is looking for ways to attract more tourists during the summer season by organizing different festivals and events hoping that more hotels and restaurants will be open all year round and will be able to retain their qualified cadres.
Against the background of this lack of trained and well-functioning employees, the only ones who can boast of very little fluctuation are the hotels and restaurants that work all year round in the resort.
All-year-round hotels such as Apart Hotel Lucky Bansko Spa & Relax and restaurants such as Leonardo Bansko employ staff from nearby settlements providing them with free, convenient transportation, formation and adequate payment.
Restaurant Leonardo Bansko is open all year round and a large percentage of the bartenders, cooks and waiters are there since the opening of the luxurious Italian restaurant.
However, hotels and restaurants such as Leonardo Bansko that work all year round and can provide their employees with this peace of mind are still a very small percentage of the hotels in Bansko.
Until this is not changed and until the conditions under which the employees of hotels and restaurants are hired, there will be a crisis with the staff in the restaurant business in Bansko – the bartenders, waiters and cooks who work in the seaside resorts during the summer say explicitly.
The summer season in Bansko has already begun and the restaurants cannot open or are forced to hire completely untrained staff who have to train in a on the job from which suffers not only the town’s restaurant business. The tourists who visit Bansko in the summer and who go disappointed with the service also suffer from the lack of professionals in the restaurants.
Let’s hope things in the restaurant business in the resort town will change and more restaurants like Leonardo Bansko will be able to keep their qualified staff year round.