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Salary: what do catering professionals earn?

As of May 19, restaurants and hotels are to open again in Vienna, and many employees and trainees will be able to return to their jobs. Last year, 1,162 apprentices were training to become gastronomy specialists. In 2011 there were 2,499 apprentices, more than twice as many, but the number of apprentices has continuously decreased since then. What exactly the training looks like, what areas of responsibility the job includes and what the starting salaries are - an overview.

Question: Which tasks are part of everyday work?

Answer: Gastronomy specialists have mastered all areas of gastronomy through their training. You can work in the kitchen as well as in guest service; as a rule, employees specialize in one of the two areas of work during or after their training. In the kitchen, they take care of the purchase and storage of the required goods and prepare the meals. In the guest service they serve the guests, take orders, serve the ordered food and drinks, clear away the dishes and collect the bills.

Question: What does the training look like?

Answer: The dual apprenticeship training lasts four years and takes place predominantly in one company. The apprentices spend around 20 percent of their training time in vocational school. In the training company, trainees learn the chosen profession on the basis of practical work. In the vocational school, general knowledge is deepened and theoretical background knowledge for the chosen profession is imparted.

Question: What are the requirements for the job?

Answer: The professional activity is characterized above all by contact with guests and cooperation with colleagues. In addition to the ability to work in a team, skill and friendliness, physical resilience, commitment and organizational talent are also required.

Question: How are the working hours regulated?

Answer: Working in the catering industry usually also includes work on weekends and public holidays. The working hours and shifts depend on the respective opening times in the company.

Question: What is the starting salary?

Answer: Since April 1, the salary of apprentices in the first year of apprenticeship according to the collective agreement for employees in the hotel and hospitality industry has been EUR 785 gross per month, in the second year it is 890 euros, in the third and fourth year it is 1,105 euros. After completing their apprenticeship, gastronomy specialists start at 1,550 to 1,580 euros gross, according to the collective agreement. Compared to other apprenticeships, the starting salary is in the middle income range.

Question: What does the salary look like after that?

Answer: Depending on the area of ​​responsibility, the income may vary over the years of work. According to the collective agreement, salaries for the first five years of service are between 1,688 and 1,965 euros gross per month. After ten years of service, wages rise to 1,772 to 2,063 euros. According to the Stepstone job exchange, the average annual salary in the catering and hotel industry in Austria is 33,000 euros gross, the figures are between 24,500 and 38,800 euros per year. There are surcharges for night work and also for foreign languages. In addition, tips are a not insignificant part of their income for many employees. (Anika Dang, 6.5.2021)