Hospo Voice

The 9 biggest red flags in hospitality job ads

August 30, 2021

Have you ever seen one of these hospo job ad duds?

Looking for a new job is a complete drag. What makes it worse is some of the hospitality job ads you come across. Some of them are deliberately misleading, some seem to be looking for a superhuman unicorn, and many are devoid of any meaningful detail.

Here are the red flags in hospitality job ads that particularly piss us off.

1. The light on detail job ad

cool story bro

You know those job ads that simply say “looking for a barista/waiter/chef”…


Where is the restaurant/café? Are they looking for someone full time, part time or casual? How much are they paying? Did their phone run out of battery before they could finish writing the job ad?

So many questions and literally none of them answered before you call up (which you probably won’t).

2. The hospitality job ad that sounds like a cult


‘Come and join our family’ they write. Ugh creepy.

When they advertise the company is like a family, it’s almost guaranteed it’s a toxic environment.

Whether you love or can’t stand your original family, you don’t need another one at work. You just need a respectful and friendly workplace.

3. The ‘all about me’ job ad

The hospitality job ad is all about what they want from you. You need passion, commitment, experience, flexibility, a good attitude, punctuality, presentation skills and an ability to rap in three different languages on command.

There is nothing about what the employer is going to offer you and why you’d want to work there.

Jobs ads should be a two-way street with information about what you’re going to get out of it as well as them.

4. The all-in-one job ad

There’s all-rounder, and then there’s this ^

They want a chef who can also wait tables, make coffee and cocktails, answer the phones and wash the dishes at the end of the night…

We think that’s called a team of people? Or a unicorn? Whoever it is, it ain’t gonna be you.

5. The flat rate hospitality job ad

They’re offering $20 per hour. That’s it, no difference whether you’re working Monday lunch time or Saturday at 3am.

You gotta be careful of these – not being paid penalty rates is straight up wage theft. Some other wage theft examples include:

If they’re open about wage theft in their job ad, you can be sure there are other dodgy issues at the venue as well. Stay away!

6. The ‘you can’t have a life’ ad

They’re offering 2 shifts a week, but then they say you need to be available all week and weekends. Because if you’re only doing 2 shifts, it’s safe to say you have other stuff filling your time, whether it’s caring responsibilities, study or another job.

So, they shouldn’t expect you to drop your entire life for your two shifts a week thank you very much.

7. The ‘venue name revealed after application’

Let’s be serious – they’re not the secret service and you’re not James Bond.

When they won’t tell you the venue, it’s a sure sign that they’ve been guilty of something, whether it’s a toxic work environment or wage theft or terrible Fair Plate reviews. Stay away!

8. The ‘pay commensurate with experience’ job ad

It’s not, though. They should base pay on what you do in the role, not what you’ve done in the past. If you’re hiring someone to do a job, pay them for that job.

9. The search for the hospo ninja

Are they looking for a ninja? Or maybe it’s a superstar, rockstar or a gun or any other buzz word that doesn’t actually mean anything…

You’re a human, alright? Who makes damn good coffee.

Got any other corkers? Write a review on Fair Plate so other workers can check out what venues are like before applying.

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