Peter Coultas is trading through one of the busiest festive seasons he can remember but that’s been hard to celebrate.

The Ipswich pub manager of 14 years said the December rush has not slowed much but without enough staff, the business boom has been tough to handle.

“We’re struggling to find staff, like many in the industry,” he said.

“If we lose a couple of staff that are sick, the pool of people to call in isn’t there anymore.”

Mr Coultas has been forced to scale back the pub’s menu to help ease staffing pressures.

Compared to some other businesses in Ipswich, it is a small sacrifice.

A man in a chequered shirt in a bar.
Ipswich pub manager Peter Coultas says it has been a busy year.(ABC News: Laura Lavelle)

An Ipswich pizza store announced on social media that it would be closing its doors permanently due to the staff shortage.

“2023 is off to a challenging start as we struggle fill vacant positions left by departing employees,” the post read.

“As a consequence, we have made the tough decision to close the pizzeria until further notice.”

Mr Coultas said while staff shortages are not a new issue, it has never been this bad.

“All of our staff are paid award wages or above award wages for their age just to attract them and keep them here,” he said.

“There is plenty of work out there. No-one should be unemployed because there is work out there.”

Ipswich Chamber of Commerce president, Phillip Bell said it’s affecting local businesses across the board, not just in hospitality – but it’s particularly impacting

Read the rest