Driving recruitment within hospitality with Giovanni’s restaurants

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Following the pandemic, many sectors including hospitality, have been experiencing significant staff shortages. According to a survey by UK Hospitality, staff shortages in the hospitality industry are reaching critical levels with nearly half of businesses cutting trading hours or capacity in order to cope. 

Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows the sector has recently experienced a record 174,000 job vacancies and continues to struggle recruiting skilled staff.

Maximus has been supporting Giovanni’s restaurants with their recruitment since the start of the year, after they attended our ‘Getting Hired’ event at the Principality Stadium in May. With our help, participants are given the opportunity to gain work experience and training within the hospitality sector to help them move forward with their lives.  

Family-run business, Giovanni’s, was established in 1983 by Giovanni Malacrino. With three restaurants in Cardiff Bay, and two in Cardiff City Centre, Giovanni’s opened nearly 40 years ago, making them the longest established Italian restaurant in Wales. 

Speaking about their struggles with recruitment, Giovanni Malacrino, said:

“Following Brexit and the pandemic we had to look at different ways to attract new staff and that’s where Maximus really helped.  

“Once I’ve explained what I’m looking for, the team at Maximus create something quite unique. They select suitable candidates, ensuring they have the correct documents for work – and then arrange a working interview at one of my restaurants. It takes a lot of pressure off the recruitment process for me.  

“The team are thorough, and their support is fantastic. I trust Maximus and know that I’m going to get quality people from them. Working with Maximus means we get to offer local jobs to local people and that is very rewarding.” 

One participant who benefitted from this support was Lydia Jeffery. When Lydia, from Cardiff, joined the Restart Scheme, she had been unemployed for two years. 

Experiencing mental health problems when she lost her job during the pandemic, Lydia’s condition escalated, leaving her feeling lost. 

Lydia was passionate about working within the hospitality sector, and dreams of owning her own restaurant one day.  She attended a recruitment day and completed a working interview, before being offered a trainee chef position. 

She said: “Maximus has really helped me. Their support has been amazing.

“This is a big opportunity for me, and I’ve already learnt so much since starting at Giovanni’s. This is the first step for me and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for me.”

Natalie Lloyd, Regional Account Manager at Maximus, reflected on the partnership: 

“It’s really important for us to establish these strong relationships with employers like Giovanni’s to help our participants move into employment. I get great job satisfaction when people, like Lydia, are successful and enjoy their new role.”

Marlena Sebastianska was another participant supported by Maximus on the Job Entry: Targeted Support (JETS) service.  

With extensive hospitality experience, Marlena struggled to find a position before joining Giovanni’s. After attending one of the Maximus recruitment days, Marlena secured a role as a waitress. 

She commented: “Even though there are hospitality vacancies out there, it is a very competitive market, and I was finding it hard to get a job. Having the chance to attend the recruitment day at Giovanni’s was very exciting – Giovanni  is so inspiring and encourages everyone to follow their dreams.

“Maximus is great for anyone looking for help to find work. I’m excited for my future.”

Nichola Phillips, Senior Account Manager at Maximus, spoke about the importance of these recruitment days:

“Working with local employers plays an integral part in our participant’s journey. Holding recruitment days shows the employer each participant’s potential and it also gives the individual an insight and awareness of the sector they could be going into.”

We have been supporting Giovanni’s with recruitment in the lead-up to the busy festive season, and there are many more recruitment events planned in the coming few months as we continue working together. 

Giovanni said: “We intend to continue working in partnership with Maximus and recommend them to anyone looking for help with their recruitment.”

If you would like to join Giovanni’s and more than 500 businesses we support with recruitment, click here to learn more.

21 December, 2022