Bars in resorts like Magaluf and Benidorm could close early due to staff crisis

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Holidaymakers heading to Spanish party hotspots like Benidorm and Magaluf could face longer waits for service at the hundreds of bars and restaurants used by British visitors. Hospitality bosses in popular resorts have reported major staff shortages – with around 4,000 vacancies in the Costa Blanca region alone.

Although mere staff are employed as peak season approaches, there are likely to be thousands of vacancies left unfilled, with many establishments blaming Brexit for the shortfall. Hordes of young Britons normally head to seaside resorts for the summer to take up seasonal jobs in bars, shops and clubs, but new rules after the UK leaves the EU mean they are no longer eligible.

It is estimated that 25,000 young people in the UK were working in temporary jobs abroad before Brexit, but this number has fallen, leading to a shortage of staff.

Alex Fratini, spokesperson for the Association of Bars, Restaurants and Cafeterias of Benidorm (Abreca), told a national newspaper: “We see that the problem is not money. The salary of a waiter in Benidorm is around 1,200 euros net per month and in addition there is lots of tips, especially with the English – each waiter takes around 300 euros more per month.”

Some bar owners now fear they will have to close early to deal with staff shortages, with long working hours and low wages making the crisis worse. Others blamed the cost of living at popular tourist resorts, with a waiter’s salary not being able to cover a month’s rent.

In Mallorca, where businesses have already expressed concerns about staffing issues, the local government is exploring whether it can alleviate the problem. The Balearic parliament plans to transform former hotels and tourist apartments into low-cost accommodation to attract workers to the island.

A bar owner from Magaluf said: “It’s almost impossible to get a summer job unless you have all the visa requirements and a contract in advance.”

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