Accommodation & Food Services

The Accommodation and Food sector is made up of businesses in pubs, cafes and restaurants, takeaway food, juice bars, catering services, hotels, motels, caravan parks and clubs.

The sector includes 94,300 organisations, and employs 872,800 people.

Accommodation and Food is a large and growing industry with 108,400 new jobs added over the past five years.

The sector is very competitive and growth has been influenced by the foodie culture promoted on television and in social media. There are very few direct technology threats to jobs in Cafes and Restaurants, Hotels, Motels, Pubs and Clubs. 

Facts & figures

Employment:    872,800

Organisations:    94,300

  • Employing:


  • Self-employed:



  • Avg Salary:


  • Avg weekly:


Opportunity & Threat


Accommodation and Food is a service sector, with a high degree of person-to-person engagement, supported by a wide variety of software and technology tools.

Stock management systems are useful in controlling waste, tracking menu choices and margins. And social media is an important engagement tool for customer engagement and finding staff.


Threats to the sector are largely challenges to different aspects of business operations – in online search, booking, ordering and delivery. 

External online booking systems have largely replaced in-house booking systems, and airbnb has used ease of search and booking to expand the whole concept of accommodation to include personal homes, increasing the size of the accommodation market, and driving down cost and profit.

In a similar way, food home delivery has moved into the open market with Uber Eats, Deliveroo and other outsourced delivery services increasing market reach for restaurants, takeaway food services and caterers. 

McDonalds has announced it will introduce digital self serve ordering in all its restaurants.


The coronavirus has impacted the accommodation and food industry with over 80% of businesses severely affected.

Domestic tourism has been constrained by recurring COVID outbreaks. And overseas tourism is unlikely to rebound fully for some years or until a vaccine is widely available.

COVID social distancing restrictions have inspired a shift to food ordering and delivery systems, encouraging food services to expand their online options.

Virtual Reality is transforming Accommodation industry

Virtual tour of the Atlantis Dubai hotel.

One of the best examples of virtual reality in action within the accommodation industry is for providing virtual tours of hotels and hotel rooms. It allows potential customers to experience what the hotel looks like before they arrive, offering more transparency than standard images.

Virtual reality can even be used throughout the entire booking process, allowing guest to look at various rooms and facilities in the hotel. And hotels can provide prospects with local travel experiences that are likely to attract them to the location in the first place.

Case Study

Job & Study options

jobactive is the Australian Government’s free service that connects job seekers with employers, delivered by a network of jobactive providers across Australia. The jobactive website will help you to find out more about jobactive and to find your local provider. Job seekers can also call the Employment Services Information Line on 13 62 68.

Job Outlook can help you make decisions about study and training, getting your first job, or the next step in your career. It provides information about Australian careers, labour market trends and employment projections. This website provides more detailed statistical information for the occupations included in the Australian Jobs Occupation Matrix.

Job Jumpstart website is a one-stop-shop for practical, independent and free employment planning advice.

What’s Next? The What’s Next? website provides a range of online resources to help workers facing retrenchment to manage the transition to their next job as quickly as possible.

Skills options

Australian Apprenticeships provides information on apprenticeships and traineeships, including factsheets and links.

Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching  provides information about Australian universities, including study experiences and employment outcomes.

MYSKILLS  is an online database of Vocational Education and Training options, including information about providers, courses, outcomes and fees.  for information on training packages, qualifications, courses, units of competency and Registered Training Organisations.

National Centre for Vocational Education Research  provides research and statistics about Vocational Education and Training and the links between education and the labour market.

myfuture is an online career exploration service which includes information on a range of career-related topics.

Sector categories

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