Cafe, Bar & Restaurant

Hospitality Jobs in New Zealand like bartenders, baristas and wait staffHospitality jobs are all over New Zealand. There is a vast array of cafes, bars and restaurants. There has been an explosion of café culture over the past two decades and in even the smallest towns and communities chances are there will be a coffee machines and some great lattes being made. A variety of experience will be required depending on the business. In a hip bar in Wellington you may need to be confident in mixology (or making cocktails), whilst in a bar on the West Coast of the South Island you may just need to be able to know red wine from white.

A barista is someone who makes coffee. We are talking a latte, flat white, cappuccino, short black, americano, macchiato and vienna. There is a science and art to working one of those big machines to make a great coffee and if you have the experience you will find that there are a number of jobs advertised all over New Zealand each week.

The best way to gain experience is to find a café that is willing to train you, or to attend a barista course. Check out some of the options for barista courses here.

Positions Commonly Advertised

  • Front of House – Taking orders and serving meals
  • Food & Beverage attendant – Taking orders and serving meals
  • Waitress/Wait Staff – Taking orders and serving meals
  • Maitre D – Is a head waiter who manages the front of house staff
  • Kitchen hand – General helper in the kitchen, usually scrubbing pots and washing dishes but can also include helping prepare meals
  • Cook/Chef – The person who prepares the food. Varying degrees of experience will be required depending on the type of café or restaurant (i.e. making fries and burgers through to 5 course meals)
  • Bar Person – Pouring drinks.
  • Glassie – Usually a position advertised in a busy city bar. Effectively you collect empty glasses for washing.
  • Mixologist – A fancy name for a cocktail maker.

 What to consider

  • Hours can be unsociable, you might be working evenings including the weekends.
  • Dress code is commonly black shoes, black skirt or pants and a white shirt.

 Resources for finding work:

  • Backpacker Board in particular has jobs listed in remoter parts of New Zealand, the small beach towns that need staff in the busy season.
  • Trade Me has listings under the Hospitality and Tourism category.
  • Seek has listings under the Hospitality and Tourism category.


  • The Temp Centre has branches in Wellington and Auckland
  • Bravo Group based in Auckland
  • Hospo World (mainly Auckland based jobs)
  • Craft Bros are an Auckland based temp agency
  • Pack and Company are an Auckland based company that specialise in hospitality jobs and are often advertising for staff at some of Auckland’s busiest bars and restaurants

Pay Scale

$15.25 – $20/hr

In Summary:

A fun industry to work in, hours can be long, customer service is key.