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SeaLevel21 launches new TikTok campaign in search for chefs to work on North Stradbroke Island

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 12/08/2022 Kylie Stevens For Daily Mail Australia

A fine dining restaurant on one of Australia's most idyllic islands that is struggling to find staff has taken desperate measures to lure workers as the hospitality shortage hits crisis point. 

SeaLevel21 on North Stradbroke Island has forked out hundreds of dollars in advertising for chefs without much success, despite its scenic backdrop just 30km off the Queensland coast.

Owners Lee Takirau and Andy Morrison have gone a step further by launching a new campaign showing off the lifestyle the successful applicants will enjoy.

Free accommodation has been thrown in as an extra incentive, along with access to boats, paddle and surfboards, and a staff car.

SeaLevel21 is one of many businesses on North Stradbroke Island desperate for staff. 

SeaLevel21 owner Andy Morrison stars in a TikTok video aimed at recruiting new chefs for his restaurant on North Stradbroke Island. Surfboard access is one of the many perks © Provided by Daily Mail SeaLevel21 owner Andy Morrison stars in a TikTok video aimed at recruiting new chefs for his restaurant on North Stradbroke Island. Surfboard access is one of the many perks

'Hospitality is in a major staffing crisis at the moment but I don't think we're alone in that struggle,' Ms Takirau told Today show.

'We just decided to take it head-on. We're not quitters. So we're throwing everything at it.'

The restaurant teamed up with a production company to film a TikTok campaign starring Mr Morrison in a chef's uniform running towards the ocean armed with a surfboard as part of a call-out for new staff.

'We've probably spent thousands and thousands of dollars on traditional advertising to look for a head chef,' he said.

'So we decided to join the cool kids and see if we can't get any attention from any young chefs out there at the moment. We have an amazing lifestyle on the island, fishing, diving, surfing. 

'We just thought maybe someone will see it who wouldn't look on the traditional methods of advertising.'

A second campaign video launched on Friday shows Mr Morrison manning a barbecue on the beach while spruiking SeaLevel21 and its stunning backdrop.

'It's one of the few fine dining restaurants on the world's second largest island,' he explains.

'We're about using the best possible produce and giving customers the best possible experience. It's a fine dining experience you can do in your boardies.' 

SeaLevel 21 owners Lee Takirau and Andy Morrison (pictured) haven't given up on their desperate search for new staff to work on the idyllic island © Provided by Daily Mail SeaLevel 21 owners Lee Takirau and Andy Morrison (pictured) haven't given up on their desperate search for new staff to work on the idyllic island Andy Morrison spruiks SeaLevel21 and its stunning backdrop in a new campaign video © Provided by Daily Mail Andy Morrison spruiks SeaLevel21 and its stunning backdrop in a new campaign video

Mr Morrison told Daily Mail Australia there are 10 positions up for grabs at SeaLevel21, mostly chef roles.

Successful applicants will have access to and cook with freshest produce straight from the ocean.

They will have the same two days a week off to build their own lifestyle on the island.

The main thing the owners are looking for is passion. 

'We're looking for someone who wants to follow their food journey,' Mr Morrison said.

'We have a few strings to our bow in our business and we're looking for all types of things. To show off the lifestyle that we live here is amazing. 

'We're not even looking for a qualified chef right now. What we're looking for is someone who wants to take that journey on and follow their food.'

SeaLevel21 owner Andy Morrison appears in a TikTok video in an attempt to find new staff © Provided by Daily Mail SeaLevel21 owner Andy Morrison appears in a TikTok video in an attempt to find new staff SeaLevel21 (pictured) is one of the few fine dining restaurants on North Stradbroke Island © Provided by Daily Mail SeaLevel21 (pictured) is one of the few fine dining restaurants on North Stradbroke Island

SeaLevel21 isn't only the business on North Stradbroke Island desperate for staff. 

Straddie Chamber of Commerce president Colin Battersby operates a holiday rental house cleaning business on the island.

He's paying up to $10,000 a year for bus and ferry fares for staff commuting to and from the mainland for work due to a lack of affordable housing on the island.

'It's about a $100 a week per person. If you're on $28 an hour you can't afford that, so I have to pay it to attract staff,' Mr Battersby told the Courier Mail.

'For them to start work at 8.30am they have to catch the 6.55am water taxi and get a bus even earlier to get to the water taxi. It's a few hours each way to get to work.'

To apply for a job at SeaLevel21, email info@sealevel21.com.au.

Many businesses on North Stradbroke Island (pictured) are struggling to find new staff © Provided by Daily Mail Many businesses on North Stradbroke Island (pictured) are struggling to find new staff Read more

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