A bustling summer with the return of holidaymakers and Auckland day trippers after Covid restrictions eased is just what Waiheke cafés, bars and restaurants need. But they are still dealing with the ongoing strain the pandemic has put on recruitment in the hospitality industry.

Charlie Farley’s general manager Mat Carpenter said the Christmas and New Year period has been great from a revenue stand-point, but his staff were exhausted. The café and beach bar has been packed with people soaking in the atmosphere, sun and views of Onetangi Beach almost every day.

“It’s been really, really epic… [although] it’s getting a bit subdued this week, as people go back to Auckland, he said.

“Which is a relief actually, the last nine days have been relentless.”

Carpenter said he’s been working right alongside them, reassuring them this would end and they could get a few days off soon. • Paul Mitchell

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