ONE WHITSUNDAYS business is making the most of an unforeseen opportunity by employing ‘older’ staff members.
‘Baby Boomers’ are the majority workforce behind Taste Whitsundays, the café at Australia’s Best Regional Airport, Whitsunday Coast Airport.
‘Baby Boomers’ were born in the years following the Second World War, when there was a temporary marked increase in the birth rate, and are generally defined as people born from 1946 to 1964.
The Taste Whitsundays staff range from 55 to 70 years old and treat their customers to live musical performances mid-service and during any delays.
With vocals and strings in the form of a ukulele, Taste staff are ready with a song list covering the 60s to 90s, including kids and holiday specials.
Taste Whitsundays opened in February 2022 and faced significant staffing issues due to the ongoing effects of the COVID pandemic.
Job adverts resulted in Baby Boomer applicants and a team was formed entirely of over 55s.
The reliable and happy team have a rotating roster over seven days and take great pride in entertaining guests as they wait to board their planes.
Taste Whitsundays owner Kate Aslett and CEO Kevin Collins know their staff are providing an experience unique to the Whitsundays.
“When we set about staffing Taste Whitsundays, we wanted to achieve one thing above all – a great last impression of the Whitsundays,” Mr Collins said.
“We needed staff with local passion, commitment and a great sense of fun to achieve that, and we employed with love of community and fun, front of mind. The results speak for themselves.
“The connection to community also gives us a connection with every local (person) flying through the airport and this community feel is infectious with the tourists as well.
Ms Aslett said the singing was ‘surprising and delightful’.
“What I love so much is seeing how the guests get involved in a song at the counter and cheers erupt when the singing starts – there is nothing more fun and spontaneous than a group of ‘tuck shop mums’, as we call them, breaking out in a rendition of ‘Under the Boardwalk’ as coffee and meals are being served,” she said.