One of the most frequent positions listed on The Job Shop website is “Roadhouse Allrounder”. Most overseas visitors are not familiar what a roadhouse even is, let alone what roadhouse jobs entail. Here is some general information about roadhouse jobs.
What is a roadhouse?
A roadhouse or ‘servo’ as the Aussies call it, is a service station offering a variety of amenities to passing travellers. Roadhouses are usually in rural areas on a main highway or in small country towns where services for locals and travellers are limited. Basically, a roadhouse exists because not much else does in the area!
Roadhouses vary in what amenities they offer. Some are quite basic, only offering petrol, a small shop with fast food and drinks and public toilets. Others have extras like a restaurant/bar, motel rooms, caravan park and swimming pool.
What does a roadhouse job entail?
Roadhouse staff are expected to take on a variety of work. This could be on the front counter or in other areas such as the kitchen, housekeeping or the restaurant and bar.
Work on the front counter involves serving customers, taking payments, serving food, making coffees, restocking shelves and fridges in the shop and cleaning…there’s always plenty of cleaning to be done!
Roadhouses usually serve simple food such as chips, pies, burgers, sandwiches, etc., and staff may be required to do some short-order cooking or help wash dishes in the kitchen.
If a roadhouse has a caravan park or motel attached, work can include cleaning and housekeeping of units and ablution blocks. All roadhouses have public toilets, so cleaning toilets is usually part of the job!
A common job title for someone who works at a roadhouse is an “allrounder”, meaning someone who does a bit of everything.
Some roadhouses only operate during the day, so shifts will be day shifts, likely 6am – 2pm or 12pm – 8pm. Others are open 24 hours and work could either be day, afternoon or night shift. Usual afternoon shift hours would be 2pm-10pm and night shift would be 10pm – 6am.
What kind of experience and skills do you need for a roadhouse job?
Roadhouse jobs fall under the category of hospitality work. Most roadhouse employers want people who have previous customer service experience, a friendly demeanour and a willingness to do a variety of jobs.
Someone applying for a role that will include a lot of interacting with customers will need to have a good level of English.
One of the biggest qualities roadhouse employers are looking for is self-motivation. If there aren’t any customers to serve, good roadhouse staff will find something else to do like clean, help out in the kitchen, rotate stock, etc.
Where do I live in a roadhouse job?
All roadhouse jobs will provide accommodation, usually for a small weekly fee. This could either be in a shared staff house if the roadhouse is in a small town or in a “donga” (single unit) on-site next to the roadhouse.
Most roadhouses will offer some meals and food for free or at a discounted rate for staff.
How do I get to a remote roadhouse job?
You don’t need to have a car! Most roadhouses are reachable by bus or a flight to the nearest town. It’s a good idea to research the roadhouse location before you apply because it can be expensive to travel to some remote parts of Australia.
Benefits of a roadhouse job
Save serious money
The #1 reason people take on roadhouse job is to save money. The average person can save $8,000-$10,000 after 3 months of work if they spend their money wisely. Since roadhouses provide accommodation and meals either for free or a small weekly fee, your expenses will be minimal. If you work and don’t spend money on extras (soda, beer, cigarettes, etc.), you’ll save heaps!
Many of our previous roadhouse workers have travelled for months without working after completing a roadhouse job. Others have saved the money and used it to pay off debts or put a deposit on a house.
Another benefit of working in a roadhouse is meeting travellers and interesting characters from Australia and all over the world. All of the staff we send to roadhouse jobs tell us that they made lifelong friends with their work colleagues or local Australians.
Unique Australian experiences
A third reason people enjoy roadhouse work is because it offers new experiences. Talking to locals and travellers passing through means that staff get all the inside knowledge and tips about the area. A roadhouse worker has access to loads of great activities off the beaten path such as camping, wildlife spotting, fishing, visiting farms, bushwalking and events only locals would know about.
Things to consider before applying for a roadhouse job
Are you ready for a live-in environment?
Working in a remote location in a roadhouse job means that you will be living with the same people you work with. This can be amazing as you have the chance to develop friendships with new people that you never would have met.
It also means you have to be considerate of your colleagues outside of work. You can’t have a raging party at night if the person in the room next to you has to wake up for a 6am shift.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
On days off roadhouse workers will usually find a track and go for a walk or run, hang out with other staff, watch a movie or read a book. People who enjoy roadhouse jobs are people can find things to do to entertain themselves.
If you are a city person who needs access to shopping malls or restaurants and nightclubs, a roadhouse job is probably not the best fit for you.
Can you unplug?
Mobile signal and wifi is not always reliable in remote areas. Most roadhouses will get mobile signal but only some will offer wifi. You will be able to touch base with family and friends regularly, but you likely won’t have the wifi capacity to download lots of movies or scroll through Facebook and Instagram for hours.
We always recommend that people download lots of movies and books before going to a remote roadhouse. Usually other workers will have done the same and you can share amongst the team.
Roadhouse jobs are ideal for people who want to save money, make new friends and enjoy unique Australian experiences. You can find all of The Job Shop’s roadhouse roles by searching for “Hospitality” on our job board at www.thejobshop.com.au