The beverage industry is a suitable barometer for the economy, as the ebb and flow of the stock market is almost a mirror image of the industry. Said sector has remained relatively buoyant throughout the year with the advent of many new establishments, but from a human resources perspective, the industry is a transient one with higher-than-average turnover in personnel.
The region's healthy economy has been primarily driven by tourist arrivals, with Hong Kong experiencing record monthly visitors, boosted by mainland traffic. Disposable income in China is constantly on the rise and there has been a high demand for New World wines, for instance.
Finding talent - particularly, talent with experience - to work in the industry remains a challenge. Establishments are also finding it hard to retain staff, especially for operations, as salary levels are constantly driven higher. Foreign talent is increasingly relied on to fill entry-level positions.
The 'war for talent' is once again heating up in Asia, and employers are resorting to increased remuneration to retain their best staff. But this strategy will be difficult to maintain long term. More investments in training and development is required, as salary plays just one part in retaining staff.
Andrew Chan, chief executive officer, TMS Asia Pacific