Ibiza Service Levels: Good Enough?

Having travelled extensively around Asia over the last 5 years I’ve been amazed at how good the service levels are in the private hospitality sector of that part of the world. Nothing seems to be too much trouble, professional people taking pride in their job and delivering quality service. Then once I return to Ibiza it’s the not the same, some staff even scowling and begrudgingly serving you.

Now before you write that comment below, not all places in Ibiza are like this but to be a truly world class destination too many still are in my opinion. Many businesses on the island are a well oiled machine and like anywhere in the world successful businesses have a team of fully trained, dedicated, motivated staff who are the most important part of the magic formula. As any owner will tell you, their business is only as good as the people who work there.

A Spanish friend who runs a very successful restaurant told me his story recently. Out of his 40 employees he has 20 hard working, dedicated ones who return every year. Another 10 are OK but their focus is not specifically on work but that’s understandable and as for the other 10; they couldn’t care less just taking the wage as a means to to getting out and about on the island.

The irony is that I constantly get asked about work in Ibiza: Are there any jobs? How difficult is it to get work? When I reply that there’s always a shortage of dedicated staff I get an incredulous response especially when I tell them about the average wage.

It seems that many dream of living and working on the White Isle yet don’t want to take the leap of faith required to move here full time. Then again many who say they want to work on the island don’t actually want to work, they want a summer of fun but also earn a little pocket money to get them by in between guest lists. This is no good for serious employers who need dedicated staff.

So an idea for our Island government (in between murdering goats, changing pedestrian crossings to non-gender symbols and constantly bickering with the opposition), why not set up an elite training school or college for those wanting a genuine career on the island in the service industry. Not one forced upon the unemployed but somewhere that breeds success. This could be a good way of attracting quality staff which could be used as a breeding ground for future generations. It’s a win/win/win. More staff to choose from, service levels go up and client satisfaction goes through the roof.

It’s very dangerous to view our biggest and only commodity as walking wallets who are only there to put money in pockets. Tourists are more wise nowadays and if any product doesn’t consistently improve then others will always grasp the initiative.

Author: Martin Makepeace

Englishman living and working in Ibiza since 1991. Entrepreneur with a passion for villas, boats, sunsets and San Antonio. Read my blogs, listen to my podcasts and catch me on Radio One Mallorca every Tuesday morning.

3 thoughts on “Ibiza Service Levels: Good Enough?”

  1. I’d never thought about a “school” like this before but the moment you mention it, it strikes me as common sense. What a great idea for the island… not that the local governments are familiar with what a great idea is or how to implement it of course. Fingers crossed someone with the ability to implement this is reading.


    1. Hospitality Schools of excellence with industry partners and immersed work experience plans across independent, branded, large or small operations is the way forward. Businesses need industry ready people not just academics.


  2. Decades ago I worked in Prague where they set up such a school. It was just prior to them joining the EU so they were coming out of the communist era and realised that they needed to up their game to compete. People came out trained to a high level and often with another language (obviously English was very popular then). It was a huge success. The culture quickly shifted from a jobsworth mentality to competing with the best (I experienced the appalling service that abounded beforehand and it was common to be tutted at or even told off!)
    Customer service can make a huge difference to a business and so many underestimate it or think it’s ‘commonsense’.


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