The threat of staff shortages and cost of living to growth in hospitality

The threat of staff shortages and cost of living to growth in hospitality

The hospitality sector has been experiencing a strong post-pandemic recovery, but this cost-of-living crisis and widespread staff shortages could threaten this.

Industry predictions have suggested the sector could grow by 26% in 2022 compared to the pre-pandemic level; a rise of £12 billion in annual turnover beyond 2019. This is according to Barclay's Corporate Banking's latest study entitled UK Hospitality's Next Challenge. But these stellar growth predictions could be stifled by the escalating costs from suppliers and the competition for talent.

The main challenges to overcome

In the study, Barclays reports that as many as 96% of restaurants are confident of growth in 2022, but a worrying 84% are struggling with hospitality recruitment. There are lots of vacancies in positions like front of house and cleaning staff - the shortage of housekeeping is most pronounced in the east of England and the east Midlands.

The response from the hospitality industry is to establish new incentives for the recruitment and retention of talent. The most popular measure is to offer higher wages to staff.

Pandemic blues

There can be no doubt that hospitality was one of the hardest-hit sectors during the lengthy lockdowns brought on by the pandemic. But when restrictions were lifted in early 2022, sales were very strong and those in the industry grew in confidence about their prospects. Now, the escalating cost of living crisis is emerging as a serious threat to that growth. Restaurants, pubs, bars and clubs have all experienced a slight decline in sales from April 2022 to May 2022.

As mentioned, talent shortages are the other major concern. Hospitality recruitment is under the spotlight and employers in the industry are having to find new, novel ways to recruit and also retain their staff. For people looking to enter the industry, this could mean that the rewards and incentives are about to become very attractive indeed.

New staff needed

The report emerged after figures published in an article in Big Hospitality by UK-Hospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association and the British Institute of Innkeeping. It appears that staff shortages in the sector are costing around £21 billion in lost revenue, with nearly half of operators having to cut trading hours to cope with the shortage of staff.

This is a great time to enter the hospitality industry as employers are crying out for new talent. If you are interested in seeking work in this industry, today and we will get you started on your journey.