Confidence slumps

Hiring concerns rise among hospitality bosses


Restaurants are short of staff

Confidence in hiring staff to fill mounting vacancies in the hospitality industry has collapsed in just three months, according to new data.

Fewer than one in five (18%) feels upbeat about recruiting and retaining over the next 12 months — a dramatic collapse from the 67% who felt confident in the last survey by CGA and Fourth in June.

The survey reveals that one in six (16%) hospitality jobs currently lies vacant and is triggering offers of higher wages and other incentives among rival firms.

Almost all (96%) of respondents now envisage shortages in either front or back-of-house roles, and nearly three quarters (73%) in both. Adding to the problem is that 6% of staff are currently in isolation and unable to work.

Three quarters of companies say they have offered better pay (76%) and stepped up their levels of communication (75%) as part of their retention strategies, while two thirds have tried to cultivate the right working culture (67%) and support staff wellbeing and mental health (66%).

Scottish restaurant and bar operator, Buzzworks Holdings, will close all 13 of its venues today to introduce a new Wellbeing Day for its workforce. 

The use of pay as a retention tool is rapidly inflating wage bills across the hospitality sector, which already faces mounting food, drink, supply and utility costs. Leaders who have increased pay have done so by an average of 11% for current staff, and by 13% for newly hired team members.

“These figures illustrate the full scale of hospitality’s recruitment and retention crisis,” said Karl Chessell, CGA’s director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA.

“Thousands of businesses are now critically short of staff, while many of those who have sufficient labour face a fight to keep hold of it.

“Gaps at front and back of house and fast-rising wage costs threaten to derail the industry’s recovery, and sustained, targeted government support is now urgently needed to tackle the problem.”

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