The Hospitality Workforce Report: The value of retaining and developing talent

The Hospitality Workforce Report: The value of retaining and developing talent

We recently released the latest edition of our Hospitality Workforce Report, which analyses the state of the UK’s pub, hotel, restaurant and QSR workforce amid the challenging climate that operators are currently facing, characterised by labour shortages, the cost-of-living crisis and ongoing supply chain disruptions.

The hospitality workforce has significantly shifted since we first started collating this data in 2016 – as a direct result of Brexit and the pandemic – but the resilience of the industry has shone through, with overall headcount recovering to near pre-Covid levels in the last few months. It’s evident, however, that staffing levels continue to be impacted across the sector with increasing rates of pay, high staff turnover, and the decline in overseas workers.

Our Hospitality Workforce Report, made up of data and insight pulled from a network of more than 700 companies across the restaurant, pub, bar, and hotel sectors, reveals key insights into the above issues and highlights how technology can provide support to businesses during these difficult times.

Key insights

  • Overall staff headcount in pubs, bars, hotels, restaurants and QSRs has grown 21.7% since June 2021
  • Pubs have seen the slowest rate of growth in staff numbers, up by just 9% in June, in contrast with hotels (27.3%), QSR (25.8%) and restaurants (25.7%)
  • Staff turnover remains high in the industry, with 7% of the labour force leaving every month
  • Across the sector, hours worked in June 2022 were up 17.3% versus June 2021
  • Back-of-house workers in pubs and restaurants now earn more than £10 per hour
  • Younger workers (18-20) are enjoying faster growth in hourly rates of pay. A 20-year-old back-of-house pub worker was earning 13.8% more in June 2022 than 12 months previously
  • EU workers now account for just3% of the workforce, compared to 43.2% in January 2019 and 35.9% in July last year
  • Non-EU workers now make up 9% of the entire hospitality workforce (up from 11% in January 2019), while British representation has increased from 45.8% to 55.8%

One of the key factors that will help businesses to strengthen their workforce is to encourage retention, which can be aided by the use of technology. Sebastien Sepierre, Managing Director of EMEA at Fourth, says: “By demonstrating the genuine career prospects available to newcomers and by continuing to develop pathways, hospitality can improve retention rates and spend more time focusing on progression and growth than constant rounds of recruitment”.

“Technology has an important role to play here for businesses, in terms of building brand perception through effective recruitment, fast onboarding, efficient training, predictable scheduling, and developing a winning culture by establishing a modern platform for employee communications. It can help your costs, communications, efficiencies, and the overall professionalism of your organisation”.

For more insights on the UK hospitality workforce and the ways in which Fourth’s next-gen tech can support your business, read our full report here .

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