Staff shortages cost hospitality £21billion

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staff shortages in the hospitality industry have reached ‘critical’ levels, forcing almost half (45%) of operators to cut hours or trading capacity in response, costing the industry £21billion in lost revenue and causing an estimated £5billion tax hit. the Exchequer.

According to a joint survey by UK trade bodies for the hospitality industry UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping and the British Beer and Pub Association, staff shortages are forcing one in three businesses in the sector to close “one or more days a week”. ”.

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Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate that the sector currently has a record 174,000 jobs available.

The joint survey finds the biggest shortages are in front-of-house positions, with 81% of operators looking to fill vacancies. Next come the most sought-after chefs, with 76% of operators having recruitment problems, followed by kitchen porters (67%) and assistant managers (53%).

In a joint statement, UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping and the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ‘These figures clearly show the danger to the industry and the financial loss to the country via the taxes posed by the current coronavirus crisis. personal. In short, the recovery of the sector and the British economy are threatened by this labor shortage.

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“Operators have done everything they can to help solve the problem, from raising wages to flexible working. However, this cannot help much, and the sector needs targeted support in order to resolve the crisis.

Earlier this week, Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said the current transport strikes could deal a “fatal financial blow” to hospitality businesses which were already struggling to survive after the pandemic and the closures had caused their revenues to soar, businesses being forced to close their premises.

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The industry is estimated to lose £540m from the three-day union strike.

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