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How Covid-19 has impacted the hospitality industry

24 Jan 2022

We contacted a sample of the employers we work with for their views on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted their industry

The hospitality industry was adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. 83% of companies we talked to stated that they had some staff on furlough when the scheme was running. 80% also said that they are still not fully staffed even after restrictions have been lifted. Staff shortages impacted on the abilities of companies to deliver their services fully and effectively

The Challenges Ahead

We used our employer contacts to source ideas and information for overcoming the key challenges ahead as the country and economy adjusts to life with the pandemic and beyond.

1. How can the hospitality industry better retain staff?

Companies reported that they had to increase salaries and offer bonus payments to encourage staff to stay. Others stated that putting a larger emphasis on flexible working arrangements allowed them to retain staff. With the rise of the gig economy, where zero hours contracts were once rising in popularity, companies in the hospitality industry told us they are increasingly now offering permanent contracts to provide stability and job security. After the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, people’s desires have shifted to a need for more consistency, rather than the flexible option of zero hours contracts.

2. Where can additional staffing be drawn from?

Our discussions with employers found that hospitality employers want to employ more mature candidates, who can work Monday to Friday out of school hours. There are benefits to be gained by looking outside of a typical recruitment pool, that might include students and young people. However, companies spoke of a desire to inform potential candidates about what it’s like to work in retail as a career of choice and craved employing more people with a positive ‘will to work.’ Training and induction are key to this, as well as identifying the right mix of candidates for a role.

3. How can the hospitality industry mitigate business problems?

Notably, due to Brexit and the price of importing goods from the EU, companies cited the cost of inflation, lack or products and the inability to source proper ingredients internationally as an ongoing issue which could affect their business in future. Others cited the lack of relevant retail experience and difficulty in finding people who care passionately about the sector and about delivering a high standard of service. Not only did some companies talk about the need to retain staff, but some mentioned how they need to increase the number of customers from overseas who are the main clientele in high-end hotels.

Nicola Whelan, Head of Delivery support at Reed in Partnership, said:

“We’ve helped numerous companies recruit in the hospitality sector recently, including crucial roles such as Kitchen Assistants & Porters, Bar Staff and Chefs.”

Our Recruitment Managers work closely with the recruiting companies to ensure their needs are specifically met. If you would like help to fill your roles in the hospitality industry, please complete our contact form and one of our recruitment specialists will be in touch.

To find out how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the health & social care and logistics industry click here