Hospitality slowdown worsens with 98% collapse in shifts

The hospitality industry has now suffered a 98% slowdown as the coronavirus shutdown continues to weigh heavily on the sector, according to income streaming provider Wagesteam. 

Wage stream found that the number of shifts being carried out by workers in the hospitality industry has fallen 97.96% month on month, deteriorating from a 77.6% monthly fall just two weeks earlier. 

It added the sector has now reached “almost rock bottom” as industry bosses try to work out how they will navigate a path back to profitability once the pandemic eases.

Wagestream has used aggregate data from multiple workforce management systems to compare the number of shifts available to staff to calculate a like for like decline in monthly activity.

There had been talk early on of hospitality firms trying to provide different services during the shutdown, for example take away and doorstep delivery, to remain in business. However, the analysis suggests that the pandemic has changed the trading environment so rapidly that the pub, bar and restaurant sector has “struggled to make that pivot”. 

Peter Briffett, CEO and co-founder of Wagestream, said: “You have to remember that the last time a pandemic brought the country to a standstill, in 1918, a hospitality sector of the sort we know today did not exist. 

“It’s a human tragedy from the perspective of both people’s health and their livelihoods. It’s clear from these statistics that the commercial and human consequences of the pandemic are so far being managed through widespread use of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme.”

He added: “Companies must look after their staff as best they can because, when the social distancing rules are lifted, these workers are their only way to get quickly back to business.

“We are continuing to allow client’s employees to access their accrued furlough pay when they need it and this should take away some of the financial pressures they will be experiencing right now.”

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