Hospitality owners report staff shortages as vacancies rise

Staff shortages are a recurring problem for restaurant owners,with Covid and Brexit often cited as exacerbating the issue

Hospitality owners are reportedly facing staff shortages after a lack of response to job advertisements, according to the BBC

In the UK there were 102,000 vacancies in the sector from April to June 2021 – a rise of 12.1% compared to the same period in 2019. 

According to the BBC, the problem is particularly rife in seaside towns.

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Andy Rudd, owner of Sutherland House restaurant in Southwald, Suffolk, reported that they “did not have enough staff to open for lunch”.

He said: “This is the worst year we’ve seen for shortages, by a long shot. We’ve got probably three different adverts out at the moment – we’ve had no applicants for any of those positions at the moment.”

Staff shortages are a recurring problem for restaurant owners ,with Covid and Brexit often cited as exacerbating the issue.

In July the BBC previously reported that industry bodies said one in five workers left the sector during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The news comes months after the hospitality trade association UKH announced a 12-point plan aimed at tackling the “acute” staffing shortage crisis that the industry is facing.

The trade body confirmed that widespread staffing issues, particularly in front-of-house and chef roles, has prevented a number of sites from reopening, with many businesses also having to restrict their trading hours.

In turn, UKH has outlined the set of short-term, medium-term, and long-term actions for both employers and the Government to address.

Included in the short-term suggestions are calls for all restrictions on the industry to be lifted, the launch of a recruitment and retention campaign, and various methods to promote the sector for those in different educational stages.

The medium-term plan consists of committing to a hospitality T-level, Government amending the shortage occupation list (SOL), and making the reduced VAT rate permanent while doubling the employer national insurance contribution.

UKH’s long-term strategy focuses on reviewing the impact of the new immigration system and its effect on the recovery and competitiveness of both the industry and the wider economy.

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