Nearly 40% of food and hospitality businesses are experiencing skilled worker shortages, according to analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data by digital marketing agency Koozai.
The study reported that 37.4% of accommodation and food services businesses are struggling to recruit enough skilled staff, the largest proportion of any industry.
In comparison, 14% of UK businesses in all sectors have been facing worker shortages.
The Caterer has heard this has led to incidents of staff poaching that are putting a strain on businesses' finances as they seek to out-pay competitors.
Other sectors that have been impacted by worker shortages include construction (25.5%), transport and storage (16.2%), real estate (14.3%), administrative and support services (13.5%), manufacturing (13.3%), and the wholesale and retail trade (12%).
The areas of the UK with the highest share of businesses with worker shortages include Cornwall (33%), Lancashire (25.2%), Dorset and Somerset (22.8%), East Wales (22%) and Shropshire and Staffordshire (21.9%).
Sophie Roberts, owner and managing director of Koozai, said: "Our study suggests hospitality businesses may be experiencing particular difficulties in recruiting enough staff with the right skills right now, just as predictions of recession and increased energy costs loom large over the national economy."
It comes after the government revealed that it had "no plans" to introduce hospitality visas to ease the hiring of overseas staff, following the launch of a petition by Thiago Luz Togni, general manager of Temper Shoreditch in London.
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