More staff are leaving hospitality now than at start of pandemic, study reveals

01 November 2022 by
More staff are leaving hospitality now than at start of pandemic, study reveals

More staff are leaving the hospitality industry now than at any point since the beginning of the pandemic, according to data from Fourth.

Research from the provider of inventory and workforce management solutions revealed that 8.3% of hospitality staff left the sector between August and September 2022.

The study was conducted from more than 700 companies operating pubs, restaurants, bars and hotels.

This is the highest percentage of losses in the industry since 15.6% of people left their hospitality jobs in March 2020.

Pubs have been hardest hit with falling retention, as it had the highest rate of leavers (10.8%). This was followed closely by restaurants (9.8%). Hotels have a slightly slower turnover, with 6.5%.

Pubs have also experienced a 4.4% decline in overall workers compared to a year ago.

The percentage of non-EU workers has grown to 20.1% as of September, compared to 12.7% before. Meanwhile, the proportion of EU workers has dropped by more than a third, falling from 35.9% to 24.3%.

It comes after the government said it had "no plan" to introduce a visa route for recruitment at or near the minimum wage "with relatively short training" following the launch of a petition calling for a hospitality worker visa scheme that gained nearly 18,000 signatures.

Fourth warned that high rates of staff leaving the industry will put further pressure on businesses ahead of the men's FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the Christmas trading period.

Jason Atherton also told the Evening Standard that he may have to close some of his restaurants in the new year due to staff shortages.

Sebastien Sepierre, managing director – EMEA at Fourth, said: "The latest data in the Fourth Hospitality Workforce Report shows that the industry is precariously placed. While staff numbers and collective hours worked remain solid, this is set against a backdrop of inflation at a four-decade high, the cost-of-living crisis, rising fuel costs and an understandably cautious consumer base, all making it far harder to turn a profit than a year ago.

"Any successful hospitality business's biggest asset is a committed and talented team, which is why recruitment and retention are so vital. There are currently as many people starting jobs as leaving them.

"It is now essential that operators focus on retention and ensuring that recruits can see the benefits and rewards that a long-term career in hospitality offers. If not, they face the prospect of continual rounds of recruitment rather than consolidating teams to drive their businesses forward."

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