'One in seven' hospitality jobs left vacant, report reveals
One in seven hospitality jobs remain unfilled, according to the latest report Future Shock report compiled by UKHospitality and insight specialists CGA.
Vacancies persist despite 77% of operators increasing pay to retain and attract staff, which has led to an 11% increase in average salaries for hospitality jobs over the past year.
Staff shortages have resulted in nearly half (45%) of businesses decreasing trading hours and a third having to close for at least a day.
Although like-for-like sales in the sector have returned to 2019 levels, the report revealed that the industry is under additional pressure from inflation.
Some 93% of business owners are struggling with higher energy prices and a further 83% have raised concerns over increased food prices.
Combined with declining consumer confidence, as four in five households revealed that they will reduce trips to hospitality venues, the sector is in for a bumpy recovery.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive officer of UKHospitality, said: "The sector has proved its value to consumers post-pandemic, with sales back to 2019 levels but the labour shortage, inflationary cost pressures and dropping consumer confidence make it extremely difficult for any business to achieve real-terms year-on-year growth at the moment and there is little prospect of a respite on the horizon.
"Operators will continue to work hard and creatively to meet these challenges and with positive action from Government, such as root and branch reform of business rates, a system that disproportionally taxes hospitality, the sector will be able to drive investment in local economies, create jobs and play a full part in the UK's economic recovery."
Karl Chessell, director of hospitality operators and food, EMEA, at CGA by NielsenIQ, added: "More than two years on from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst of its impacts are now hopefully behind us.
"CGA by NielsenIQ's research in this latest edition of Future Shock highlights how hospitality has worked hard to establish a new normal, with sales running close to pre-COVID-19 levels and closures of licensed premises easing. Hospitality remains a very attractive sector to consumers and investors alike, and appetite for the experiences it provides is undiminished.
"However, while underlying demand is high, inflationary pressures are now squeezing consumers' spending and hurting both profit margins and investment plans. Severe shortages of staff will continue, and business confidence – which was solid at the start of the year – has been impacted.
"These challenges are largely out of hospitality's hands and while the sector received solid support during the pandemic from the Government, which rightly recognised its importance to the UK economy, it deserves more help now."
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