Over six in ten (62%) hospitality operators are concerned that there will be a shortage of front and back of house staff this Christmas, a survey has revealed.
The findings come from a partnership between hospitality research consultancy KAM and recruitment campaign Hospitality Rising, who asked over 70 hospitality executives of pubs, bars, casual dining restaurants and hotels about the current state of staff shortages.
Almost seven in ten (69%) hospitality operators have already noticed an increase in the number of people leaving the industry over the past year.
Unfilled vacancies have led current staff to report that this has had a significant impact on their welfare (79%), while 65% of businesses revealed that shortages have dented sales and turnover.
In an effort to bolster the workforce, 70% of operators are increasing staff wages and 46% of them are reducing covers or adapting service times.
Others said that they would not be holding private events for parties over the festive period.
Mark McCulloch, founder and campaign director of Hospitality Rising, said: "This research brings home the stark reality of the workforce crisis in hospitality and the absolute need we have for bold and creative ways to solve it.
"By working collectively via initiatives such as Hospitality Rising, we can bring more people into our dynamic and rewarding industry and ensure that we aren't leaving revenue on the table due to a shortage of staff. The first phase of Hospitality Rising, our #RiseFastWorkYoung campaign, has already proved its effectiveness – driving 17,000 applications via our dedicated jobs board in its first three weeks.
"In order to keep up momentum and drive the next stage of the campaign we need more operators to come on board and more companies to pledge financial support. Hospitality is nothing without people and we are determined to work together to ensure the best and the brightest are attracted to the industry to ensure a bright future for the sector."
Katy Moses, founder and managing director of KAM, added: "It's heart breaking, albeit sadly not surprising, that staff shortages continue to limit the vitality of the Hospitality sector with customer service levels, employee engagement and sales being impacted. The research really highlights the critical role which Hospitality Rising is playing in attracting new people to the sector."
It comes after Raymond Blanc told the Hospitality Rising podcast that he would like to see every parent think "I would want to put my son or my daughter in this industry".