69% of UK hospitality businesses struggle with Brexit-related staff shortages

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The ability of hospitality businesses to hire staff continues to be affected by Brexit, a new report claims.

In response, companies are now offering attractive relocation packages to entice workers from other regions.

According to Caterer, a leading jobs website in the UK hospitality sector, 69% of businesses reported difficulties in recruitment due to Brexit.

It was indicated that over sixty percent of organizations experienced issues while recruiting for chef and general management jobs.

To tackle this issue, 70% of hospitality firms believe that actively seeking local UK talent is the solution, Caterer's research found.

Incentives such as flexible shifts or relocation bonuses (including moving expenses and subsidized accommodation) are being offered to attract workers.

"swapped the EU for Edinburgh and Essex as they become increasingly more creative in finding talent."

Calvern James

Calvern James, Director at Caterer, explains that companies have shifted their focus from the EU to domestic areas like Edinburgh and Essex to find skilled labor.

Moreover, hospitality businesses are exploring overlooked demographics for recruitment, including refugees, students, homeless individuals, and ex-offenders.

The Brexit vote in 2016 resulted in additional administrative burdens and expenses for businesses seeking to hire EU workers.

The Covid-19 pandemic and temporary closure of non-essential venues like pubs and restaurants accelerated the trend of EU workers returning home.

The hospitality sector expects to increase its workforce by 80% due to the anticipated surge in business from UK families planning staycations and major events.

Between January and March 2024, there was an almost quarterly increase in vacancies for roles listed on Caterer, with Scotland experiencing the largest jump (68%).

Opinium conducted a survey for Caterer in April among 100 business entities and a pool of 2,000 UK residents. (Changes "businesses" to "business entities" and "UK adults" to "UK residents")

Innovative recruitment strategies are necessary for the hospitality sector in this new landscape.