According to an exclusive survey conducted by Propel and KAM, 76% of sector operators experienced a rise in staffing costs last year, while 75% noticed an increase in team members leaving the hospitality sector.
The survey, called the State of the Hospitality Nation and built in partnership with MAPAL group, also revealed that 52% saw an increase in new team members entering the industry.
Besides, staff shortages had a significant impact on businesses, with 49% reporting a negative effect on the customer experience, and 35% reporting increased salary costs.
Other impacts included stress and welfare of current team members (32%), sales and turnover (29%), and job satisfaction (25%).
Finally, 76% of respondents stated that labour costs increased as a percentage of total turnover last year, with the pandemic still having a knock-on effect.
One respondent commented:
"It was always inevitable that after paying the nation to sit in the sun for months on end, reacclimatising to work would take time.
We seem to be making progress, but it is all too easy to create a pernicious circle where the stresses caused by staffing difficulties exacerbate the challenge of recruitment, development and training. Kid gloves and creative thinking are required by the bucket load."
Mike Parnham, Chief Executive at Rum Kitchen, said:
"Staffing is easier than last summer but still challenging. A lot of the big brands have switched to hiring under-18s and this has made the talent pool wider.
The biggest positive action we have taken is to contact good leavers after six months to check in with them and see how they are doing and if the grass really is greener. Since January, we haven't hired anyone except for returning team members."