One in six (16%) hospitality jobs currently lie vacant, with businesses struggling to fill the job gaps across the sector, according to the latest Business Confidence Survey from CGA and Fourth.
The poll highlighted the industry’s “mounting” labour crisis, with 96% of business leaders now envisaging shortages in either front or back of house roles, and nearly three quarters (73%) in both.
Fewer than one in five (18%) leaders said they felt “confident” about their recruitment and retention over the next 12 months, a “dramatic collapse” from the 67% who felt confident in the last Business Confidence Survey just three months ago.
The shortage of staff has prompted business leaders to step up efforts to retain staff, with three quarters stating to have offered better pay (76%).
Karl Chessell, CGA’s director, hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “These figures illustrate the full scale of hospitality’s recruitment and retention crisis.
“Thousands of businesses are now critically short of staff, while many of those who have sufficient labour face a fight to keep hold of it. Gaps at front and back of house and fast-rising wage costs threaten to derail the industry’s recovery, and sustained, targeted government support is now urgently needed to tackle the problem.”