Economy

Record staff shortages costing hospitality £21bn in lost trade

Staff shortages are forcing one in three businesses in the sector to close one or more days a week

The hospitality industry is reportedly losing £21bn in revenues and an estimated £5bn loss in tax for the Exchequer as a shortage of workers is “damaging” the sector’s recovery in the UK. 

According to a survey by UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping, and the British Beer and Pub Association, staff shortages in the hospitality industry are reaching “critical” levels, causing nearly half (45%) of operators to cut trading hours or capacity in order to cope.

The survey also shows that staff shortages are forcing one in three businesses in the sector to close one or more days a week.

The highest shortages are for front of house roles, with 81% of those operators with vacancies looking to fill these roles.

Chefs are reportedly the next most sought after, with 76% of operators with vacancies looking to recruit these positions, followed by kitchen porters (67%), and assistant managers (53%).

In a joint statement, UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping, and the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “These figures clearly show the danger to the industry and financial loss to the country via taxes posed by the current staffing crisis.

“In short, the recovery of both the sector and the UK economy are being threatened by this workforce shortage.”

They added: “Operators have been doing all they can to help solve the issue, from increasing wages, to flexible working. However, this can only help so much, and the sector must be given targeted support in order to solve the crisis.”

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