Challenges facing the Hospitality Industry

The delayed roadmap is causing some sectors more difficulty than others.  

The hospitality sector has been particularly hard hit by restrictions and uncertainty:  balancing reduced capacity due to social distancing; additional costs of making the premises COVID-secure; declining business lunches and overnight stays due to an working from home and virtual meetings and the rule of six curtailing celebrations; as well as the reported impact of overseas staff returning home during the pandemic and a shortage of staff ready and willing to return to the sector. 

As the roadmap slowly takes us on a journey back to normal (or the new normal, whatever that will look like), employers in the hospitality sector are crying out for quality chefs and hospitality staff and are willing to go to great lengths to secure them. 

10 Top Tips for attracting and retaining talent in the hospitality industry 

1: Recruit via social media 

In today’s world where most people are glued to their mobile phones and checking their social media accounts, ensure your business is exploiting the opportunity to get in front of such a wide candidate pool. Ensure the advert looks enticing. 

2: Ensure employees have the right to work  

Check that all employees have the right to work in the UK. To avoid criminal liability, ensure that you do not employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK. If you have candidates from Europe, check when they first arrived in the UK.  If before 31 December 2020 ensure they have applied for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme – the deadline is 30 June 2021 and so they may need help submitting their applications in order to get them in on time.  Those arriving from 1 January 2021 will need a visa under the points-based system. 

3: Offer a Competitive salary 

Know the employment market and ensure that the package you are offering stands up against your competitors.  

4: Provide Perks 

Discounts on food and drinks for themselves and/or family and friends. Offering accommodation can also broaden the candidate pool.

5: Select the right candidate 

Have a structured application and interview process and ensure any offers are conditional upon satisfactory references. Ensure that your recruitment process is not discriminatory. 

6: Provide training and recognise talent 

Provide a structured induction programme and other opportunities to learn, develop and progress. Provide feedback and appraisals. 

If employees are doing a particularly good job, have had a good review on trip adviser, or have gone above and beyond to ‘make someone’s day’ then recognise this with some form of bonus or reward.  

Provide opportunities for progression for those who are ambitious and career-minded. 

7: Flexibility 

Hospitality is rarely a 9-5 job and flexibility is a two way street. Communicate with candidates/employees to ensure rotas work for everyone and allow that all important work/life balance.  

8: Workplace relationships and fun 

Communication is key, ensure that all employees feel part of a team and have a supportive working environment that is also fun. 

9: Foster creativity 

Some people thrive on being creative, the satisfaction of making something, and expressing themselves through new ideas. Allow your chef the freedom to create new and exciting menu options, encourage the mixologist to design their own cocktails- you never know, they may stumble upon the next big thing! 

10: Exit interviews 

Inevitably some staff will go, and the hospitality industry is no stranger to this fluidity. If people do leave, don’t be afraid to ask them why and to explain what could be improved for the better. It could help you to make positive changes that increase staff retention. 

For more information, please contact Carey Willis Fleming, Associate Solicitor in our Employment Team:  

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