The Rebuilding Hospitality: The Changing Shape of the UK Workforce report was created using data from workforce management platform Deputy.
Independent economist Shashi Karunanethy analysed over 1.5m shifts from Deputy’s rostering systems worked by more than 14,000 UK hospitality employees in the past 22 months.
Examining restaurants, bars and pubs, accommodation, cafes and coffee shops, and fast food and takeaways, it reveals a significant shift in industry staffing, with the proportion of millennials working in the sector having declined from 49% to 42%.
At the same time, the proportion of workers from Gen Z has risen by 5%, which equates to around 150,000 workers.
“Half a year since Covid restrictions began to ease, hospitality employment levels are still well below pre-pandemic levels,” says Karunanethy.
“We’ve lost a huge proportion of our workforce and we’re currently more reliant on young staff than ever before.”
Karunanethy believes that many millennial workers - and especially those with young families to support - have moved into roles that flourished during lockdowns, such as supermarket work and delivery driving.
The report highlights a number of considerations and recommendations for hospitality businesses to help them navigate the new hospitality landscape, including a focus on aptitude and attitude rather than experience when recruiting; the need to offer more flexible and family-friendly work patterns; and the use of technology to automate some tasks.
“In the long term, the surge in young people joining the industry is really good news for the future. However, right now, it’s a particularly testing time for business owners and managers who are already grappling with supply-chain disruption, utility cost inflation, VAT rises to come in April, caps on business relief rates, and staff shortages,” says David Kelly, general manager for EMEA at Deputy.
“Many business owners are having to vary their opening hours in line with staff availability. Managing that process is a huge challenge, even with a staff of industry veterans, let alone new starters. Upskilling the next generation of staff will be vital to long-term success.”
The full report can be accessed here.