Third of hospitality businesses reducing opening hours over Christmas due to staff shortages

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Third of hospitality businesses to reduce opening hours over Christmas due to staff shortages

Related tags Christmas Recruitment Staff ukhospitality

A third of hospitality businesses have been forced to reduce opening hours over the Christmas period as a result of ongoing staff shortages, according to the latest Future Shock report.

New data from UKHospitality, in partnership with CGA by NielsenIQ, shows the toll labour shortages have taken on business confidence across the sector, with 60% of business leaders no longer confident about recruitment.

“The statistics in the report lay bare the real life impact on businesses and consumers as a result of not having enough staff,” says Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality.

“It’s so disappointing that businesses are having to go to such lengths to deal with this. It’s also doing the consumer a disservice, limiting choice and availability.”

The latest edition of Future Shock​ is focussed on ‘Shaping the workforce of the future​’ and reveals that more than a third of businesses (35%) plan to simplify menus because of staffing shortages. Some 32% have been forced to reduce their opening hours, and 13% have reduced opening days.

UKHospitality is calling on the Government to implement a ‘two-phase’ approach to tackle the issue, with changes to the immigration system and reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy.

In particular it is calling for an expansion of the Youth Mobility Scheme to include EU member states; a review of the Shortage Occupation List to accurately reflect the state of the labour market; and reform of the Apprenticeship Levy to include a proportion of funds being made eligible for use on non-apprenticeship training and improving the operation of apprenticeship system.

It is also calling for the abolition of the Immigration Skills Charge, which it brands 'a punitive measure that is an additional charge on top of other visa requirements and deters would-be applicants'.

“This edition of Future Shock​ is incredibly timely because workforce challenges have unfortunately become a fixture for hospitality businesses,” continues Nicholls.

“We are facing a systemic problem that has persisted for years and it needs urgent attention from Government.”

Related topics Trends & Reports Casual Dining

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