Staff headcounts remain 11% lower than 2019

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality staff headcount remains 11% lower than 2019

Related tags Staffing Hospitality Recruitment Staff Fourth

Overall staff headcounts in hospitality were 5% higher in December 2022 compared to 2021, but remain 11% lower than in 2019, according to the latest figures from Fourth.

The number of hours staff are collectively working is growing at a faster rate than overall headcounts, the data shows. The hours worked in 2022 were 15% higher than 2021, but 14% lower than in 2019.

Fourth notes that these figures may also be reflective of hospitality businesses being forced to adapt their opening hours to help them cope with pressures related to soaring energy costs and inflation.

“The hours staff are working indicates that hospitality businesses are getting more from their workforce,” says Sebastien Sepierre, managing director – EMEA, Fourth.

“Recruitment and retention of talent will continue to be key areas of focus for management teams this year.”

The findings also reveal that staff in hospitality were more productive in December 2022.

Fourth’s Spend Per Labour Hour metric shows productivity by calculating total sales and dividing this by hours worked. Spend Per Labour Hour was £42.69 in December, compared to £38.13 in 2021 and £37.10 in 2019.

Combined sales between pubs and restaurants in December were up by 28% compared to 2021, Fourth's figures show. However, sales were 1% down when set against 2019. When inflation and price rises are considered, it indicates that hospitality is still some way behind pre-pandemic levels.

Restaurants sales were actually 2% higher in December 2022 than 2019, but were down in both November (-5%) and October (-2%) when compared to three years ago. 

Pub sales were 30% up compared to December 2021, but 8% down against December 2019, highlighting the continuing challenges the sector faces.

“The circumstances hospitality faces in the form of the cost-of-living crisis, inflation, recruitment, and consumer confidence remain and will continue to challenge performance in 2023,” adds Sepierre.

Related topics Trends & Reports Casual Dining

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