The effects of the pandemic are still being felt across many sectors, especially hospitality. Forced closures, supply chain issues, the ‘pingdemic’ and ongoing staff shortages continue to throw up challenges that some establishments have been able to adapt to, while others have been left hanging by a thread or forced to close their doors permanently.
Good news is getting harder to come by for the sector. Earlier this month, we highlighted the latest Jobs Recovery Tracker results from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), which revealed that the preceding five weeks had seen the highest weekly job adverts since mid-December. Job postings for waiters/waitresses and bar staff increased by 2.8% and 1.8%, respectively, as businesses grappled with the loss of over 92,000 EU nationals due to Brexit rules and pandemic-related travel restrictions.
Staffing issues to one side, the onus now falls to consumers to give the sector a much-needed boost over the crucial autumn/winter period, with initiatives like National Hospitality Day paving the way to help make this happen.
Taking place on 18th September, National Hospitality Day is a combined project between charities Hospitality Action, The Drinks Trust, Springboard and Licensed Trade Charity that urges customers to leave no business behind this autumn.
Billed on the website as an opportunity for the nation to say “welcome back – we’ve missed you”, people are encouraged to vote with their feet to visit some of their favourite places in an attempt to give them a financial boost when they need it the most.
While restaurants, hotels, pubs and food service providers are encouraged to build a charitable element into their activities on the day itself, the message extends much further than this and aims to raise awareness of how much these businesses need our support right now.
“The pandemic hit the hospitality industry and the suppliers that support it like a hammer blow,” the website reads. “Businesses, livelihoods and lives have been lost. Despite this, operators and their suppliers have demonstrated huge resilience and a boundless generosity of spirit. They’ve worked tirelessly to fuel the workers in the frontline of the fight against covid. They’ve kept hospital patients, care home residents and schoolchildren fed. And they’ve supported families in acute financial need with free meals.”
There’s a further silver lining to be found for hospitality businesses. New data released this month revealed that more than half of the UK adult population went out to eat or drink following the easing of lockdown restrictions in July. The research carried out by Lumina Intelligence stated that the proportion of UK consumers who ate out increased to a peak of 52.2% over the 12 weeks to the 11 July, with frequency of visit and average spend also growing.
With the busy festive season approaching and emerging plans for covid booster jabs suggesting that further lockdowns may not be on the cards after all, the hospitality sector will hopefully start to see the green shoots of recovery it needs and deserves.
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If you’re looking to secure hospitality and catering staff for your business, get in touch with the experts at PRS. Call us on 0207 553 5660 or email us at email@example.com.