After a year of waiting for positive news, it is finally time for the UK hospitality sector to think about welcoming customers back this summer.
And while this is positive news for the economy, hospitality business owners and staff, and of course, the public, there is a lot to consider first.
Only in rare circumstances will the same hospitality teams be returning to the same establishments this year. The pandemic uprooted so many individuals and businesses that some employees have now taken on new roles (sometimes in new sectors). Some companies will be opening under a different guise, and others will be looking to re-invent themselves.
And when you consider that this year will likely be one of the busiest on record for the hospitality sector, the need for top talent is a pressing matter.
So, as hospitality businesses everywhere prepare to open their doors to the public this summer, we look at the possible staffing supply problems and what employers and business owners can do to ensure they are ready and equipped to re-open successfully.
First, let’s look at some positive news for summer 2021.
Re-Opening the Hospitality Sector for 2021
The past year has been one of uncertainty, but we can be sure of one thing now, and that is that the summer of 2021 will be the year of the return to dining out.
Whether that’s fine dining, pub grub, grabbing a coffee from the train station – all of the dining experiences we used to take for granted will be returning with abundance.
And by all accounts, things aren’t going to go ‘back to normal’. There is going to be a greater demand than ever before.
As people have been isolated in their homes for so long, the appetite for dining experiences has increased.
In many of the tourist hot spots in the UK, hospitality businesses are filling up with bookings. According to holidaycottages.co.uk, 4 in 5 Brits (84%) are planning a staycation this year.
The combination of the end of lockdown freedom and the fact that overseas travel is set to be heavily limited has meant that UK holidaymakers are looking to enjoy themselves closer to home.
A new law introduced in February 2021 means that anyone travelling to and from the UK via any country on the ‘red list’ of locations will face up to 10 years in prison along with heavy fines.
The risk of overseas travel in terms of catching the virus is a contributing factor to the increased interest in staycations. We have seen first-hand the devastation of the virus, and now the UK is winning in the vaccination stakes; the risk of travelling to different countries is too high.
A simple search on any well-known holiday booking website shows that rooms in major tourist destinations are filling up. Cornwall, Devon, and popular resorts on the South Coast and the Lake District and the Peak District all show that accommodation is in high demand. Prices are sky-rocketing as the majority of the UK population look to holiday at home.
So, what does this boom in UK 2021 bookings mean for your hospitality business?
It means that you need to be sure you’ve got excellent hospitality staff you can rely on.
Do You Have the Right Team in Place?
The importance of providing an excellent experience to the public coming back to your establishment for the first time since the pandemic, cannot be overstated.
It some ways, it will be like your customers are experiencing your business for the first time again – in a post-pandemic world.
The need for excellent services spans all hospitality businesses, from serving a group of friends coffee on their first socially-distanced outing in over a year to providing a top-class dining experience to a couple on their first post-pandemic date night.
You can see how vital these early experiences will be in cementing your company as one to revisit again and again in our post-pandemic world. Not only are the public looking to be surprised and delighted by your staff, the service and the menu. They are also looking to be genuinely taken care of safely, protective of what will essentially be a strange new environment.
Do you have the right team in place to be able to guarantee this level of service?
Tripadvisor reviews in a post-Covid world are going to be critical. As the public dips their toe into dining out again, there will be much speculation on Tripadvisor about the companies who are getting it right and those who are falling short.
Can you afford to be getting negative Tripadvisor reviews upon re-opening? When you think about how critical these next few months will be, having a top team in place needs to be at the top of every hospitality businesses’ list of priorities.
How We Can Help
There will have been a lot on your plate recently as a hospitality business owner, from serious considerations about the entire sector’s future to planning out your grand return.
If excellent staff is what you need – we can help.
With over 30 years’ experience recruiting in the hospitality sector and providing employees to some of the UK’s biggest food and beverage names, we can provide you with the staff you need for a triumphant return to trading.
Get in touch with us on 0121 314 9365 or contact us here to talk to our team about the talent you need.
About KSB Recruitment
We are expert recruiters in the catering and hospitality industry with over 30 years in business, placing the best candidates in their perfect roles with an obsessive attention to detail.
KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered.
We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire.