Hospitality Sectors Quality Staff KSB Recruitment

A Perfect Storm: How the UK Hospitality Sector Could End Up Struggling to Find Quality Staff in the Wake of Brexit and the Pandemic

It’s been a year of change for many sectors in the UK, and perhaps the most significant shifts we have seen are within the hospitality sector. 

The pandemic has caused a ‘reset’ on the food and beverage industry, taking things to levels we have never seen before. We’ve experienced almost a year where the doors have been mainly closed on dine-in restaurants. The way people eat both in and outside the home has changed significantly, which is likely to have a long-lasting impact on hospitality across the country. 

Add to this the fact that Brexit occurred during the pandemic, which also has severe repercussions for the hospitality industry, and we find ourselves in dangerous territory. 

These two major events have created a perfect storm regarding finding the right talent for your hospitality business – today, we discuss how hospitality employers can now approach hiring. 


Challenges for Post-Pandemic Re-Opening  

As the pandemic unfurled, hotels, restaurants and pubs in the UK furloughed 80% of their staff, as the hospitality sectors became one of the worst-hit industries. Continually changing lockdown restrictions meant that it was an increasing challenge for business owners to plan effectively in terms of operations, staffing, opening times and menus. 

After the last UK-wide lockdown was announced at the end of 2020, most hospitality business owners decided that the only way to plan for the future was to wait until local restrictions were more clear-cut. And for many, this has meant waiting until now; with the vaccine programme underway, the vast majority of food and beverage organisations can realistically plan for opening this summer. 

But what has happened to the teams that were in place last year? As I mentioned, many have been furloughed; sadly, some have been made redundantothers have moved to a different role or sector entirely.  

Hospitality businesses right now face perhaps the most challenging situation they have ever encountered. They need to open successfully this year, but they have lost the infrastructure of the team they once had. 

Hospitality business owners have not historically struggled to find willing recruits, although finding the highest-quality of talent has often been tough. Many are finding that the number of applicants is also dwindling – let me share how Brexit has made the situation even more difficult. 


The Brexit Effect on the Hospitality Sectors  

recent Financial Times article revealed that since the start of the pandemic, 1.3 million foreign-born workers had left the UK. Of this number, around 158,000 were in the accommodation and food service sector, with a further 217,00 in the wider retail space.  

This is a significant portion of individuals who have been wiped from the talent pool. Pre-pandemic and Brexit, many of these individuals would have been working in and applying for hospitality vacancies across the UK.  

Brexit was not the sole reason for this mass exodus – as I mentioned, it was a combination of the new working rules and the pandemic.  

It was understandable and unavoidable that the sector shut down in this way, but what impact will this reduction of workers have – how can hospitality businesses find the staff they need as they prepare to re-open? 


Finding the Hospitality Staff You Need for a Post-Pandemic World 

After such a long time living under strict restrictions, it is with excitement, anticipation and a renewed optimism that the hospitality sector is preparing for a summer of celebration.  

The controversial ‘substantial meal’ rule has been scrapped for the re-opening, and business owners are looking forward to a record-breaking summer. Peak District hospitality investor Alistair Myers said, “We are ready to be booming” 

In holiday hot spots across the country, bookings are already filling up in places such as the South Coast and the Lake District. As foreign travel will still likely be off-limits, millions of UK holidaymakers will be looking to make the most of a staycation. 

So, are you ready for one of your biggest summers ever? 

If your team have now been dispersed, it is a high probability that you will be welcoming back a new set of employees this year. Do you have some returning members? For many hospitality businesses, opening means starting a team almost from scratch – and this is where we can help. 

We understand that right now is perhaps the most crucial time in the hospitality sectors history. When you open your doors this year, you need to ensure that you have the best possible team in place; people will be expecting excellence.  

Not all hospitality businesses have made it through the pandemic, so when you open up again, you need to prove your worth to your customers – that you are the type of establishment that they can return to again and again in a post-pandemic world. 

For this, it is a necessity that you have only the highest-quality staff within your team – anything less, and you could put yourself at risk of failure during what will be your most business-critical time.  

Are you preparing to re-open this year and need to find the right talent to look after your business? We can help – contact us today to find out more about our expert hospitality recruitment services. Call us on 0121 314 9365 or contact us here 





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  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. 

Hospitality Organisations And Staffing Levels KSB Recruitment

The Post-Pandemic Hospitality Challenge: Getting Business Strategy AND Staffing Levels Right

As a hospitality business owner, 2021 will be a year you will never forget. Despite the challenges of lockdown, hospitality organisations planning on returning from the pandemic stronger than ever have the perfect opportunity to showcase how good they are. 

Hospitality organisations have remained the most affected industry in the UK, and because of this, there is a need to get it right. There will be no room for error when catering and hospitality opens up again.  

Fact: Businesses must have the best possible team in place; having an excellent team will be a ‘must do’ rather than a ‘nice to do’ activity. 

But after so long with doors closed and teams dispersed, getting your organisation service-ready might seem like an impossible task. 

The main issues hospitality and catering have to contend with are getting their business strategy AND staffing levels right. There’s no blueprint for what we are going through – businesses will need to be savvy to succeed. 

Today we look at how hospitality businesses can react to overcome these unique challenges this year. 


‘Best’ Year Ever for Hospitality Organisations  

We might have lost the first few months, but the public’s desire to eat out, plus the re-opening of schools and corporate businesses everywhere, means that the demand for top-quality catering this year has never been more crucial. 

For the vast majority of the public, their dining experiences in 2021, whether it’s a pub lunch with friends or a meal at a work conference, will be a momentous and symbolic occasion. 

This means one thing for hospitality and catering – preparing for customers in high numbers. Many businesses are expecting to have their busiest summer ever – planning for such a year means being able to rely on your team. 

With foreign holidays yet to be safe and secure, millions of Brits are preparing for a summer of normality at home, spending their holiday funds in UK businesses. Never before has there been such a UK-focused summer ahead of us – bookings for hotels in August have risen by 239%.  

Catering and hospitality companies have a huge task ahead of them. If you need new catering and hospitality team members this year – from a single chef to a whole team, we can help – get in touch with us here to find out more.  


What Post-Pandemic Service Needs to Look Like Now 

The hospitality experiences the public will have this year will be etched into their memories for a long time – no-one will forget their first meal ‘out’ after the pandemic.  

Eating out and meeting friends and family outside the home are two of the most anticipated events, and people who have missed these experiences are looking for two things.  

  • They want to be wowed by the food and service, 
  • and they also want to feel safe. 

Social distancing and Covid rules are now a part of our national psyche, and although we are turning the tide on the virus, the official guidance is that we should be cautious until it no longer poses a threat. 

Therefore hospitality organisations have a big responsibility to manage social distancing and creating a safe environment for customers. You need to be sure that you have the right number of staff and excellent, dedicated, and talented employees on your team who will deliver your company vision in a safe and compliant way to customers.  


Taking an ‘Eyes Wide Open’ Approach 

Every organisation will have its challenges in assembling teams, but considering the points I have raised here, there is massive scope for success in 2021. 

As I mentioned earlier – getting your business strategy and staffing levels right will be the most challenging part for business owners and managers. 

That is why here at KSB Recruitment, we are offering expert, flexible recruitment packages and services to UK hospitality businesses this year. 

Companies must not head into the summer with a blinkered approach – they need to have their eyes wide open to the challenges ahead and have contingencies in place.  

When working with KSB Recruitment for your catering and hospitality recruitments, we take on responsibility for your staffing levels. This means you can then take control of your business strategy without the added worry that you will have a last-minute staffing crisis.  

Success will come from getting the core parts of your business right – and this will need time, planning, and continually revising in our socially-distanced world. Providing the right safety measures, getting your new menus right, training staff, and getting rotas right will be almost like starting a new business, which needs your full dedication. 

When you need to dedicate your time to getting your business strategy right, we can take care of your recruitment.  

Talk to us today on 0121 314 9365 or contact us here to find out how we can provide the dedicated staff you need this year. 





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. 

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