Hospitality skills shortage predicted to continue until 2020, say industry experts

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Allegra strategies, Future

Taste of the Future 2020: Skills shortages, healthy eating and an expectation of higher quality are all issues and trends predicted for the industry over the next few years
Taste of the Future 2020: Skills shortages, healthy eating and an expectation of higher quality are all issues and trends predicted for the industry over the next few years
The industry will continue to experience a skills shortage over the next few years, according to foodservice consultants and senior executives as an absence of younger workers makes it harder to fill vacancies.

That was one of the predictions made in The Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) UK & Ireland and Allegra Strategies' Taste of the Future 2020 report, which forecasts the key issues and consumer trends that will be affecting the foodservice and hospitality industry by 2020. 

According to the report, the majority of the 100 industry experts surveyed, believe a skills shortage will be one of the biggest challenges the industry will face, especially as the industry is expected to get busier as the frequency of eating out is predicted to be 'significantly higher' by 2020. 

An increasingly ageing population, an increase in consumer quality expectations and the rising popularity of niche cuisines and unique dining experiences are also expected to impact the sector. 

Other predictions made include: 

  • An increase in consumer expectations around quality with 90 per cent of respondents saying the quality of product will be more important to consumers when eating out in 2020 than it is today.
  • Value will still be important with 65 per cent of respondents saying saying consumers will be even more value-conscious than they are today.
  • Serving locally-sourced food will remain important with 60 per cent believing that consumers will demand more locally-sourced menu choices.
  • A rise in the number of 'unique concepts' with new fast food (59 per cent), street food (55 per cent) and pop-up restaurants (51 per cent) being identified as the fastest growing businesses to watch.
  • The rise of healthy eating, South East Asian, British, premium chicken and global fusion categories in popularity to replace today’s top five choices (Italian, burgers, Indian, Chinese and fried chicken). 

Chairman of FCSI UK & Ireland, Niccola Boyd-Stevenson said: “Over the next seven years we will see a reshaping of the market with the frequency of eating out becoming significantly higher, new areas of demand including greater emphasis on healthier eating and new, global cuisines. Our ageing population will also have a dramatic influence on the industry. 

“However, it’s not all plain sailing. Operators and suppliers will face substantial challenges with greater market consolidation and higher food prices putting even more pressure on operating costs. Skill shortages will become even more of an issue for our industry.” 

Simon Stenning, foodservice strategy director, Allegra Strategies added: “This report has given us, as an industry, a unique look at what the future holds and will help operators, manufacturers and executives across the board prepare for some challenging but rewarding times ahead. To succeed in 2020, operators will have to offer something special, with experiences that excite and deliver first class product quality and service."

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