High staff turnover in hospitality causing a productivity crisis

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

High staff turnover in hospitality causing a productivity crisis
High staff turnover in the hospitality industry has resulted in a productivity crisis costing the sector £272m per year, new figures show

According to analysis from People 1st​, a ‘revolving door’ culture has left over two-thirds of restaurants and hotels short staffed with productivity falling behind other sectors.

Approximately 993,000 new staff will be needed by 2022, 870,000 of which will be replacing existing employees, the charity estimates.

The hospitality and tourism workforce contributes just £21,600 per employee to the industry annually, compared to £46,000 per head in retail and £52,000 in manufacturing.

People 1st​ has calculated that a one per cent improvement in productivity could drive an additional £1.43bn revenue per year.

Simon Tarr, managing director at People 1st​ said: “The causes of low productivity are complex and diverse. It is clear that parts of our industry are trapped in a revolving door of high turnover, increased skills gaps, and reliance on resorting to further transitional, non-permanent staff, to plug those gaps.

“We believe diversifying recruitment to include older workers and maternity returners, as well as putting in place strategies to reduce turnover with a greater focus on career progression, will have a positive impact on productivity.”

Staff retention

A separate study, released last week by executive search company Antal International, found that hospitality employees were most likely to leave their jobs in search of more ‘interesting’ work (67 per cent) and a better work/life balance (65 per cent).

An executive chef at a five-star UK hotel, who wished to remain anonymous, told the report: “The location of the hotel or restaurant is an important criterion for a change of work for me. The less free time you have, the less you want to spend two to three hours a day on train or traffic jams.”

In a bid to improve staff retention Michelin chef Sat Bains announced last week that he would be switching his Nottingham restaurant to a four day week​, with no change in staff salaries.

People 1st has launched a consultation encouraging employers to share their views and strategies on improving staff retention. The results of the report will be published in September.

Is your business short staffed? Then see how our job board, BigHospitalityJobs, can help​.

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