The KPMG study, commissioned by the British Hospitality Association (BHA), estimates that 75% of UK waiters and waitresses, 25% of chefs and 37% of housekeeping staff are from the EU.
It warns that the industry is facing a recruitment crisis and could need to find 60,000 replacement workers per year in addition to the 200,000 staff required to replace churn and boost growth.
In response the BHA has sent the Government an outline for a ten year strategy aimed at recruiting a higher proportion of workers from the UK, with a focus on targeting the unemployed, older people returning to work and young people.
This includes running job fairs at Premier League football clubs under The Big Hospitality Conversation.
“It is clear from the KPMG report that hospitality and tourism face major problems in recruitment if there is any major cut in the number of workers allowed to enter from the EU,” says BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim.
“We want to avoid there being any cliff edge but the Government must be aware that in the medium to long term we will still need considerable numbers of EU workers, who have contributed so much to our industry and the UK economy in general.
“We have submitted our strategy to Number 10 Downing Street because we are aware of our responsibility to encourage more UK nationals to see the career opportunities available in hospitality and tourism. We do need the Government to play their part too, by recognising our employment needs and recognising how important this industry, the fourth largest, is to the country.”