Year on year figures from Fourth show the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic has had on the hospitality sector in terms of employment, with headcount for November falling by 26% compared with November 2019 and the number of hours worked across the sector down 75% on November the previous year.
The pub sector has experienced the least negative impact, with a drop in labour of 21% over the year, followed by QSR sector, which recorded a drop of 26%, and the restaurant sector with a 28% drop. Hotels has been the worst hit sector, where there has been a 31% reduction in labour compared with last year.
There were 75% fewer hours worked across the sector in November 2020, against the same month the previous year. This is compared with a drop in hours of 85% for April to July, during the first lockdown, which could suggest that operators were better prepared this time round, says Fourth.
The hospitality workforce shrunk by 4% in November, compared to 7% in October, with sector recruitment remaining in a downturn, dropping by 59% compared to October, according to Fourth.
The data, which has been aggregated from analysis of over 700 companies across the restaurant, pub, bar and QSR sectors, shows that a further 9,845 hospitality workers lost their jobs in November, representing 4% of the total workforce. The pub, restaurant and QSR sectors recorded a 3% drop in workforce; while the hotel sector was more greatly impacted with a drop of 5%.
However, this is the smallest decline in workforce numbers since June, suggesting that the Government’s extension of the furlough scheme until March 2021 is protecting some sector jobs, it says.
“While these figures continue to make for bleak reading, it is encouraging to see that hospitality businesses are continuing to battle on through the pandemic, with the data suggesting that the sector was perhaps better prepared for the second national lockdown,” says Sebastien Sepierre, managing director – EMEA at Fourth.
“This could be because good practices that were put in place in the Spring, most notably around delivery, could be rolled out again from the get-go.
“This time of year usually brings with it a mammoth recruitment drive, as operators gear up for the busy festive schedule. While the data indicates that recruitment is continuing to drop, what is encouraging is that the continuation of the furlough scheme is seemingly protecting sector jobs and significantly reducing the number of redundancies.
“As we approach the new year, the coming months are going to remain tough, but there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and, with effective planning, coupled with a suitable level of top-line support and appropriate compensation for restrictions that are harming operators’ ability to trade, the sector can and will bounce back.”