According to the tech company’s 2021 Global State of the Hospitality Industry Report, 38% of UK merchants are already operating with fewer employees than needed, with 14% forced to reduce opening hours.
Hiring and staff retention were singled out as the biggest challenges facing the UK hospitality industry, with almost half of survey respondents (48%) struggling to retain staff.
Some 34% have boosted pay and benefits in a bid to mitigate the problems.
Asked what would be the most helpful to their staff retention challenges, more government funding to raise wages and stabilise the business (47%) was one of the highest ranked, alongside technology that automates some staff functions, such as inventory and order-taking (48%); and more patience and empathy from diners (43%).
However, when it comes to whether customers are being more understanding, the industry is split, with 48% reporting diners are more demanding while 46% feel customers are more understanding. And when it comes to the generosity of diners, 43% are tipping worse compared to 37% who say diners are tipping more.
This is supported by consumer data, which revealed just 22% said they were tipping more to support their local restaurant.
Rising food and supply costs was the second biggest challenge reported for the UK (22%), followed by accommodating higher demand from customers (20%) and inventory and supply chain (13%).