Why have so many people left hospitality?
Sector mental health organisation The Burnt Chef Project has launched a hospitality survey to understand why so many workers have left the industry in recent times and why vast roles within the sector remain vacant.
As the third largest employment industry in the UK, latest figures suggest more than one in 10 UK hospitality workers left the industry in the last year.
In April, vacancies in UK hospitality soared 77% from the previous month. However, compared with April 2020, the number of applications slumped 82%.
"We know that Covid-19 has had a detrimental impact on the trade, but with the sector opening up again and seeing the hoards of people wanting to enjoy eating and drinking out again we're seeing businesses really struggling to get the staff," says founder of The Burnt Chef Project Kris Hall.
"Brexit has meant many European workers have returned to their own nations but it feels like the issues may run deeper than this, we’re seeing increased communication from workers within the sector who are actively needing our support.
"The study looks to seek out the rationale for these extensive vacancies, and to understand why people aren’t going to work in hospitality.
"Once we understand the cause, it’s possible to start making changes within the sometimes archaic industry and to make it a viable career choice for people moving forward”.
Effects of stress
More than four out of five (84%) hospitality workers reported increased stress which was believed to be a direct consequence of their job. The working culture of the hospitality sector is currently stressful and demanding: three quarters (74%) have reported being verbally abused by a customer with many employees reporting poor mental health and wellbeing, with one in five (20%) reporting severe mental health problems they believe to be a direct result of their job.
As a result, almost half (45%) of respondents said they would not recommend working in hospitality. The high-stress environment and normally unsocial hours are cliches of the industry now but they carry with them a real cost.
The survey, being run in conjunction with Peopleful & Umbrella Insight is live until 16 June and can be completed here.