Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Sustainability key to future success, predicts The Change Group

Published:  11 January, 2019


The hospitality industry must adopt a sustainable approach to handle Brexit, tough trading conditions, wage increases and the rise of veganism, according to a report from recruitment business The Change Group.

It said the pressure is particularly acute when it comes to recruiting or retaining staff, saying Brexit will “continue to impact the hospitality sector far beyond the end of March” and there will likely be a “further reduction in registrations from Europe leading to an increased war for talent”.

The ONS reports that the number of chefs in the UK is down by 17% in 2018 compared to 2017. There has also been a 16% drop in candidate registrations from Europe, the Change Group has found.

This situation will be exacerbated by a “further clamp down on employees working illegally or without the correct documentation following Brexit”.

And to avoid being caught up in the chaos, businesses should “ensure they use recruitment channels that qualify candidates correctly, ensuring they are legally able to work in the UK, have their up-to-date health and safety documentation and are reference checked”.

For these reasons, The Change Group believes “talent sustainability” will emerge as a key strategy for British hospitality establishments, which need to “fine-tune recruitment, development and retention strategies with a long-term view”.

This approach will also need to address ³inevitable² salary increases due to “further phased increases in the National Minimum Wage until April 2020” and make working hours “more flexible and less onerous”, especially for working parents.

“Over the past 12 months, the hospitality sector has shown it can adapt, innovate and succeed,” said Craig Allen, founder and director of The Change Group. “The next 12 months will continue to pose challenges, especially around Brexit and growing pressures as a result of tough trading conditions. Going into 2019, the sector is in a good place to respond to emerging challenges and remain one of the UK¹s great business success stories.

“Brexit has largely not affected Britain¹s reputation as a key tourist destinations [so] there is still plenty of demand. While there has been an enormous shake-out and, regrettably, many establishments have closed, there are many success stories, and there are examples of restaurants thriving at every level, from more affordable fine dining to high-end gastronomy.

“I believe restaurants that focus on talent sustainability will do well in 2019 and beyond. A key part of this will be to get the right salary levels and to think more broadly about employee welfare and wellness at work. Brands that show they care for employees and make it easier for those with a family or young children to continue working, will do better at attracting the best talent.”

The Change Group also said greater consumer awareness of “animal welfare and the environmental impact of meat” will see a “greater focus on gastronomic vegetarian and vegan” food offered by the hospitality industry.

“While demand continues, consumers will be even more selective and want an even better deal from restaurants that reflect their values in terms of ethics and sustainability,” said Allen. “The vegetarian and vegan revolution will grow in pace as concerned consumers choose healthier options. Consumers will also want to see restaurants reducing their environmental impact in terms of how businesses use and recycle resources.

“Recruitment and development will need to reflect this consumer agenda, and show that the hospitality industry is listening to what people want.”