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Investment shortfall highlighted as PM tells hospitality to fund its skills and pay gap

Published:  06 October, 2021

The hospitality sector is expected to invest in funding the sector’s skills and pay gap itself, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has signalled.

However, the latest research detailing the uphill struggle facing the sector is spotlighted in a new report, From Agile to Fragile: How to Navigate the New Era of Hospitality, published by workforce specialists Bizimply and hospitality consultancy Hospitality Mavericks.

The report found that 21% of respondents are taking no additional steps to recruit new employees or retain existing team members. Only a third (32%) are increasing their training and development and just 21% are increasing pay and 10% improving staff benefits.

Conor Shaw, CEO of Bizimply said: “Hospitality operators will perhaps be surprised to learn that after 18 months in which the pandemic saw them shut down for long periods, the government believes they have sufficient funds to invest in improved pay, conditions and systems.

“However, even if the message is unwelcome, it’s clear. Politicians expect hospitality and other industry sectors to ramp up investment in people and systems. Our report surveyed hospitality companies not just in the UK, but also in Europe and the US, and it's clear that the problems they all face are similar.”

Bizimply said that investment in the right technology could empower hospitality staff at the front line, freeing up staff to focus on customer service.

“The good news for businesses facing immediate staff challenges is that investment in systems doesn't have to be hugely expensive. There are plug-and-play options that can be implemented quickly and deliver immediate benefits,” he added.

From Agile to Fragile: How to Navigate the New Era of Hospitality, is based on a survey of senior operators representing hundreds of outlets, employing thousands of staff, in the UK, Europe and the USA. Respondents came from across the hospitality sector, from fine dining and hotels to pubs and bars, coffee shops and fast-food outlets.