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3rd August 2022

Fourth data shows hospitality headcount hits two-year high

Written by: Edward Waddell
The latest data from Fourth shows there are now more people working in the hospitality industry than at any other time during the last two years but a series of factors including increasing rates of pay, high staff turnover and the changing make-up of the workforce remain a major cause for concern.

The overall staffing headcount in pubs, bars, hotels, restaurants, and quick service restaurants (QSRs) is up 21.7% compared to June 2021. However, the industry is still having to replace the 6% of the labour force who leave every month.

The data, which is pulled from a database of more than 700 companies across the restaurant, pub, bar, and hotel sectors, revealed that hospitality continues to have a high rate of staff turnover– 5.7% of the entire workforce left in June 2022. This is reflective of the rate throughout 2022, which has had a high of 6.4% and a low of 5.4%.

Across the sector, hours worked in June 2022 were up 17.3% versus June 2021 and 449.2% against June 2020, when hospitality was largely closed in the UK.

Fourth’s research also shows how the make-up of the hospitality workforce continues to evolve. EU workers now account for just 26.3% of the workforce, compared to 43.2% in January 2019 and 35.9% in July last year.

Sebastien Sepierre, managing director – EMEA, Fourth, said: “The latest data in the Fourth Hospitality Workforce Report reveals genuinely encouraging signs. With businesses finally able to enjoy a prolonged period of uninterrupted trading, we are seeing consumers return to venues in strong numbers.

“Staff are in a position to demand higher wages from operators, which places even more emphasis on recruiting intelligently and the importance of retaining talent. Due to long-term perceptions about unsociable working hours and conditions, the incredible career opportunities that hospitality presents are not always obvious to newcomers or to those outside the trade. This perception needs to be addressed by the industry collectively.

“There is a job to do here in communication but also in harnessing technology to drive processes and help operators hire, onboard, engage and retain team members. Businesses will ultimately have to be smart with their labour scheduling strategies to ensure consumer demand continues to be met and the guest experience doesn’t suffer.”