The hospitality industry’s biggest handicap for sustainable growth has for many decades been the shortage of people entering our industry and developing a career within it. The reasons are many and not for debate today, today’s focus is the new government and its mandate to deliver Brexit. Again, the pro’s and con’s of Brexit is not our focus today, the new government’s migration policy and its impact on our hospitality industry is.
The new government’s migration policy will continue to be led by Priti Patel who clearly has a zealous approach to implementing it, irrespective of its impact on hospitality and many other industries that are reliant on positive migration.
The key issue facing hospitality is that the majority of migrant workers are in entry level positions or, they are starting to work in hospitality. The churn of entry level workers such as waitresses and waiters sees many leave the sector, but in recent years there were others to take their place.
That equation will no longer balance itself when the new government’s migration policy is in place, and to date no other option has been able to fill the gap.
As an industry hospitality will be staring at people shortages that will not only limit growth but stifle it. For some businesses it will be the end, without people to do the jobs how can it be different.
For example: There are circa 40,000 foodservice outlets, restaurants, cafes, bars etc in London and 75% of the waiters and waitresses who work with them are migrants.
So, recognising that hundreds of thousands of highly transient people currently work within this sector, when the churn process runs as it will, and people leaving work and moving on need to be replaced, where on earth (forgive the pun) will the new people come from?