Restaurants are offering workers free birthday prosecco, gym discounts and high-end takeout as the battle for talent heats up.
A series of hotel companies have started to promote benefits, raise wages and even introduce gardening leave as part of efforts to prevent their staff from being poached amid a lack of more than 160,000 workers in industry.
Granger & Co, a brunch chain, says its employees get a free bottle of prosecco on their birthday, while others including Premier Inn owner Whitbread have introduced retention bonuses. Whitbread spent £10million on summer retention bonuses last year.
Others are beefing up their staff benefits as they scramble to fill vacancies in the industry. Mitchells & Butlers, which owns the Browns restaurant chain and All Bar One, recently began offering staff a discount at several gyms and allowing workers to receive part of their pay before payday.
Upmarket restaurant group Galvin Restaurants is even considering introducing gardening leave so that any staff who are poached must go home for their notice period rather than be free to woo colleagues to accompany them.
Chris Galvin said: “We’re seeing quite heavy poaching right now. People are coming in offering jobs, posing as customers, but they’ll be using our servers and our managers.
“And if they attract one, they will encourage their colleagues, so for the first time we are looking at introducing gardening leave in hospitality, which is madness.”
Celebrity chef Rick Stein’s restaurants, meanwhile, have formalized more of its benefits, including offering staff a three-course meal for two at one of the venues each year and “staff surprises” such as boxes of Rick Stein-themed meals delivered to your home.
It comes as the sector faces a shortage of 164,000 workers between January and March, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.
John Nee, commercial director of James Webber Recruitment, which specializes in the hospitality industry, said many workers had left for other industries during the pandemic.
He said: ‘When the furlough scheme ended they said ‘we’re not going to come back’.” This is now driving up wages across the board in an attempt to bring workers back, Mr Nee said.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said wage inflation in the industry is double the economy-wide average.
She said: “Pubs, hotels and restaurants are seizing the opportunity of a Covid reset moment, re-examining working patterns as well as wider benefits to attract and retain staff to make life better. hospitality a career and an employer of choice.”
The industry is fighting to replace frenetic activity with continental glamor
By Hannah Boland
Restoration work has never had a particularly glamorous reputation this side of the Channel.
It’s rare in Britain to find the respect given to Parisian chefs, to find waiters who have spent decades working the bistro circuit or to stumble upon family hotspots with a history stretching back three generations.
The UK market is one of frenetic activity rather than majestic continental progress. It is to a large extent fueled by an ever-changing distribution of young workers, students and people between other jobs.
But as the numbers dwindle and the demand for talent grows, the industry is starting to realize it needs to do more to give talented staff a chance to build careers rather than just pay the bills.
“To make hospitality feel like a career and not a tolerable palliative, benefits must compete with rival industries,” says Nisha Katona, founder of restaurant chain Mowgli Street Food.
According to her, bosses cannot “put their heads in the sand and assume that the mere buzz of hospitality is enough”.
Across the country, restaurants are rethinking how they recruit and retain staff to avoid burnt-out teams. This is a problem that many cannot ignore. Overall, the industry is short by 164,000 workers, according to the latest figures.
In this busy environment, workers rush to pick up employees from each other.
“We’re seeing it on a pretty intense basis now,” restaurateur Chris Galvin says.
“They’re going to tap into our servers, our managers, and if they get one, they’re going to encourage the co-workers.
“We have never had so many vacancies.”
Its five high-end sites in London have probably lost 20% of their staff.
Losing a worker, he says, is “tough, when you spend a lot of time training and developing someone, but then those people encourage others to leave”.
More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2022-04-13 05:00:00