Staff shortages forcing bars and restaurants to reduce hours, industry warns

Some hospitality businesses in the UK are having to close early because of a shortage of bouncers and security staff

HOSPITALITY businesses may have to consider closing for part of the week or cutting back their opening hours because of staff shortages, it is being warned.

Some are already said to be closing early because of a shortage of bouncers and security staff.

Damien McCarthy, of HR Consultancy firm HR Buddy, said bars, restaurants, cafes and hotels are struggling to recruit workers for the peak summer season.

The industry is currently suffering as many students are not available to do part-time work due to college and exams, he said.

Attracting part-time staff to the industry is more difficult than ever, according to Mr McCarthy, who added: "Many service industry workers choose part-time or casual work in hospitality roles because of the tip bonus, but this has even been impacted negatively now as most tips are taxed because they are coming in electronically.

"Workers are losing out and this key attraction that existed when we were a more cash orientated society in pre-pandemic times is now gone."

Mr McCarthy said traditional workplaces like hospitality are struggling to compete in the labour market given the attractive switch to remote, hybrid and flexible working.

Many businesses will be left with little choice but to close a certain number of days every week, he said.

Bouncers and security staff are also in short supply, according to another report.

Shahzad Ali, chief executive of security training firm Get Licensed, said clubs and pubs are already closing early or shutting for part of the week.

He said: "The shortage began during the pandemic and the problem is increasing. As everyone is well aware, the cost of living is rising, which also affects business owners too.

"Many pub or club owners are reducing opening hours or moving 'last call' hours forward due to a mix of higher costs and a rising shortage of experienced and qualified security staff."

Summer festivals could add to the shortage as other staff will be diverted elsewhere, he said, adding: "It has always been hard to hire within the sector, but with Brexit, Covid and the cost of living, it has never been harder.

"The industry desperately needs a boost in security staff to keep standards high, keep businesses functioning smoothly, and ensure that people stay safe on a night out."

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