More than Money: Tackling the Hospitality Staffing Crisis

As we continue to persevere through the effects Covid-19 has had on our industries, the short-staffing crisis proves to be one of the most pressing issues we face.

Recently, the rise of the Omicron variant has reignited Covid safety concerns, and with many EU workers having left the UK due to Brexit, industry uncertainty is expected to only worsen the crisis.

Increasing Wages: An Effective Solution?

A quick search of potential solutions to this issue will yield results mostly rooted in monetary means, with many businesses offering improved wages, and in some cases, hefty sign-on bonuses. However, these unsustainable measures have not been enough to solve the crisis.

While there is no easy answer or quick fix, we will explore the problem beyond financial incentives and take a closer look at how job opportunities can be better optimised to consider the most important aspect of any role – the individual.

Invest in Individuals

“The key piece to the puzzle is raising up a new generation of hospitality professionals and investing in people.” – Rita Jusztina Varga, CEO of RaizUp

Over the pandemic, almost 100,000 furloughed hospitality sector employees ultimately chose not to return to their jobs.  Employees attributed long working hours with no flexibility, lack of career progression, and unsatisfactory working conditions as the main reasons they chose to pursue careers in other industries. How can we address these issues?

lady standing in front of white board at staffing confrence

Apprenticeships & Career Progression

Offering apprenticeships, career progression and investing in futures will go a long way in making a career in hospitality feel more viable and secure.

For example, Pret A Manger apprenticeship takes their team members through a fully funded BA Business Management Undergraduate degree while being paid.

We care about your qualities, not your qualifications. So long as you’re passionate about a career in hospitality, we’ll support you with everything you need to grow with Pret.”


While serving as a short-term solution to take pressure off and boost productivity, upskilling will provide lifelong skills to team members.

Enabling employees to develop new skills and responsibilities alongside their role can help them feel more valued as individuals and provide long-term career versatility from their diversified skill set.

Work-Life Balance

Unrelenting work hours leave little room for workers to achieve a healthy work-life balance, which is vital for teams to perform at their best.

Offering better flexibility will allow for employees to achieve this balance, which will in turn help to alleviate burnout, improve productivity, and increase employee retention.

Of course, offering this kind of flexibility can be very challenging when short of staff – this is where apps such as Stint come in.

Short Term App Relief

‘Stint’ connects students with businesses for short work shifts to help with the workload during busy times.

Stint helps take pressure off full-time workers, improve their working conditions, and potentially cultivate a new generation of hospitality professionals.

Looking Digital

Leveraging the full capabilities of digital technology across operations to automate and simplify tasks will reduce the number of staff required and allow your current staff to better allocate their time.

screen on mount with hand touching it

It has never been easier to improve operations with the latest digital technology: from automated admin or revenue management to guest communication and customer service through apps, chatbots and perhaps even robot waiters! Further to this, new digital marketing techniques are proving to be crucial in the war to win customers’ attention.


New Sources of Labour

45% of the hospitality workforce is made of workers under the age of 29.

Looking to alternative sources of labour and making appealing career opportunities in hospitality for older generations – from redundancies in other industries or even part-time retirees – will help fill the gaps and create a more versatile, experienced workforce.


There is no single ‘fits-all’ solution to the staffing crisis, so it is crucial to recognise all aspects of changes to provide enticing job opportunities and retain staff beyond just offering more money. 


It will take renovation across the industry to convince people to pursue a career in hospitality. However, by emphasising the individual and investing in futures, people will perceive the hospitality industry as a viable, exciting opportunity to start a career.