Hours Worked In Hospitality Plummeted 82% Last Week

London, 23 March 2020: Data from workforce management platform Deputy shows hours worked in the hospitality industry fell by 82% between Saturday, 14th March 2020 and Saturday, 21st March 2020.

And on Saturday, 21st March – the day after the British Prime Minister urged them to close – just 6% of shifts were worked in bars, pubs and restaurants. This work was most likely clean-down and other steps necessary to temporarily shutter businesses.

Deputy analysed a sample of over 190,000 shifts worked in the UK hospitality industry between 21st February and 21st March to understand the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and workers. In a week that saw the industry turned on its head:

  • Hours worked in pubs and bars dropped by 72% between 14th-20th March, before closures.
  • Hours worked in restaurants dropped by 68% between 14th-20th March, before closures.
  • Cafes – which have remained open for takeaway trade – saw a 52% drop in shifts rostered last week.
  • As of 21st March, the gap between shifts rostered and shifts worked in cafes was 34% – double that of 17th March (17%). This means twice as many cafe work shifts were being cancelled by the end of last week compared to the beginning.

Further industry-wide insights include:

  • On 21st March, there was a week-on-week fall of 75% in shifts worked in hospitality. Month-on-month, the drop was 76%, demonstrating the huge scale of change in just a matter of days.
  • The number of hospitality industry shifts created fell by more than 30% week-on-week and more than 70% compared to the average in February.
  • The average shift length for those working between 14th-21st March was 5% shorter than planned.

David Kelly, General Manager EMEA at Deputy said: “Our findings from a cross-section of our customers across the UK help to quantify the massive people impact of the past week. Even those hospitality businesses that have not been told to close were already running considerably reduced workforces.

We are already seeing some businesses adapt with takeaway, delivery and click+collect models, and some cafes continue to operate in line with social-distancing guidelines. We also expect to see a shift in workforce numbers between industries during this period with emerging opportunities for some laid-off workers in food retail and supply chain. But it is clear that the majority of staff will not be scheduled to work, heightening the importance of the government’s financial support measures.”