Hospitality teams put in longer hours over the festive season to meet the demands of strong trading, according to workforce management specialist Bizimply, but staff recruitment remains the biggest challenge for the sector in 2023.

According to Bizimply’s survey, 66% of operators did not have enough staff available in December, prompting them to ask existing employees to work longer hours. Average hours worked in the second half of December climbed to 32 hours per week, compared to 28 in October. Employees in top end restaurants put in even longer shifts, averaging 48 hours, up from 40 before the festive period.

Of the operators polled by Bizimply, one-third are expecting no easing of the challenges in recruiting front-of-house staff, rising to two-thirds when it comes to filling kitchen vacancies.

Shaw commented: “Despite the cost of living crisis, we’re seeing signs of a recovery for hospitality. Operators need to make sure they have the right staff in place to meet increased trade later in the year.”

Bizimply’s Top Tips for staff management

Staff, particularly new recruits, thrive when their GM is visible and actively managing them, so make sure your GMs are front of house, and reduce the time they spend in the back office on admin like staff rotas

Respect your team members by giving them plenty of notice of their shifts. And empower them to schedule their own holidays with Bizimply’s ‘Unavailability’ feature.

Use the data to identify whether you are over- or under-staffed and create your staff rotas accordingly.