Staff Shortages This Christmas for 62% of Hospitality Businesses

Three quarters of operators say they are expecting a shortage of kitchen staff and 74% say they are expecting not to have enough front of house staff this Christmas. Over 60% (62%) said they were expecting a shortfall in both.

The new findings, from major sector initiative Hospitality Rising, in partnership with hospitality research consultancy KAM, highlight the ongoing challenge of recruitment and staffing within the hospitality industry – with 69% of hospitality operators noticing an increase in the number of people leaving hospitality in the last 12 months.

In response to the survey of hospitality businesses, the majority said vacancies not being filled was having a significant impact on the welfare of their current team members (79%), the quality of the customer experience (79%), as well as sales and turnover (65%).

In a bid to tackle the problem, operators are implementing a series of measures to reduce the impact on customers this Christmas, including increasing staff wages (70%) and reducing covers or adapting service times (46%). Others reported not carrying out private events such as parties over the festive period or closing for periods of time.

Mark McCulloch, founder of Hospitality Rising and Campaign Director, said:
“This research brings home the stark reality of the workforce crisis in hospitality and the absolute need we have for bold and creative ways to solve it.

“By working collectively via initiatives such as Hospitality Rising, we can bring more people into our dynamic and rewarding industry and ensure that we aren’t leaving revenue on the table due to a shortage of staff. The first phase of Hospitality Rising, our #RiseFastWorkYoung campaign, has already proved its effectiveness – driving 17,000 applications via our dedicated jobs board in its first three weeks.

“We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve received so far, with over 300 businesses including global brands and some of the world’s most successful hospitality leaders backing our campaign.

“However, in order to keep up momentum and drive the next stage of the campaign we need more operators to come on board and more companies to pledge financial support. Hospitality is nothing without people and we are determined to work together to ensure the best and the brightest are attracted to the industry to ensure a bright future for the sector.”

Katy Moses, founder/MD of KAM says:
“Customers tell us that they’re excited about the upcoming festive season and despite the cost-of-living crisis many intend to put more effort into Christmas 2022 because of the disappointment of the last two years. It’s heart breaking, albeit sadly not surprising, that staff shortages continue to limit the vitality of the Hospitality sector with customer service levels, employee engagement and sales being impacted. The research really highlights the critical role which Hospitality Rising is playing in attracting new people to the sector.”

To find out more information about Hospitality Rising or to get involved in the campaign, visit

Download the survey results here: