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Hospitality Staffing Crisis: Industry Discussion

Changing perceptions, training and greater engagement with schools are key to tackling the staffing crisis.

GIG hosted a roundtable with Springboard.

The roundtable focussed on how to attract new talent while keeping more people within the industry. 

Historically Hospitality was a career which saw people join at a young age, move up the ranks and build their career through time.  

Unfortunately in recent years, this tradition has reduced and seen the Hopitality industry become a 'Stop Gap' job with people 'Falling into it' while studying or inbetween other jobs. 

We gathered research from our Seekers, industy professionals and Hospitality students which formed the framework questions we discussed on the day. 

"You can work any day of the week from Monday to Sunday and the flexibility makes it a dream job."

Chris Sprague ex MD of Elior and Springboard Board of Directors member looked at the exciting and family elements of the industry: 

"It’s a family, that’s the message we do not get out. It’s a really nice place to work and people look after you."

Its also clear from the people in the room that Hospitality can lead to a great, rewarding and sucessful career. Both Chris Sprage and GIG MD Antony started out as Kitchen Porters and many others around the room started out in entry level Hospitality positions to become leaders. 

Paul Coley also mentioned the use of language to describe the industry and how this can put people off where people are focussing on the long hours, stress, low pay and physical work. However when we dug into the conversation and looked at the research there were far more positives that people felt the Hospitality industy provides. 

‘making someone’s day’ ‘being part of special occasions’ ‘becoming part of the family’ ‘community of people’ ‘not your normal 9 to 5’ ‘transferable skills’ ‘soft skills’ ‘employing you for life’ ‘camaraderie’ ‘people people’

David Kreysa, Head of Talent at Ennismore also proposed the idea that a group coalition or campaign working together accross different brands and arms of the industry could lead to the biggest impact across the board. 

Training and support

Janene Pretorious, Director of People at The Ivy said: 

"We found that getting the basics right really helped to support staff, giving them more time to focus on staff training. Eg. if they arent so worried about the rota they can spend more time developing the frontline team."

It was clear from the discussion that middle management were the ones who bore the brunt from both sides. Implementing upper managements initiatives whilst also managing the staff, customers expectations and service. 

As training and support and a great manager were found to be one of the biggest indicators of whether someone would stay and build a career - It is a key area to focus on. Where these middle managers can be supported more and given better tools to free up their time it is highly likely that there will be more focus on growing the frontline teams and in turn lead to less staff turnover. 

Engaging with Education 

Lisa Wyld, Head of Hospitality and Tourism at the University of East London, explained:

"It’s really hard to get the industry to engage with colleges and when we do secure guest speakers rather than selling it and saying this is where I started and where I am now, they often dwell on negatives saying yes it’s really hard and you will have to do that too."

Springboard work closely with young people to encourage a carrer in Hospitlity and Kevin Feaviour reflected on a recent event he ran with young people. 

"It was really clear that before hand they didnt understand how broad the industry was or where a job within the industry could lead. Following the training day, presentations from multiple hotels and restaurants and some hands on expereince, it was clear how excited people were about the prospect of a career in Hospitality."

One of the biggest reservations however was the comitment to full time work. We are seeing this move accross all industries to a more flexible lifestyle and this is where the GIG App allows those people to begin building experience have a taste of where they could go within the industry whilst keeping that flexibility in their lives. 

The takeaways and actions from the day will shape and lead the conversations and policies going forward. 

Thank you to Janene Pretorius from The Ivy, David Kreysa from Ennismore, Sukhy Dhaliwal from HQ Theatres, Paul Coley from Elite Hotels, Lisa Wyld from the University of East London and Chris Sprague, Kevin Feaviour and Cam Yan Ha from Springboard and of course Antony Woodcock, our Managing Director for your great insights, ideas and discussion.

The Caterer covered the event, you can read the full article here

To find discuss your thoughts on the Hospitality Staffing Crisis, give your opinion, share your experience in the industry or discuss our training options simply email the team at 


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