Service staff in short supply
Ongoing staffing problems posed by the pandemic have seen businesses in the U.K. hospitality sector struggle more than others to fill vacancies. In September, the ONS reported that the hospitality’s sector vacancy rate was twice that of the economy as a whole, despite the sector creating 122,000 new jobs between March and June.
The situation has been exacerbated by Brexit and the lack of EU applicants, but it now threatens to hold restaurants bars and hotels back, just as they are reopening or planning to expand after more than a year of battling the impact of the pandemic. Many are turning to technology to ease the pressure; others are offering more money, but there is a school of thought that says hospitality needs to think the way that it hires.
Apps for staffing gaps
Innovations in technology can streamline many of the processes in hospitality and ease the pressure on staffing demands. Using the mobile ordering platform Yoello, for example, customers can order food and drinks to the table by scanning a QR code, and without needing to download an app. The system can increase table turnover, boosting customer numbers and sales of food and drink, without the need for extra staff.
Hospitality payment app Sunday allows diners to scan a QR code, split the bill between friends, and leave a tip without having to catch a waiter’s eye. The app has already signed up over 1,000 venues and is operational across the U.K., France, Spain and parts of the U.S.
Some solutions are designed to find the extra pairs of hands that businesses need during their busiest times. Student work app Stint connects hospitality businesses with students who want Stints – short flexible shifts of basic tasks. Founded in 2018, Stint works with more than 75,000 students in over 32 towns and cities across the U.K. and has helped facilitate over 65,000 Stints at over 1,000 businesses.
Cofounder Sol Schlagman says: “We’ve seen a big increase in demand from hospitality businesses facing staffing issues, and we can help by integrating Stints into their staffing rotas and connecting them with students who do those Stints during their busiest periods each day.”
Schlagman argues that Stint is more than just a stop-gap solution; it facilitates changes to the operating model of a hospitality business by providing a long-term staffing solution to pubs, restaurants and hotels across the country, ensuring they have the …….