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Where have all the hospitality staff gone? 41% of hospitality workers have left the sector since Covid-19 struck

empty cafe, one member of staff behind the counter

Exclusive survey of hospitality staff by @CVLibrary reveals all 

According to an exclusive survey of hospitality staff by CV-Library, 41% of hospitality workers have left the sector since the onset of COVID-19, while 56.9% say they also know of colleagues who have left the industry.   

When asked why they left, 40% said that the pandemic had made the sector too unpredictable and 33% admitted that COVID-19 had made them re-think their career. A further quarter 25.3% blamed poor pay. 

CV-library also analysed its own data around job seeker activity for key hospitality roles and can reveal the positions these workers have moved on to. The results are as follows: 

  • 4 out of 5 roles wait staff moved on to were out of the hospitality industry. They are revealed as sales assistant, receptionist, cleaner and customer service roles.  

  • 4 out of 5 roles front of house staff moved on to were out of the hospitality industry. Receptionist, sales assistant, administrator and customer service positions were the chosen moves. 

  • 4 out of 5 roles bar staff moved on to were also out of the hospitality industry. Bartenders moved on to become sales assistants, cleaners, receptionists and administrators. 

  • The data revealed that the two most popular roles that kitchen assistants moved on to were cleaners and warehouse operatives 

  • Finally, chefs who moved away from the industry commonly undertook warehouse operative positions. 

Given the circumstances and high demand for staff, CV-Library also asked if hospitality businesses are offering better compensation than before the onset of COVID-19. Interestingly, 47.2% reported no change, 20.6% feel it’s better and 32.2 percent feel it’s now worse. The survey reveals that this compensation typically takes the form of greater flexibility (47.7%) or a higher salary (31.8%). Contrary to current perception, less than 10% said they had been offered increased referral schemes benefits. 

However, 60% of those surveyed say they would consider returning to the hospitality sector in the future. 

Lee Biggins, CEO and founder of CV-library comments: “The hospitality industry faces a crucial few months ahead, the repercussions of which will last for some time. We aren’t just seeing the effects of the pandemic here, Brexit and the continuation of staff on furlough also play a huge part in the shortage of candidates in the hospitality industry right now.  

Biggins continues: “It’s encouraging to hear that 60% are looking for new roles and would consider returning to the sector. It’s crucial that businesses take notice of these insightful results. There are available staff out there but, in order to recruit, flexibility, competitive pay, other benefits and breaks must be carefully considered in order to secure these ‘in demand’ candidates.  


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