Marston's & Hawksmoor | How these firms are striving to plug staff shortages

How these firms are striving to plug staff shortages

To help plug staffing shortages within its restaurants, several employers in the hospitality industry are coming up with creative ways to attract new talent into the business.

One of those is the British steakhouse Hawksmoor who is offering bonuses of up to £2,000 to workers who recommend friends for jobs at the organisation.

In an effort to “turbo-charge” its hiring efforts, for each person recommended and who is hired after passing a one-month trial they will receive a bonus – £200 for a first friend, £300 for a second friend and up to £2,000 for five friends.

Gift vouchers

Another chain has also emailed customers with the option to gain a gift voucher if they introduce candidates who are successfully hired by the business.

According to the BBC, Hawksmoor’s Co-Founder Will Beckett said that there “aren’t enough people” in the sector. This comes as the hospitality sector re-opens following the previous Government restrictions.

Elsewhere, pub chains Marston's and Mitchells & Butlers both shared that they were struggling to find new recruits, placing blame on overseas workers returning home and the stop-start nature of lockdown forcing customers to give up on the sector.

Similarly, another restaurant chain Caravan stated that it would offer £100 gift vouchers to customers if they successfully recommend someone for a role within the firm.

Beckett added to these woes as he shared that “hospitality is struggling with recruitment at the moment”.

He continued: “It's a little hard to tell whether this is because there aren't enough people due to them leaving the country or leaving the sector, or because everyone is recruiting at the same time.”

Mitchells & Butlers’ promise to jobs

In a recent interview with myGrapevine magazine Susan Martindale, Group HR Director at Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), shared that throughout the pandemic the firm promised to protect jobs no matter what, as she explained: “We had a single focus…our focus has been to protect jobs and, my God, that has been the company priority.”

She also noted that protecting jobs this way and by showing each staff member that they are cared about, will translate into wider business success. “The way we will succeed… keeping our teams engaged, treating them with respect, and trying to protect as many jobs as we possibly can because how [our people] are feeling will directly translate to how our guests are treated when they come back to us,” she explained.

Signs of recovery

Despite the concerns raised by some in the hospitality sector, recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has indicated that there may be signs of recovery following the global pandemic, with UK job vacancies hitting their highest level since the start of the crisis.

In fact, from January to March 2021, estimates show a quarterly decrease in the unemployment rate. ONS shared that employment was 75.2%, unemployment was 4.8% and economic activity was 21.0%.

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