How older workers can help hospitality overcome the staffing crisis
Tens of thousands of older workers are helping to boost the hospitality industry and mitigate the labour shortage.
As the cost-of-living crisis strikes home, a survey has shown that more and more people are taking on jobs in the UK’s pubs, restaurants and hotels to boost their retirement income.
The latest Caterer.com Hospitality Hiring Insider, which analyses job data and the views of 600 hospitality professionals, has found that more than 130,000 workers who are closer to retirement are working in the sector to boost income and pension savings.
Hospitality employers have seen a surge in applications from this demographic as demand in the sector has outstripped labour supply. Around 200,000 foreign workers have left the industry since 2019.
A quarter (25 per cent) of employers believe they will be important in helping to solve the sector’s labour shortage.
Lower turnover and better reliability
Some hospitality businesses can see 100 per cent worker turnover in a year. More mature workers in the sector tend to be in management or front-of-house roles and the survey suggests they tend to be more loyal and reliable.
Strong work ethic
Businesses often see these staff members as being the first ones to arrive for a shift, remaining focused throughout the day and as people who rarely miss work.
They are tech-savvy
Some who are that bit older may not have grown up with computers and the internet, but most have adapted to new technology and are capable of operating data systems with little training involved.
Training the next generation
The survey found that 71 per cent of employers believe these workers can pass on sometimes decades of experience and can help to develop younger team members.
Customers appreciate seeing long-time workers and feel that their presence sends the message that the business values its staff.
The research shows more can be done to attract them, with just 16 per cent running active returner or re-entry programmes for that group.
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